I’ve been hesitant to write about how Rufus has adjusted to a long-term visitor in the house, because it’s really hard to tell what’s going on in that adorable noggin of his.
However, I also think it’s important to share my experience because I know a lot of people decide not to foster based on their own existing dog’s issues. Well, I am here to tell you that fostering is absolutely possible when you live with a jerkface like my wonderful Rufus! He is grumpy, territorial, dominant(ish), and a little bit emotional. However, he is dealing just fine.
Of course I know that there are dog issues that would make it incredibly stressful and unbearable to foster: severe dog aggression, blood battles, etc. Our issues are definitely minor in comparison.
As you may know, we fostered plenty of pups before we called Rufus our own. While I missed fostering dearly, we waited over a year to try it again – Rufus intimidated us with his odd behavioral issues. In reality, it may have been a much easier transition if we had jumped right back in without giving him so much time to get all settled into his forever home….oh well, you live and learn!
My biggest inspiration to go for it was Love And A Leash, my absolute favorite dog blog. Aleks and I even e-mailed back and forth a couple of times about dealing with a grumpy dude when welcoming new fosters into the home. She offered tons of encouragement, and I got super excited to go for it. After one failed attempt, I tried my hardest not to get discouraged and gave it another go!
Now that we’ve had Miss Teeny for almost a month and a half, I can safely say that the experience has been challenging at times, but the benefits definitely outweigh the hardships….I mean, how could I not have saved this adorable blockhead??
Teeny has definitely helped a ton, taking on the role of submissive little sister. At the beginning, Teeny was definitely obsessed with Rufus and did not know how to leave him alone, but over time she’s learned how to read him and it’s been semi-peaceful around here. We did about a week and a half of tie-downs and separating them so that Rufus could get breaks from her. Rufus tell her when she’s getting out of hand, gives him kisses while he growls in her face (which we quickly correct), and even lets him sleep in her crate whenever he feels like it.
Yes, the pitbull of the family is the sweetie while our hound mutt needs to stop waking up on the wrong side of the bed!
Once in awhile, Rufus allows her to cuddle up beside him and even engages her in play, although he prefers running around to wrestling – she is solid muscle after all, and he’s mostly just a pile of skin. That’s my sweet motherly way of saying my dog is kind of a wimp…whoops.
Rufus knows this is his home, and he’s not going anywhere. While they are not the best of friends, he accepts her and even looks after her when another dog tries to mess with her. I only hope he gets used to the revolving door of fosters, because I have no plans of stopping anytime soon!
*Stayed tuned for Part II! Straight from the Ru-man’s mouth!