Being a foster parent for dogs

Three years ago we started fostering dogs, we have only fostered three dogs as we took a little break after adopting our own dog Nero. Offcourse I can only talk about my experiences and thoughts, so these are not general guidelines. Your experience fostering dogs will be a lot different, it depends on the breed you are fostering, your household, location, the history of the dog and their personality.

A little backstory about the breed of dog we own and foster and their history as I think that’s important to know as it defines our foster story. The Galgo Español is a Spanish Greyhound and they come from Spain. They are not kept as a pet but as tools to hunt by galgueros (hunters) and are mistreated in ways I do not want to type and think about. When they are not “good enough” anymore they get dumped, killed or brought by shelters. The shelters work with loads of organizations who try to find new homes for them. They are not used to living in a house and being a pet and are sometimes traumatized by all the abuse.

We actually didn’t really decide to be a foster family, it just kind of happened. After adopting our dog Pelo we got approached by the organisation who took care of his adoption and they told us about a dog needing a foster family after a failed adoption. We had met the particular dog called Sandokan before and we loved him so we said yes immediately. He arrived two days later and he only stayed with us for five days as he found his perfect family really soon. It’s been nearly three years and we still keep in touch with the people who adopted him. He had been in the Netherlands for about 7 months so already knew how it was like to stay in a house and with a family. He was not traumatized and just a happy carefree dog.

About a month later our second foster dog Luce arrived, she came straight from the shelter in Spain and had never been in a house before. Most of the time when you get a dog from a shelter you do not know a lot about their personality. The people in Spain do try and assess their personality but dogs behave differently in the shelter compared to a house. When Luce arrived we knew she probably wasn’t traumatized and she passed the cat-test. We were told the dogs are exhausted when they arrive because they travel in a van for a day which is pretty scary for them. Luce jumped out of the van and was a happy girl straight away, she was very overweight which is extremely rare for Galgo’s, especially straight from Spain. When she arrived in the shelter in Spain she was skin and bones but she ate a LOT in the shelter. She was hyper all day and felt right at home. She jumped on the couch, sat right next to my boyfriend and demanded attention all day.

It didn’t take us long to realise Luce had severe separation anxiety. She also loved my boyfriend so much she refused to go on a walk without him. She would just stand on the driveway and look at me with a look that screamed “oh no, I am not going with you. You can forget all about it”. I would have to drag her with me until she would give up and walk with me. But she would look over her shoulder every ten seconds or so to check if my boyfriend was coming to her rescue. So we realised we would have to find someone who spends all day at home, didn’t mind her separation anxiety and preferably single without other pets. Luce just wanted a human being all to herself and had no interest in other dogs or people. We thought this would be impossible but after ten weeks we found her a single woman who had a disability which prevented her from working, was single, would get a pet sitter if she needed groceries and would just take Luce everywhere else. They were a perfect match, they fell in love with each other right away and are really happy together.

Our current foster dog is called George and he was adopted before but the adoption failed. The shelter in Spain categorized him as an easy trauma-free dog who would fit in every house. But when George arrived with his adoptive family they realised he was very traumatized and he hated living in a big city. So they chose to find him a new family where he would fit in better. We live in a very calm neighbourhood and as I am home most of the time I get to work with him all day long. We have had George for 10 days and he has changed a lot since then. We live in a quiet area, I have a set routine and I give him lots of space which has helped him a lot. He is a friendly, cuddly and happy boy who loves to play. He is very scared when we come across other people/dogs during our walk and doesn’t like it when people come over but I am very proud of his progress. He needs some more time until he will be ready for adoption and we love having him to stay.

I love fostering because it helps rescued dogs find their perfect home, as a foster parent you can really see what a dog needs and desires. It gives the shelters in Spain (or any other country for that matter) room to rescue another dog and it is an amazing feeling to see a dog grow and learn things when they can finally be a pet. Whenever I talk to people about fostering they often times say something like “I would love to foster but I could never let go of the dog afterwards” and that is something which happens a lot, it is called ‘Foster Failure’ as people adopt their foster pet often. Whenever we get a foster dog I love it immediately but I do not look at it as my pet. The dog is under my supervision and in my care, I would do anything for him/her but he/she is not mine. I am sad whenever they leave, but I know that I selected a great family for them which will make them very happy, and that really does help.

 

 

A little introduction

My very first blog post on my new journey as an English blogger. I have had Dutch blogs for about 15 years but I wanted to broaden my audience a little bit by going English. So, let me introduce myself first *does a little wave*.

My name is Emma and I am 29 years old. I live in Groningen which is a city in the Northern part of the Netherlands. I live with my boyfriend Jasper, two European shorthair cats Jack & Sparrow and two Galgo dogs Pelo & Nero. My dogs are both rescued dogs from Spain where they were used and abused for hunting. One of them was very traumatised when we adopted him but they are both very happy boys now.

I was diagnosed with a pain disorder 6 years ago and was admitted to a rehabilitation centre to learn how to incorporate the pain into daily life. Planning out my days was a huge part of the training and it has helped me better my life quality. I have always used planners to note down appointments and such but this showed me a different way of planning. When I found the planner community 3,5 years ago I found like I had found my tribe. Finally I found a way to better my life and make it look awesome. I have learned so many things from the community to make my life even better.

I also love organising, tidying and cleaning, which is kind of funny as I should have been awarded for the messiest bedroom as a teenager. I used to have stuff all over the floor and a few small clean spots on the floor so I could hop to my desk and bed. My mum was always telling me to go clean it and get rid of all the junk. Fast forward 15 years and I love to find new ways to organise my stuff. I have an obsession for baskets and bins and go organise cabinets for fun. I blame my boyfriend for this new hobby, he is the tidiest person I have ever met. He puts away every single thing he touches after using it and can not stand a messy environment. I am nowhere near as tidy but I have started to love a tidy house where each item has a set “home”. It makes tidying so much easier, and I don’t spend as much time looking for certain items and finding them in random spots.

Galgo Olly Blanket

Besides planning and organising, I love to crochet. I mostly make blankets and love gifting people baby blankets when they are expecting. I also love to bake and will be sharing some recipes on my blog every now and then. I don’t bake very often as I love making unhealthy things and I don’t want to eat them all by myself. So I only try to bake when we are expecting guests. I am known to make loads of cakes and pies for our birthdays. It is my goal to make at least 3 new recipes each birthday. Nowadays I even get asked by friends and family to bake stuff for their birthdays. I love walking my dogs and have met some amazing people while doing so. And to get back to my blog name; I love to journal about everyday life. I chose to name my blog “a girl and her journal” because I felt like it was general enough to blog about all the things I love. As I would also journal about all these things!

I hope you feel like you have gotten to know me a little bit better by reading this first blog post. Feel free to leave me any questions you might have. I am happy to answer them! Hope to see you again soon.