Mike and I started fostering after my daughter adopted a Greyhound called Dave and I too fell in love with the breed.
It has certainly been a very rewarding experience for us – we have learnt so much, and continue to learn more with each hound we foster. We currently have our 28th foster in our care. Some have been very hard to let go, but we know it is best for them and then we can help another!
What we feel as foster parents is that they need consistency so we start a routine from day one. It gives the hound a sense of security that they can ease into (at their own pace) and become comfortable, and then their confidence starts to show.
Feeding times, night bedtime routine, regular daily walks and car trips to the park, bush walks, shops etc are all part of the ongoing routines. Building up to experiences with more people, sights, sounds and smells once they feel ‘safe’ with you.
FOTH are excellent at finding a forever home match when they are ready for adoption. Some are ready after only a couple of weeks – others can take longer…. each hound is different (though with many similar typical breed traits) and a lot of their demeanour, attitude, fears, actions and behaviour depend on their previous life and treatment.
Fostering is so important for them and foster carers need to be prepared to do more than just cuddle, feed and shelter them so they can have the best possible outcome. And we are happy to put in the necessary time, and be patient and gentle with our guidance.
We always try to remember that these hounds know very little, or nothing, about life as a companion dog and they need to be shown and taught what is expected. They are watching you all the time and only want to please you and they want you to be the leader. So we find that clear consistent direction all the time is so important.
Some mistakes and accidents do happen with a new foster hound but they are all learning experiences, and there are also lots of laughs and memorable moments.
We are always thankful for the support from FOTH and its members and proud to be part of the team.