My latest foster (i.e. foster #6) is a 1 1/2 year old Old English Sheepdog and Standard Poodle mix named Sam. He came from a farm in Nebraska, where someone secured him from the farmer and brought him to Phoenix. They had him groomed and resettled him in their apartment, but things didn’t work out and he ended up with a couple elsewhere in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Sadly, they were also unable to care for him and voluntarily surrendered Sam to the Arizona Poodle Rescue. He came to my house on the morning of Friday, December 23 as my foster #6.
Sam’s coloring is beautiful, and he loves to sit or lie beside you, often leaning against you to maintain a physical connection.
We played fetch a couple of times and seemed to understand the point of chasing and securing the thrown ball, but was never too happy to yield control of the ball so that it could be thrown again. He is an intelligent dog though so he will pick up the concept quickly enough.
Sam connected with Ricky very quickly, and Ricky was his usual calming influence.
Unfortunately, Sam did not connect as well with either Sandy or Morgan, and several of their interactions were not acceptable. Sam likely also needs some professional dog training to help him acclimatize from living in a rural environment to living in an urban setting, where expectations about frequent barking and appropriate interaction with other dogs are quite different.
Therefore, I had to make the painful decision to stop fostering Sam and return him to my contact at the Arizona Poodle Rescue; I dropped him off Christmas morning. This was a difficult fostering experience for me because I so wanted things to work out for him, but a house rule is that the fosters must get along with the permanent residents (aka Sandy, Morgan and Ricky) and Sam violated that rule enough that it couldn’t be overlooked or explained away.
He is a sweet dog ~ 90% of the time and, once he gets some rough corners smoothed out, he will be a wonderful companion. Transitions are tough enough for anyone, and he has gone through a lot of changes in recent weeks. He is scheduled to be neutered on Wednesday, and I’m hoping that that will address much of what is holding him back.