About a month ago, my family fostered five puppies for a couple of weeks. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but it was also a learning experience. These are the top ten lessons we learned while fostering puppies:
1. Seventy-five-pound Golden Retrievers will try to escape three-pound puppies by attempting to climb inside refrigerators. (*He’s since decided the puppies are the greatest things since Milkbones.)
2. Puppy food apparently tastes much better once it’s been spilled and chased across the floor. Puppy paws are the perfect tools for setting food free.
3. If a puppy wants to climb out of its pen, no matter how many times a human tries to put it back inside, the puppy will always win.
4. Hoodie drawstrings serve as perfect puppy pacifiers in a pinch (say that five times, fast).
5. If puppies do something extra-adorable, like tugging one another around in a doll stroller, the Laws of the Universe state that it cannot ever be caught on film.
6. One of the first skills puppies learn is how to capture the prized delicacy called “laundry.”
7. A puppy can and will hunt down a sheet of newspaper, bring it back to its den, and kill it. Repeatedly.
8. The antidote to fussy puppies is Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting. Turn on an old episode and puppies will be calmly snoozing before you can say, “Happy little tree.” It’s true, Bob Ross really does make all things better.
9. Few things make better puppy toys than the boingy kind of door stoppers. They’re equally appealing to kittens and human babies. As adults, it’s almost our obligation to install them everywhere.
10. Puppies have the ability to erase memories. No matter how challenging they can be, all it takes is one squeaky puppy yawn, one puppy “play with me” prance, or one puppy showing up with a stuffed animal in its mouth, asking to be cuddled, for all troublesome recollections to evaporate into thin air.
In case you’re wondering what happened to our five foster pups, two went to live with families (with kids!) and one went to live on a horse farm(!) with a new doggy brother. As for the final two, if you saw my post about Instant Puppies, you’ll know my kids fell in love with them and they joined our family. Cheers to all the foster fails out there!