Wow, last week was a busy one, trying to keep up with a lively, four legged, Fuzzy Buddy. That would be Kane, the adorable, adoptable foster dog, a 3.5 year old doberman with boundless energy and plenty of personality. Kane’s owner went into palliative care in the final stages of a terminal illness so Kane needed a place to hang out until a suitable home could be arranged. In the week he was here a little spot in my heart opened up just for him.
Doberman’s are high energy and smart, not a good combo if you want a compliant, fuzzy, foot warmer. Fortunately, Kane’s owner put a lot of time and energy into him, as was clear from observing his interactions with other dogs and his environment, as well as his responsiveness to requests. Sometimes. Really, for a dog under stress in a strange place without his owner and no way to explain to him what was happening, Kane did remarkably well. And kept me very entertained.
You wouldn’t know Kane knew better than to beg from the fuss he made initially. But it was clear with the eventual drama queen sigh and flopping on the floor that he knew better, but was giving it his best shot just in case he could get away with it. You gotta give him props for trying. I only ever got a token complaint after that. The woeful moaning and heavy sighs just made me laugh. Poor guy, you could really feel for him as he is a bit underweight.
Kane could barely contain himself at dinner time, crossing the line into the kitchen as I prepared his food, then leaping all fours off the ground backward when I ordered him “out.” Barely able to contain himself in a down, and only under protest when it came time to put the bowl on the floor. Then the countless moments of head in lap for a cuddle to be followed by a sharp nudge of his snout when it stopped. “Not authorized, continue petting.”
Kane really shone at the dog park, his unbridled joy bounding through the fields and romping with a variety of other dogs, all sizes and ages. He’s a very well socialized dog, able to tone it down for smaller dogs and ramp it up with equals in size, weight and interest in the game. He is a real joy to watch, such a happy-go-lucky athlete. Hats off to Kane’s owner for keeping him balanced and responsive, I have a lot of respect for the effort and consistency that required.
The park where we played is an old orchard with a few remaining apple trees tucked in a grove. Rather than bring toys, which are likely to be lost or possibly fought over, I began tossing fallen apples for Kane to fetch. On day four of our little game he finally figured out (1) you can eat apples, and (2) they taste really good! No more fetch for us.
It was a challenge for me to keep Kane’s mind busy here and there throughout the day. Treat-filled, frozen Kongs, puzzle toys, games of fetch, all designed to keep an active boy moving, thinking and occupied. Even I’m tired from all that work.
As always with a foster, you want a good placement, a home that understands the needs of the breed and temperament of the dog, committed to meeting those needs. In this case, a stellar temperament and a need for a LOT of exercise and mental stimulation. Kane’s new family were already familiar with him, friends of his owner, and keen to take on the challenges of keeping a clever and athletic dog. Hurrah!
Dear Kane’s New Family: You have the great fortune of adding a wonderful, even tempered, smart and responsive dog to your family who will love you with all his heart. Please take are of his heart, too. PS: He loves a frozen Kong stuffed with peanut butter. And apples.
Dear Kane: Here’s to landing so well, it couldn’t have happened to a better dog. Come for a visit and a cuddle and a romp, anytime.