It was a very good adoption day for me on Saturday - three of my four foster dogs were adopted! Molly went to a family with kids, who decided they were ready for a dog. She seemed very happy with them! Ginger's new family also has two kids, and a mom who had a hard time deciding whether to adopt Ginger or Pepsi. They're both such good puppies, but she finally decided Ginger would be a better fit with her family. That actually worked out well, because shortly after that my cousin came by, and fell in love with Pepsi. So I'm so glad they adopted her - now I'll be able to hear how she's doing in the future! We also had several other foster dogs adopted this weekend - it was a good week for everyone.
That leaves me with just Noelle at home. Oh, and my foster cat Doobie. He decided to hide just before it was time to leave for PetSmart, and even though I searched the house for 20 minutes, and checked all the usual cat hiding spots, I couldn't find him. So he got to skip adoption day this week. After I got home on Saturday night, he was in his usual spot on the bed, pretending like he'd been there all along - so I still don't know what new hiding spot he discovered!
One of the nice things about fostering is that I can take a break in between fostering dogs whenever I want to. So that's what I'm doing now... at least for a few weeks probably. I will still have lots of news to report on other Heartland foster dogs though! And of course I'll keep fostering Noelle, too. I've enrolled her in some private dog training classes, and the trainer is coming out on Thursday night to my home for her first class. If I foster Noelle long enough, I'd like to get her CGC Certification. That is a Canine Good Citizen award - it is given by the AKC for any dog who passes a 10-part test that shows they can perform basic obedience and are well-behaved in various social situations. For more information, go to http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/index.cfm. I plan to learn to train Noelle through these private lessons, and then be able to train other fosters to earn their CGC on my own in the future. I hope it will help some of the hard-to-adopt dogs to be adopted more quickly. Oh, and for those of you who support Heartland, I just want you to know that I'm paying for the classes myself. So if you think its a waste of money to train a foster dog, now you know it's my money and not any that you have donated to Heartland. :-) I have arranged with the trainer to allow me to take these classes, working toward the CGC, with whatever foster dog I have at the time. So while I plan to especially work with the harder to adopt dogs (like Noelle, since she's deaf), I also won't let it interfere with them being adopted if a perfect home comes along - I'll just get another hard-to-adopt dog to train and pick up with the classes where I left off! I'm still going to school for a Dog Training diploma, and a Shelter & Rescue Work diploma, but that will still take me a few years before I'm done, so in the meantime I want to get some extra hands-on help with training. Remember, i've only been a dog owner for a couple of years, and have NEVER taken a dog training class! My own dog Remi came to us already having attended several levels of obedience classes before we adopted him, so there was never really a need. I'm self-taught - having read every book I can get my hands on - and I've developed a lot of confidence in working with several of the dogs I've fostered over the past year. But sometimes it just makes a huge difference to see certain training techniques demonstrated, or to watch how someone solves a particular problem that a dog has. So I'm really looking forward to these classes.
My latest news - yesterday I went with another HHS foster volunteer to pick up some puppies. The owners dogs had two unplanned litters of puppies - 12 of them altogether! So we went and got them and took them back to the foster volunteer's house. On the way home, we saw two dogs running loose on highway 61. They looked like they were going to get hit by a car, so of course we stopped and tried to help. One of the dogs ran back up the embankment, and even though we went after it, we weren't able to find it. We were able to rescue the other dog, and since we knocked on doors of homes in the area but couldn't find her owners, she came home with me last night. This morning I was able to call the vet where her rabies tag was registered, and contact the owner. They came and picked her up, and they were very happy to get her back. Their other dog, the one who ran away from us, also made it back home safely, so it was a happy ending all-around!