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Week two of pet fostering and Jessie’s progress

Tomorrow, Jessie will have been at our house for two weeks. I feel she is doing very well and shows extremely good promise. Because, she will most likely go to another home eventually, I have chosen to be her foster grandma instead of mom.

Jessie at almost two weeks of fostering. She is making great strides and will soon be available for her forever home.
Jo Ann Wentzel

The fear factor and being unsure of everything is gone. She is much less shy and timid, though occasionally still shows that side of her personality. She no longer fears the dog and she and Mr. Owen have become pretty good friends. When they both go out in the yard, she tries to get him to play with her. They both bark very loudly and run around the tree in the yard. He is older than she and certainly not as fit as she is so sometimes he gets less enthusiastic than her. Right now Jessie is Mr. Owen’s fitness program. When he is too slow to come out the patio door, she gives him a gentle bite on the nose to let him know she won’t take no for an answer and he is going to play.

She also engages in what I call, ‘The running of the dogs’. This is almost as noisy as the ‘running of the bulls,’ but much less dangerous. We are surrounded by fenced yards with other dogs and when they get started they race back and forth along the fence, each on their own side of it.

The cats are still a wonderful curiosity to her and she sometimes chases them. Almost always when we say, “Jessie don’t chase the cats” or “No cats, Jessie” she stops and looks longingly at them from afar. She has never tried to hurt them but, they are irresistible to her and she just can’t help herself.

There have been no potty accidents pretty much all week. She does have me up between 5 and 5:30 am to go out. She will come and give me a couple licks if she believes I’m too slow and these old bones don’t move fast enough for her. She really has me trained, but it works out. She goes to the door when she wants to go out, but sometimes it is just to play.

Still gobbling her food, but not quite as frenzied as at the beginning. She is starting to know when she gets fed and is lined up in the kitchen with all the other furry children. She loves treats and really enjoyed her frozen Kong stuffed with peanut butter. So did Mr. Owen.

We need more work on her chewing and being destructive with toys. The only thing she demolished other than Mr. Owen’s toys was one outside chair pillow. It was really after less than a week here and she was in the yard alone longer than she should have been. This no longer seems a problem, but the toys still are.

I have attempted to get the concept of gentle across to her, but that is going to take more practice. I tried two ideas but so far neither one worked for her. Some of our past dogs loved to chew on empty plastic water of coke bottles. She was disinterested in that idea. I also tried ‘bag ball’ which is simply a lot of bags stuffed in another plastic one and tied in the shape of a ball. Other dogs enjoyed it but she was indifferent to it. She does like a very hard chew toy and so far cannot wreck it. Jessie needs sturdy toys that are just right for her size.

Jessie loves music and when I play some or sing to her she seems to relax. She also is not a critic, a good thing for any of you who have heard me sing. When there’s music on and I’m jumping around, she puts her front legs up and likes to take a spin around the room.

Jessie already has formed an attachment and hopefully will find a forever home quickly so she can transition without too much trouble. She is sweet and loving, with lots of face licking and greets her foster grandpa with as much enthusiasm as does Mr. Owen. She has a habit of putting paws on you all the time and trying to jump up on you. That needs more work, she is just being friendly, but is surprisingly strong for a small dog.

Jessie has learned and mainly follows the commands or cues, but not mastered them. We worked on sit, down, stay and come. We have also not completely got the leash thing down pat.

She has much to learn, but once again in the short time she has been here she has become a better behaved dog and much less frightened. She is trusting and loving and will make someone a great pet, just keep working with her.

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