Monday, 30 July 2012

foster failure

Well, I must admit, Ollie is a foster failure. When most people say that, it means they just cannot give the dog up and decide to keep it. But that's not what I mean. I am sending Ollie on to another foster family - I cannot keep him until he is adopted. I have failed in providing even a temporary home for him. Despite how horrendous he behaved in the beginning, I am giving him up simply because life moves forward, and I need a break from him before the next chapter begins.

Ollie's behaviour has improved tremendously in the two and a half months he has been with me. He is now fairly comfortable with Archie, still occasionally chasing him but he calls off very easily. We have developed a routine (relying very heavily on games of fetch) and he has relaxed in his barking. Still annoying though, I must admit.

Ollie curled up in the blue armchair, watching me.
In truth, the only thing we have made no progress with are his reactions to other dogs when out for a walk. His barking fits are so focused and intense he scares me. Nothing I can do will break his focus. We spent several weeks working with other dogs on leash and he made quite a bit of progress, even being able to walk beside my friend's German Shepherd after only three sessions, however he begins all over with a new dog. So when we go for walks I take him to a nearby heritage cemetery, where we can do obedience drills and practice heeling without worrying about the dog that may be around the corner. It is a little odd, but that is the only place I am comfortable walking him.

Since I am heading out for vacation next week, the timing was right to give him back. I hope his next foster home is with someone more confident, who can help him overcome his issues with other dogs so he can find his forever home!