I’ve been fostering for about a year and a half now and have to say, aside from the emotions that are involved, the meet and greet has to be my least favourite part. Some times they are lovely, I meet amazing people and my dogs are respected and understood and then there’s the other times, when the energy of the people and the dog just don’t work.
I saw it with Lucy and now with Ben. While I admire and respect those who wish to rescue, obviously I’m an advocate for it, unless you understand dogs, stick with puppies (and yes you can rescue puppies).
Ben, my adorable lab-x foster, as playful as he is cute and so snugly. When he’s not playing Ben is curled up next to me. Ben is young, still a puppy, he still mouths and chews and explores everything. Ben will also bark and/or growl if he’s unsure of someone and they approach him too quickly.
Ben had his first meet & greet and everyone was so excited to meet him. The family started calling Ben all at once and approaching him in a way he felt threatened. Ben immediately barked and I explained he is a bit unsure with meeting new people. The family then started to respect Ben’s boundaries but one member of the family remained nervous of Ben. Despite the fact Ben happily lazed around me during the meet and greet and would let calm family members pet him, Ben was still extremely aware of the energy in the room from the person who feared him.
He would growl at this person whenever they came near him, he sensed the fear and it freaked him out. In the end the family LOVED Ben and saw his potential to be a wonderful pet but the fear of the one the family member, we all agreed, was not worth the risk.
When meeting a dog for the first time, regardless of your excitement or fear try to remain calm! I myself am awful at this as I love dogs and have zero fear, which resulted in me getting bit in the face by a friends dog at work one day. Dogs feed off our energy and whether we mean to scare them or not, they can be startled easily if not approached properly.