The Adventures of Gary the Foster Dog, Day 2

Day 2:
Overnight, Gary was pretty quiet in his crate, but did break out into barking one time. I went to the crate & said “NO!” in a really deep stern voice. He sat down in there & looked at me. There was no more barking even when he heard me stirring in the bedroom when I was up for the day.
In the morning, we went outside immediately so he could do his stuff. Gary seems so used to being on a lead, that when we walk in my fenced yard, he still stays right by my side. In fact, he potties right beside me. Once, he peed on my foot! I didn’t know he was doing it at first. There isn’t any leg lifting with a 3-legged dog.
I had to go out for an appointment shortly after sunrise & Gary had to go back into the crate. He didn’t have a problem going back in. I was back in an hour & we went right outside. Bingo. He did it outside again. Good boy!
Gary delights in the boxful of dog toys, but I had to take it away as he was chewing them all to pieces. He now gets one toy at a time, then I change it before he chews it to bits. He plays very well alone or with Ursa.
Since I’m home all day, I have the opportunity to watch Gary’s every move. Great advantage.
Ursa doesn’t seem thrilled by him for some reason. She wants to play but once they engage, she’s backing off. That’s something I’ll need to watch more closely.
What I have discovered in watching him so much is a situation because he has only 3 legs. He can’t scratch everywhere he’d like to! Yes, he can sit & reach  his left rear leg up to scratch the left side of his neck or left ear, but without a right rear leg, it’s pretty hard to get those right side itches.
So……I started scratching that side for him & he was just in heaven! He leaned into the scratch. I scratched him for about 2 minutes and he seemed so relieved. He probably hasn’t had a good scratch on that side since the amputation. I was glad to help. Now it’s on my agenda – Note to self: Good scratching daily!
I needed to gas up my car, so I figured I’d take Ursa with me for a ride (one of her all-time fav things). Gary went into the crate easily. I wondered how he would be totally alone in the house, without Ursa or me. He was quiet enough as we pulled away.
Different story upon our return. When we got out of the car, oh my goodness, we could hear Gary barking and barking. Loud! Good thing my neighbors’ houses are not right up beside mine. They wouldn’t have liked it.
He was instantly quiet when I opened the door. Hmmmm.  He needs to learn to be quiet even when we’re not home. We’ll work on that.
Gary & I went to the Mall at Robinson for the usual Thursday night off-site event where some of our available WPHS dogs and cats meet & greet the public.
He was so good on the ride to the mall and so good the whole evening. We met many folks and he was quite exhausted by the end. He slept all the way home.
“Home.” Yes, it’s only a temporary home but I felt so good taking him home instead of having him return to the shelter. The shelter does everything they can to make a dog feel comfortable & loved.
But even with a great staff and lots of volunteers, a dog can’t be as satisfied as he would be to go “home.”
We can’t offer a permanent home to our fosters, but it made me feel good just asking Gary if he was ready to go “home.”  Everybody likes going home. He was so  happy to come back here — I think he smiled.
Right now, he’s asleep by Ursa on the carpeted floor. Earlier he was out running around on the grass. Hmmm… carpet and grass underfoot. Both always seems so welcome by our fosters.
Hey, little buddy, that’s what this is all about — for you to remember what it’s like to be home & to help you to be more adoptable and get that forever home.
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