Foster by Chance, Adoption by Choice

It's our two year anniversary of when our first and only foster, Goo Goo 2, arrived at our home. Just like all else in life, time flew by after we adopted her and gave her a new name to her new life: Emi. 

The timing for her foster came just at the right time. We had the extra square footage and time for a temporary dog. Looking back, we were lucky to have a well-behaved foster dog albeit with self-confidence issues. In the end though, the decision to adopt her was ours and we never regretted it. 

Without a doubt in my mind, we wouldn't have been able to find such a great Shiba to fit into our lives if we actively searched for one. In the act of doing something good for the Shiba society, we selfishly fell in love. 

Much love to all the foster families and rescues out there. Without all of you, dogs and families would not reach their happy homes.


Shio vs. Change

Since Goo Goo arrived, Shio there have been some changes with Shio's personality at home. 1. Protectiveness

The day before Goo Goo arrived was the day that she was spayed. Immediately upon meeting her, Shio decided that it was his job to protect our foster from shadows and babies by ferociously barking at them. He also goes to her crate after greeting us when we arrive home or wake up in the morning to make sure that she's okay.

2. Patience

Day after day, Shio begs for Goo Goo to pay attention to him and play with him. He will play bow, bark, and wag his tail. The works.

3. Food

Apparently now that we have a second dog in our home, Shio is determined that there will be a pending famine because he has to share some of his food. He gobbles up his food much quicker than he normally would and then charges for Goo Goo's leftovers.

4. Less Competitive

Usually when Shio walks next to another dog on a leash, he makes sure that he's in the lead even if only by a nose. Not so with Goo Goo.

5. Jealousy

I'm not sure whether dogs experience jealousy or not but we've noticed that he will make sure that he has more attention when we greet Goo Goo. This subject will have to further be explored.


Goo Goo vs. Trust

So much time has passed since we first picked up Shio and we needed to give him time to adjust to us. More importantly, we needed to get him to trust us. At the time, we didn't realize that Shio would not be the sort of happy go lucky dog that you see out on the streets. When we puppy sit for friend's dogs, they get along just fine with us and whatever we decide to do. Shio was there to play with them and we were there to feed and walk them. When neither option is available, then they fall asleep in the warm dwelling we provide for them. Needless to say, that falsified conception of a dog's ability to adapt had us stupidly assuming that all dogs would be happy to go along with whichever treat dispensing human came their way. Having no adopting experience with any other breed, I wonder how much more complex Shibas are compared to other breeds.

We can see Goo Goo struggling to grasp what's happening in her life right now. After a whirlwind 2 weeks for her, she just wants to rest and we don't blame her.

Back to Basics

Our foster, Goo Goo 2, will be here in an hour! In preparation for her arrival, we've gone back to the basics.

1. Crate for training

Having very little idea of Goo Goo's background, we are prepared to crate train her, just as we did with Shio. When Shio was a puppy, he was only allowed out of the crate under supervision and was crated when we were out of the apartment and bedtime. I remember for the first two nights after we picked up Shio, he wailed all night. If Goo Goo does the same, it'll be a loooong weekend.

2. Potty training

Not sure where to start with this one. I'm sure that Goo Goo will experience some sort of anxiety and her whole system will be thrown out of kilter for the first couple of days. If she's 11 months old, I anticipate four breaks a day like Shio had when he was that age.

3. Leash training

Being that the NJ-22s did not have room to run and were not walked, I've been told that though they are generally good dogs they lack the training for walking on a leash. We've stocked up on treats for that!

4. Puppy proofing 

Spent all morning making sure that the things that are touching the ground are moved to higher ground or run the risk of having it destroyed. Fingers crossed for this one!

Wish us luck!

Thanks to our little Shiba community for the well wishes. Hope you are just as excited to meet her as we are!

PS - Please consider donating to help with medical expenses for these Shibas on the NYC Shiba Rescue site:

Fostering Goo Goo

Josh and I thought a lot about the possibility of a second dog when Shio turned 2 years old in December of last year. The problem was that even if we were ready emotionally to take on another dog, the timing was still off. We didn't have a car and it would be difficult to live with two dogs in a small Manhattan apartment. Then, we moved to Brooklyn in March and started having some behavioral issues with Shio because of the drastic change for him. Shio was stressed from the move and started fights with dogs in the dog run. After 4 months he finally settled in and the breeder we leave him with said that he would pair well with any dog that we welcome into our new home. In Brooklyn, we still have no car but a lot more space and a large local dog run in a community where everyone jumps to help each other out if there is a dog in need or trouble. In September, we started thinking about fostering a dog instead of adopting one. This decision was largely influenced by one blogger, Jen at Inu Baka blog. She details the chronicles of her experiences with each of her fosters, beginning with the basic training issues to the emotional bond that she builds with each dog. Reading her blog helped ease the fear of having a strange temporary dog and the sadness that I might feel when the dog is adopted out. Thanks to Jen's blog, we know that the sadness that we feel when we let go of our foster would be replaced by the joy of him/her finding the perfect home and knowing that we have him/her a second chance.

When we heard that there were Shibas in New Jersey were confiscated, it was the perfect opportunity to assist the organization and we applied to foster. (Thank you Jenna for the wonderful recommendation.)

The foster program director matched us up with a female black and tan Shiba. She's approximately 11 months old. Her name is "Goo Goo 2". Unfortunately, all the Shibas have simple names like our foster's.

After this long and sappy post, here is a picture of our foster to lift your spirits:

Goo Goo arrives on Friday at 3pm. We think that she has the sweetest face and from the pictures we've seen, an equally sweet disposition.

Before I saw Goo Goo's picture, I was sure that this we would foster and give up the dog to a better home but after seeing Goo Goo's face, we are preparing for the prospect of failing Foster 101. :)

Read more about 10 of the 22 Shibas (Goo Goo's in there!) confiscated from NJ on the NYCSR website: