A few months ago I decided I wanted to foster dogs so that my dog, Sadie, could develop play skills as well as have a friend. That was put on hold when my friend’s foster dog attacked Sadie leaving her hind leg wounded. Now that she is more than fully recovered, at the last minute I decided to foster. Technically I was looking to foster a Border Collie mix that I saw posted online, however since it was two pups, they couldn’t be separated just yet. So for the foster mother Kelly to take the Border Collies, they asked if I would foster Macon. They thought it would be a nice fit since he was currently in a house with small children, dogs, cats, and chickens. Dogs XL didn’t want me to take on more than I could being that this was my first foster.
Saturday evening my mom and I went to pick up Macon and get his supplies. Macon walked in and both of us thought, “wow, you are much bigger than we thought”. He’s about 60lbs and is a Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever mix. He’s about 1-2 years old and about three weeks ago had surgery.
When he was rescued they though that he must have been hit by a car and left. His hind leg was dislocated from the hip and poor Macon lived with it for who knows how long. He walked and did what he needed to using his other three legs. When the rescue got him, took him to surgery, they found that a lot of scar tissue was in the hip socket, which led them to believe that Macon had lived with this injury for quite some time. They cleaned out the socket and put his leg back in. His hind leg is still pretty shaved and you can still see the stitches.
The foster mother Kelly gave me some tips on what to do to help him put weight on his hind leg. One thing is to feed him on the stairs, going up. This way he has to climb up a bit while putting weight on that hind leg. It works! Another thing is to walk him with a top clasp harness. This makes him want to pull which also helps him use that hind leg. Some other things were light walking, play time and using a tug-o-war toy so that while he’s pulling he’s putting weight on the hind legs. We are doing all of the above.
The first day/night was quite interesting. He was full of energy and followed me around…everywhere. He wanted to play with Sadie and watching him rough house her made me extremely nervous. I started to rethink this whole thing. I put him in his crate to calm him down for a bit and he barked non-stop. I was told he liked his crate and went in quietly. This was not the case for me. I emailed Kelly and asked her to call me. She did and we spoke for about 30 minutes and she eased my mind. I also asked her about his stool because there were white round balls in his stool. She laughed and said he ate two beanie babies…LOL. Good to know! Then she reassured me that he will bark for about 5-10 minutes in the crate but will settle down. She was right about that. She also did inform me that Macon does play this way but never hurts or bites. She has three dogs all in different ages and personalities and he did great learning each one. So I felt better after that phone call.
After taking both dogs out separately I put Macon in his crate and yep, he barked, a very high pitched young bark. Once I got into my bedroom and things quieted down, so did he. I was worried that I wouldn’t get much sleep that night but we all slept for a good 8 hours uninterrupted. Macon started whining around 6am so I got up and took him out back. Then I brought him in and let Sadie out. We all are back in the house when I wasn’t sure if Macon should go back in his crate just to start barking again. We all headed to my bedroom and I brought out another dog bed for him. After he circled the room a few times, he settled in on his new bed. Sadie was in her bed and my cat, Sebastian, was on the bed. We all slept until about 10am. Overall not bad, huh?
Here are some photos from Day 1.
Stay tuned for Day 2!
- Dog Fostering (mydandelionlife.wordpress.com)
- I Was So Scared! (mydandelionlife.wordpress.com)
- Border Collie Traits, Personality, Behavior and Temperament (petownersguide.wordpress.com)