Introducing Bella, Our First Foster Dog

Bella1The above beautiful specimen is Candie, our very first foster dog.  We changed her name to Bella since she is truly beautiful and we thought this named suited her better.  Let me start by saying that I’ve been reading other blogs of people who are fostering dogs and many of them have had set backs as well as success with their foster dogs.  Some have decided to stop fostering for a variety of reasons, all of them valid in my opinion, while others are still at it.  Regardless of whether you are the former or the latter, thanks a million for doing it.

Bella2Bella has been with us for 8 days and here’s some information about her and a progress report:

  • DOB: 11/24/2010
  • Breed: Pit Bull Mix
  • She is extremely smart and knows how to sit, wait/stay, go to bed, and come
  • She’s crate-trained and housebroken.  No accidents at all
  • Amazingly sweet with people and all she wants is to be with you and be petted all day if you have the time
  • Still working on walking on a loose leash.  Very good progress so far
  • She shaked uncontrollably when I was about to feed her and Alex.  Food seems to stress her out.  Now she still shakes, but less than before and she is able to wait rather than pace around the kitchen until I have their food ready
  • Bella responds best when the correction is done with your voice.  Harsh corrections, rough handling, popping of leash, etc., are not recommended for her.  She is a big strong girl, but she is very sensitive.  Although your voice needs to mean business it has to be done without a harsh tone otherwise she’ll shut down completely
  • She is not suitable for a first-time pet parent

Bella3My model, Bella, was falling asleep on me so I had to capture it for you to see how funny she looks when she does that.  We are not sure yet if she is ok with other dogs.  At the shelter, she was a favorite with a lot of the volunteers and she played very nice with other dogs, but we have to see how she does when living with other dogs in a home environment.  We’ll find out in a few days.

Bellalex4By the way, Alex is doing better with her leg.  She is walking about 12 minutes, and when the brace is removed at night-time she does not limp, but we don’t want to push it so she’ll continue with bed rest and short walks for a while longer.

To foster a shelter dog is a challenge, many of you know that first hand, and I will continue to blog about it and hope that I get input from pet parents and foster parents as well.  Share your stories, please.  Also, please remember that not all foster dogs may be suitable for your home just like not all dogs would be a good fit for your family.

If you are interested in adopting Bella, this is the information you will need to apply for her:  She is with BARCS, ID# A21561474.  Wish us luck and let’s hope this horrible weather changes soon.  Have a great weekend.

30 responses to “Introducing Bella, Our First Foster Dog

  1. Such a sweet and beautiful girl. Thank you so much for fostering and giving her a nice home until the perfect family comes along. Happy New Year!!

  2. That is one sleepy pup! Love the photograph-and glad to hear that Alex continues to improve!

  3. She is a beautiful girl and it sounds like you’re doing a great job with her. What an awesome thing you’re doing; I have so much admiration for people who foster. When I have my own home one day, I look forward to being able to foster.

  4. She is a beautiful dog. It would be great to have another for Lu, but she just does not play well with others right now. It is great that you are fostering@

    • Thanks, I’ll pass on your compliment to Bella:-) Fostering, so far, is truly different than boarding dogs, but to me it is also another way to learn more about dogs.

  5. Bella is really a beautiful girl, I hope she will find a wonderful furever home with a lot of love. I’m glad Alex is doing better with her leg. It’s great to read good news on sunday.

    • Hi gorgeous:-) Yes, Bella truly wears her name well. Yes, I do hope she finds her forever home, but for now we are working on getting her used to living in a home environment and training. A lot to do. Thanks for your well wishes for Alex. Have a great Sunday.

  6. Bella looks lovely. I concur with the voice thing. Annie is our remaining rescue dog (permanently) and she can’t tell us what she’s seen in her short life on Romanian streets but she is sooooooooo scared. Shouting would just scare her more. She does respond to a clap of the hand when she’s being persistant in bad behaviour but it’s not often we get that. She’s a good girl mostly and is still a “teenager” so still learning. I think she may have been beaten as a puppy as we soon learned that raising a hand, a wooden spoon…anything… nearby to her (even just gesturing when speaking) and she would hide under the table. Not even treats would get her out. (I think she used to relate treats to being caught). Many nights sitting her inbetween my legs and me purposely wafting things around as we spoke normally around her has cured that. We have a long way to go but she’ll get there. Fostering would break my heart. It’s fantastic that people like you are out there but I’d have to keep each and every one… even the difficult ones as I believe they’re not unlike children… a badly behaved dog is a misunderstood dog. You’re an angel for what you’re doing.

    • Omg, thanks a million for your beautiful words. I know for a fact that I’ll cry like a baby when Bella is ready to go to a new home, but another part of me will be happy because she’ll go to her forever home as a balanced dog, one that will probably not be returned because of behavioral problems because she already has a lot of training with us. I don’t want her to go yet since we just got her. I’d like her to find her forever home in a couple of months. Why? She’ll be a different dog then and althought I know there will be a lot of work on my part, Alex, and Cynthia’s side, we all want the best for her. I even get attached to the dogs I board. Bailey, a dog that boarded with us once a month left for California 2 years ago this month, and you know what? Every week I look at her mom’s blog so I can see her. I will cry my eyes out when Bella leaves, but I would have accomplished what I set out to do, find her a forever home.

  7. Congratulations on your first foster dog! Hope all goes well. Sometimes it’s very difficult to let go when the right family comes along.

    • Thanks. Yes, I know it will be difficult and we will cry a river for sure, but for now I am going to enjoy her and get her used to living in a home environment so her chances of staying in her “forever” home is for sure.

  8. You are a great human for fostering! I plan to do so in the future. Bella seems like a loving and gentle soul. I hope she finds a great home and I will share this on my social media.

    • Dogs, specially Casey and Alex, have given me and helped me through very hard times. Some things were issues from my past that I just couldn’t make piece with, but thanks to them I have. With that in mind, I wanted to give back at least some of what I’ve been fortunate enough to receive from them so I decided that this would be a good time to foster my first dog. Yes, please share with others. Thanks:-)

  9. Louie and I wish you the best of luck with Bella. She’s very lucky to have someone who will work so patiently with her.

  10. I am so so so excited for you and Bella. With your patience and knowledge I have full faith that this will be a very successful endeavor. She’s already showing improvements! And major kudos to you for recognizing the best method for correcting her. It’s so sad when people, even with the best of intentions, don’t take the time to learn how best to communicate with their dog. I’m so proud of you for taking this huge leap!

    • Omg, thanks a million for your kind words:-) Yes, many times we, pet parents, fail to understand and learn how dogs communicate with one another and we make mistakes that we believe to be our dogs’ when in reality it is on us. There is a long road ahead with Bella so I am keeping my fingers cross and see how she does with my girl in a couple of days from now. Thanks again for your support.

  11. great job. I would love adopt another young dog but husband is not ready. I am hoping we can. Fred would love to have a playmate. Ol Cissy tries to keep up but she would rather lay by the fire. If she tries to keep up she pays for it. Looking forward to my son coming for a visit with his dog Riley. Fred and Riley get along great.. Which means Fred has come along way from not getting along with other dogs and loving to play with him. I did a post called Perp Walk this week. Sharing the experience is important.. Thank you for sharing the experience

  12. I do not think any dogneeds a harsh tone, but positive reconditoning, positive reinforcement, and stearing away from unwanted behavior through many steps snd patience. There is a new book that discusses this recomended by my professor, Marc Bekoff an ethologist. The book is titled Decoding your Dog. Bella is sooo beautiful, keep us posted, and so glad you are able to foster.

    • You are right. And that is what many of us, pet parents, fail to understand and that is that with patience and a variety of different factors a dog can be a great companion. With that being said, I am also a firm believer that not all dogs are suitable for just any home as well as foster dogs. If a dog is not suitable for a home, it does not mean that that dog is doomed to be in a shelter for the rest of his life. The trick is finding the right home for that dog.

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