“Do the dogs remember each other?” “Do they remember you?” I get asked these questions a lot and the truth is, I don’t really know for sure. I would assume it depends on the dog, but from my own experiences, my fosters have remembered me, and the dogs remember one another.
I was speaking with my friend, Mandy. I met Mandy when she became the forever mom to my foster, Hannah. Hannah and her family (as well as Solo’s and Ben’s family) have started fostering, paying forward the amazing gift of love they got from adopting. Mandy was very excited she is going to have a visit with one of her previous fosters, Stella. It made me start thinking of all the wonderful reunions I have had and have heard of with my extended foster family.
When I saw Hannah for the first time after she was adopted, she was very calm, and didn’t seem to register who I was. It was only my second foster reunion, and my first foster (Dougie) cried and cried and wanted me near him constantly. That said, Dougie was very abused and bullied by both humans and dogs, prior to landing in a rescue and I spent 8 weeks rehabilitating him. Our bond was very strong.
Hannah only spent a week with me prior to finding her forever home, so we didn’t have as much time to bond. I recall teaching her to do stairs, something her mom and I still laugh about!
After a few moments of saying hello, Mandy and I hopped in our cars, as we had planned to take the dogs to the dog park for a play, prior to returning to Mandy’s for a visit. It was while riding in her mom’s car that Hannah seemed to all of a sudden realize who I was. Her mom said her face and poster changed and she got very excited. When we got to the park and let the dogs out of the car, Hannah came running over to me, so happy, it was the delayed reaction I had expected (and wanted!).
Hannah and Sonny
Hannah was found as a stray with brother Sonny. The two seemed inseparable as Eddy and Sherri worked to gain their trust. While Hannah came around, Sonny was still very unsure. It wasn’t until they were able to get Hannah and put her in a crate to transport her to safety that Sonny came running out of the bush. Howling and crying for his sister and chasing the truck. Despite having no room for Sonny, Sherri and Eddy couldn’t leave him behind.
Sonny was adopted to a family in Ontario as well, and the rescue put the two families in contact. When Hannah and Sonny saw each other about a year after being separated they rejoiced and played. No amount of time could break their bond, and their families have since continued to get the siblings together for play dates.
I blogged about the reunion with Lucy, that we had. How at first, she didn’t recall who I was, but as soon as she saw her canine friends, it all came back to her!
She wasted no time engaging Flipflop in play and then occasionally would run back to me for pets and love!
Doug (previously Ben)
When Doug’s mom pulled up on my street, Doug knew exactly where he was. He was excited to be back in his old neighbourhood before he even got to my building. He excitedly got out of the car and greeted me with such joy!
We had a great play date with the dogs and I was so impressed with all the training that Doug’s mom had done with him. I knew he would do so well with a family who would invest time in training him as he was such a smart pup and eager to learn.
Vanya (previously Bambi)
Vanya was one half of my “twins”. She and her brother, Willie, were being fostered by me together, for the Durham Region Humane Society. They were adopted out separately, but both families keep me updated on these two little cuties.
A few months after being adopted out, Vanya’s family came to see me. Vanya knew who I was immediately, she couldn’t get enough of Dahlia and I. And although she tried to say hello to Flipflop, he was a bit standoffish with her.
We had a wonderful visit and Vanya remembered everything about her foster home, she knew where all the toys were, all the things she used to get into and was happy to see us all.
Vanya and Willie
It was over a year since the two pups were adopted out separately and many failed attempts at getting them together finally worked out. I was heartbroken, I was in BC and couldn’t join the reunion. But I received many photos and videos from that day.
Vanya was at the park first, and as soon as she got a sniff of Willie’s scent her tail went crazy, she ran up and down the dog park fence anxiously awaiting her brother. And when he saw his sister, he wiggled with excitement as well.
The two siblings ran and played for hours, so happy to see one another. What I love about this reunion too, is these two pups were rescued together. Willie would follow Vanya around and do whatever she did. Vanya was full of life and mischief. She still is! Being adopted by separate families, helped Willie become his own dog. He grew up to be a confident, playful, loving pup.
And although they went their separate ways at about 4-5 months old, when they saw each a year later, they still remembered one another. Just like Hannah and Sonny, their bond remained.
What warms my heart more than anything with my foster dog reunions, whether it’s a reunion with me or with their siblings, is no matter how exciting and heartwarming the reunions are, the dogs are all content to go to home with the amazing people who opened their homes and hearts to them. The dogs know they have their happy endings and I was just a stop along the way.