My boyfriend and I signed up to help foster (with a chance to adopt) doggos about 2 months back. It’s with a local rescue society in Surrey and initially our application got rejected. We live in a condo and it’s not ideal for pets. I guess I do see why certain rescue societies are picky if you don’t live in a detached house or a townhouse with a yard. If your dog really had to go potty, imagine waiting for the elevator every time!
We resubmitted an application and videoed our place as well as our rooftop garden and eventually got approved for fostering!
On Saturday March 19th, 2022, we were shopping at Coquitlam town Center. My fiancé got a call while we were in a store. It was pure coincidence he saw the call come through — his phone was on silent. It was from the rescue society! They had a puppy called whose new family (they were supposed to be his forever family) couldn’t take care of him anymore. He’d only been with them for 3 days but that family had a cat, dog and 2 kids so having an additional dog was too much I suppose.
We were given the current family’s name and we reached out to them to see when we could help pick him up. We ended up scheduling the pickup for 7:30 that night.
I was actually shopping with my dad, so my dad drove us to get some pet supplies and then we ate dinner really quickly at Henderson mall. Then we drove over to the family.
We got to the little cluster of Surrey townhomes where the doggo’s family was and went up to the door. The garage door opened and we saw the small black puppy running around his adopted father’s legs. He was such a cutie. And the family was relieved to be able to get rid of him and that we were able to pick him up that day. 😦
All they gave us were puppy pee pads, a baggie of food, and 1 toy. No leash, no collar, no bed, no blankets. I felt a little sad that’s all he had, but we took it and headed back to our place in Burnaby. We decided we’d name him Loki.
Loki was very scared in the car. My dad drove the wrong way initially, and that added some extra time to our trip home. Loki threw up twice in the car— he ate one of his throws ups back up though 😬 Apparently, puppies are very prone to carsickness?
When we got home I was worried because he was super stressed during the ride home. He instantly went to pee on the pee pad once we laid it out. And then he also took a poop on our floor.
We gave him a bath with some shampoo we picked up at the pet store before we picked him up. Unfortunately, we didn’t get him a bed yet (we thought he’d have one), and had to fashion one out of a towel, a bath mat, inside a cardboard box. He also didn’t love his toy from his family, and we had not bought him new toys thinking he’d rely on his old one for comfort. So I gave him my socks rolled up into a ball.
On Sunday morning, I went to Winners and the grocery store so I could get more necessities. I ended up buying a bunch of stuff and then rushed home since my fiancé was taking care of Loki alone. We bought him like 6 more toys, a bed, a leash that was more suitable for him, and many other things we thought he’d need to train him early.
We tried to potty train him all Sunday but it’s hard for him to understand why we’re dragging him out to the cold when he just peed on the floor. He doesn’t like going out into the rain either so his first thoughts when we took him out is to go back in so he could pee indoors.
The rest of the week was a blur. We both had work every day, but we both luckily worked from home. Loki needed to go out every hour or so to encourage him to go potty outdoors. We were sleep deprived having to wake up every few hours to let him go pee. We also couldn’t leave him alone since he’d be chewing up things around our house or trying to destroy things that were his height. Every moment was a challenge and I think my fiancé and I learned a lot out of this experience. About ourselves, the puppy, and our relationship!
Loki’s honestly a sweet puppy. He’s a shepherd mix and they have no idea who his dad is. His mom was picked up from a reservation and she had her litter with the rescue society and then was spayed. Loki’s such a cutie.
But there are definitely times when all I wanted was 10 minutes to myself to eat or to shower without having to glue my eyes to Loki. Or cleaning up pee/poop with sanitizer wipes and enzyme spray.
He’s also teething since he’s only 11 or 12 weeks old, so he had a need to bite things. And not just our furniture. He’s nicked us with his sharp puppy teeth many times. There are moments when he’s in a very bitey mood where I’m at a total lost at what to do in order to get him to stop.
I think if we weren’t so sleep deprived it’d be easier. But we definitely are and it’s hard to get into deep sleep with a schedule of having to wake up every 2 hours or so at night. I have no idea how some of the other foster families take on 2 to 3 puppies.
We taught Loki as much as we could to prep him up for his future forever family! He mastered a bunch of commands, and we tried to get him to stop jumping up on furniture and table surfing. As long as we took him out frequently enough, he stopped pooping and peeing in the apartment! Which is crazy progress in my eyes given we’ve only had him for a month or so. We also tried crate training him so that we could take him on car rides, and do enforced naps if needed.
Multiple times, we rented a Modo car and took him to a park or various outings. He didn’t love being in his crate, but he did eventually lie down and chill out.
For one of our first outings, the fiancé and I ate takeout Viet food in a park while Loki ran around tied to our bench. We then took him to the nearby pet store and bought a proper dog pen so that he could hopefully be enclosed while we worked or if we needed him out of the way to prep stuff. We figured it’d be a good investment if we continue to foster more doggos in the future too.
I was honoured we got to give him his first pup cup. A week after we got him, we managed to go out for brunch at a café with a patio. It was a small solace of sanity and normalcy after a week of sleep deprived hectic-ness.
During week 2, we started playpen training him since having him free-roam was definitely causing some issues. He was teething hard and to educate him what was bite-able and what wasn’t was difficult if he was able to free-roam around the apartment when we were trying to work. This led to intense separation anxiety—so basically lots of barking and whining. Loki could see me from his playpen since my den is surrounded by glass doors. But that doesn’t stop him from yowling whenever he’s in his pen.
Eventually, I learned it was better if he didn’t see me. So I moved our trash can in front of his pen so he couldn’t see me anymore. I felt terrible, but I guess it’s all part of learning. Both on his end and ours. I’m grateful when he started to calm down in his pen. To apologize for our neighbors during that time, we gave them all care kits that included some tea, candy, and ear plugs :’ )
After a month of fostering, we got a text from the rescue society saying they’ve found Loki’s furever home! I know he’ll grow up to be a big pup and our apartment is definitely not big enough for him, so I hope where he’s going next will give him ample room to live his best doggie life!
Love you lots Loki!