Every foster has a story, a past I have to piece together and behaviours I have to learn about and how to best work with the dog to correct.
Lucy is the omega, she looks to my dogs constantly to know what to do. At daycare she goes into a different room than Flipflop – Lucy goes into the toybox with the smaller dogs. It’s done wonders for her confidence and socialization.
Today we went to an off leash park, as we usually do on weekends, and in the past Lucy has enjoyed being off leash running and exploring – and chasing squirrels. But she would never venture too far away from my two dogs, finding comfort in having them near. This morning was no different, for the first 15 minutes, and then Lucy found herself.
As we walked through the park, we came across groups of dogs, which Lucy and Flipflop delighted in playing with. As we ventured further into the park, Flipflop decided he was done playing and walked along the fence of the park, while Dahlia walked faithfully by my side. Lucy, on the other hand, embedded herself with a group of dogs playing and was having a blast.
She no longer looked for Flipflop to guide her, she was all on her own and playing like a champ. After a few minutes I called Lucy back to us as we were leaving the area. Lucy followed us out of the sand area but that didn’t stop her independence. She was off on her own saying hello to dogs along with way and found another pack to integrate into.
I watched with pride as my little foster terrier mix was having the time of her life. She was in her zone and after about 10 minutes of full on Lucy fun, she stopped playing. I watched her in the distance, she was trying to figure out where we went. I called her name and she looked in my direction and then she happily trotted back toward me and resumed to her place in her foster family, happily playing with Flipflop again and staying close.
While none of this may seem like a big event to you, for Lucy it was huge. She looks to my dogs to give her cues on how to behave and who she should play with. But this weekend Lucy did her way for the first time in the three months I’ve had her.
She’s becoming herself.