Sunday with Raven
My fostering for APA has been less hectic and time-intensive than I thought it would be. Maybe I’ve just gotten a lot of “good” dogs, and I know having my own well-behaved dog as a coach helps, but the dogs I’ve fostered so far have all been smart, house-trained, and good-natured. In keeping with that motif, my current foster, Raven, is no exception.
I have to admit that there are a lot of Saturdays where, for one reason or another, I just don’t make it to bed and end up losing consciousness on the couch. You’d expect my failure to put the dogs in their crates for the night would be a mistake for which I might pay grievously, especially with a strange foster dog. However, every time this happens, about 7:00AM Raven will come over to the couch and start trying to wake me up by poking me with his nose. How this dog knows that it’s 7:00AM and it’s his normal meal time, I have no idea. As I get up, I’m always weary of the possible chewed-up shoe or the wet spot on the carpet, but there are never any to be found. Raven is a crazy character sometimes, but he is very adept to domestic life and catches on fast!
Feeding this dog is always a cinch because Raven devours anything in his bowl, and then patiently waits for his cheese-wrapped meds. He loves the cheese, but anything to hide the pills or induce him to swallow will work just fine; I’ve even had to use tortilla once or twice when I ran out of cheese! Breakfast is always followed by a minimum of 10 minutes of play time between the two dogs. With all the food and pottying out of the way, Raven bounces to full energy level. And especially if there happened to be a rabbit out in the yard that morning, rest assured, panting dogs abound! Every morning I swear I’ve never seen two animals more excited about playing chase and tug-of-war with each other. This zest for life tapers off over the course of the next half-hour, and the dogs slowly dip into their first day nap. This play-nap cycle repeats itself a number of times throughout the day. I can’t say I can think of a more happy scene in my home than that of enjoying a quiet, playful day with Raven and my dog.
With Raven, any toy thrown will be retrieved. If you like your dog toys left to lie where they landed, Raven is not the dog for you. He is immediately on anything that moves, especially when it emanates from someone’s hand. He can be a little defiant about the release, but a firm command of “Drop it!” always does the trick for me.
At some point around mid-day, Raven starts staring at me like I’m a science project. This is the key that Mr. Raven needs to go outside to do his business. He prances out dutifully, and back in, ready for his umpteenth nap of the day.
The evening meal routine is much the same as the morning, but by nightfall the dogs are just about burnt out (after all, they’re used to me being gone for 8 hours each day). Especially in the couple hours after taking his meds, Raven is extra docile and quiet. Monday morning is getting ever-closer, and it’s time to put the dogs away properly this evening. “Boxes!” is the command I give, and each dog promptly files into its respective crate. Just another Sunday in the not-so-hectic, happy-go-lucky life of Raven!