Okay y’all it’s been a long time coming, but we finally did it!
I’d like to introduce you all to our brand new foster, Jasper.
Jasper is available for adoption through the Pennsylvania SPCA in Philadelphia, PA, and you can follow his journeys here on this very blog!
We picked him on Saturday after a dog meet at the fabulous Valley Forge park. After a slight mishap (Joe slamming his finger in the car door and losing quite a bit of blood), we managed to conclude that Shelby and Panzer would be just fine with Jasper, so we got Joe home and packed Jasper up in my Mustang.
As it turns out, Jasper is a wonderful travel companion. Unlike Shelby who pukes every time she gets in my car, Jasper was content to lie in the back and occasionally lift his snout to the fresh air blowing in (a nice weekend! We actually had a nice weekend!).
While I drove down 422 back to the house, I kept looking in the rear view mirror at him. We’ve had so many almost-fosters that I pretty much went into this dog meet with the expectation that we would not be coming home with a dog. It was a little surreal and nerve-wracking to look back there and see one staring back at me. A dog meet outside is a bit different than a dog living in your home, and I started to feel sweat beading on my palms. My heart sped up and I worried. He looked so…hopeful…so content. What would I do if I got him home and it didn’t work out and Panzer tried to eat him and I had to take him back to the shelter where he was losing his mind? What if I failed at this fostering thing…again?
My nerves were eased slightly due to the fact that PSPCA is a no-kill shelter, but I still had to bear the weight that a shelter just is no place for a dog to be long-term and it was something like stealing a lollipop from a child after just one lick. Freedom…and no.
Fortunately, all my fears and nerves and anxiety were for naught and Panzer and Shelby adjusted quickly to life with Jasper in the house (although Shelby is a little miffed that he won’t play with her). He’s got a lot of nervous energy still from the shelter, so we’ve been taking him for lots of walks (he loves walks) and playing some rudimentary clicker games. He seems to know his name, and his housebreaking is coming along well. Sit may be something we attempt next week as he’s still a bit distracted and trying to adjust to time spent in a home for the first time in his life (he was chained outside).
By far though, Jasper’s most amazing attribute is that he is exceedingly tolerant. While we’re trying to get him comfortable with all the things dogs are expected to be comfortable with (people, dogs, kids, cats) as gently as we can, we’ve also put him to the test and expected a lot out of him pretty quickly. We took him to a small birthday party (for yours truly) yesterday that my dad and stepmom hosted and he managed to put up with a new house, eight people and a new dog all with amazing grace and charm. It probably helped that he got treats and a few table scraps.
And then of course there are those things in life that we just can’t adjust him to slowly, like his daily ear cleanings. He has something of a nasty ear infection, so he needs his ears cleaned at least once daily and his antibiotics put in. While I’d like to desensitize him slowly to the process point in fact is that he needs it done, regardless of how he feels about it. Joe holds him and I administer the medication and he doesn’t like it, but he doesn’t complain about it much either, which is amazing considering we’re still essentially strangers. Considering how long it took me to get Shelby to be as compliant about nail trimmings and to get Panzer to even approach the bathtub, I’d say Jasper is doing pretty darn well for himself!
Although, I know I have to keep in mind that just because he’s doing so well doesn’t mean I should overexpose him, though it’s hard not to, because I just want everyone to know how great he is (and get him adopted of course), so here’s my written reminder to myself to slow down and take my time so that we can mold him into an even better dog than he already is.
If you’re interested in adopting Jasper please email me (foster mom) at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Pennsylvania SPCA for more information!