After two weeks of foster care, I dropped off Elantra for her spay surgery. Two weeks have gone by fast. In other words, 3 and a half rolls of paper towel went by fast. Pee pads and chew toys made their way on to my shopping lists. I also purchased not one, but two different types of infant containment devices. All foster experiences are unique, and in my case, I learned about how much work it takes to care for a puppy. I say work lightly because this kind of work is so rewarding.
The first day is always the hardest. You’re pet is unsure of it’s new environment, so prepare to spend lots of quality time with your pet to keep them comfortable. You’ll most likely run into separation anxiety, especially if you’re fostering a young pet. My advice to assist in keeping your pet comfortable is to keep a pretty consistent routine. Being in a new environment keeps pets on edge, so having a few constants in their daily routine can assure them that things are going to be ok.
If I could write a note to myself in the past, I would have advised myself to prepare my home ahead of time to the best of my ability. Before picking up Elantra, I did attempt to be prepared by picking up two dog bowls, and a pack of potty training pads. Though I wish I had better prepared my home. Since I was fostering a puppy, I could have benefited from making sure all of my shoes, cords, and personal items were out of reach before picking her up. Instead I had put her in a cage to pick up such items when I got home, and she was not happy with me putting her away at first. I made a huge effort to play and get to know her better after puppy-proofing my space so that she didn’t feel neglected.
Coming home to Elantra was always my favorite part of the day, even if I was only gone for an hour. She’d great me with a million kisses while her tail wagged endlessly. It was her way of saying thank you. We both enjoyed each other’s company. So much so, I’ve made a pretty huge decision.
I’m now joining what is known as the failed fosters club. I'd say it's the highest ranked failure in my book. It’s a failure that saves a life, assures a forever home, and makes room for more at the shelter. Instead of sending Elantra off to surgery, to recover, and then be transported to the adoption center, I picked her up the day after her surgery and brought her home.
I always knew in my heart that when she’d arrive at the adoption center, she’d be quickly snatched up by a kind loving individual, family, or couple. However, the bond I formed with Elantra was too strong. It was so strong, that by the end of week one I began thinking of names. I found it extremely difficult to call her Elantra when, deep down, I knew that she was never going back to the shelter. So after getting to know her bright and spirited personality, I decided to call her Poppy.