A couple weekends ago, we got the call. The foster call. “Can you guys keep a 5 month old puppy for a few days?” My immediate response was, “Have you met Barker Posey?” We definitely could not agree to foster a dog for an unknown amount of time and leave it with Barker. No way.
After my ‘No,” Paul reminded me that Barker had, indeed, been around other dogs successfully. She had changed and grown, this would be a puppy, and it's on her turf, not outside where she is usually anxious. We would have 2 dog trainers, plus me and my experience with Barker to assess her ability to have a puppy hang out. Hesitantly, I agreed to give it a try.
The pup, Joan of Bark, came in to the house in our friend’s arms. We allowed Barker and Vito to sniff and inspect her. Joan wasn’t hesitant in the least, but I was. I kept Joan with me while Barker’s curious nose and eyes monitored everything happening. Barker was excited, but sat patiently to hang out with Joan. We monitored the three of them carefully and made sure cues were followed.
Barker began to monitor Joan, too. If Vito was too rough or in the way, Barker would step in. She made sure Joan could get toys and that Vito was being polite. IT WAS AMAZING! I was able to relax a little and watch them from the couch. All of the training and love was worth seeing her love this puppy.
During the evening, Barker was on the couch with Joan, cuddling, nuzzling, being a Mommy dog to her. We don’t know if Barker ever had babies, but this showed she would have been a great Momma. She didn’t even mind when Joan slept in our bed with her and Vito. Her protectiveness was both surprising and rewarding for me and Paul.
In the morning, I walked them. Yes, all three. Barker watched Joan carefully and never put on her brakes. She wanted to stay right with Joan, who was loving the opportunity to sniff and eat grass and wander between the big dogs.
Joan of Bark left for a foster (fail) later that day. It was a short visit, but the impact of her being here will last with us for the rest of our time with Barker Posey. It was so lovely to see this timid, anxious dog blossom into a caretaker and guide to a new friend. Both Barker and I took a huge step today. Neither of us can wait to have another foster!