As is the way of fostering, the turnaround from one foster dog to the next can be unpredictable.
It can be weeks or even months before our services are needed again. Sometimes there is overlap and we have two dogs at the same time.
The time that elapsed between when Karick left for his “furever” home to when our next foster dog came into our home was exactly one week — barely enough time to wash all of the linens with which Karick came into contact.
Because fostering is so unpredictable, we like to make sure we start with a relatively smell-free environment.
Without knowing if a dog coming into our care has been altered, there always are concerns about the potential for marking or accidents caused by unnecessary excitement.
But, one week after saying goodbye to the sweet, calm, easy-going senior dog, we said hello to a 2-year-old bundle of energy named Justice.
She is a Corgi mix. We suspect that one of her parents was an Australian shepherd or a Blue Heeler — both of which are herding dog breeds that have a tendency to be smart and vocal, and to exhibit herding habits in everyday life, even if they haven’t actually been trained to herd.
Young dog habits
Justice is very sweet, but she never was trained well — so all of the puppy behaviors that generally are trained out still are present.
This little girl is house trained, thankfully, but there are small things she does that still need to be addressed.
For example, when Justice is bored or isn’t receiving the level of attention that she wants, she nibbles on things.
Toys, toes, fingers and basically anything in her reach are among her favorite victims.
But, as a smart dog, she becomes bored easily. Since she’s still basically a puppy, this is a little more pronounced.
Justice can sit and destroy an antler in less than six hours if she puts her mind to it. Thus the first true obstacle to training — keeping her busy.
Long walks and toys are helpful, but we still are working though the nipping phase.
In addition, Justice is sassy — to the point of breaking her foster parents. One trait Corgis don’t generally have is being vocal.
They can bark and they can be sassy in their own right, but Justice puts them all to shame.
In fact, you know those videos of huskies talking to their owners and how cute they seem? That’s our girl, only much higher pitched.
I’ll admit we weren’t entirely sure what we were getting ourselves into when we agreed to take Justice.
However, she has been able to create a myriad of emotions in us. Sometimes it’s been fun and light-hearted; other times it’s been exhausting.
Justice is doing reasonably well in her fourth week with us, but we have some ground yet to cover.
With some luck and determination, in two more weeks, she just might be that much further into her training, with better everyday manners.