My first six months looking after a foster puppy

My first six months looking after a foster puppy

 

Jack arrived at our house on a wet cold night in September. He was seven weeks old and looked like a ball of fluff with puppy dog eyes. I had always wanted to be part of a training program for assistance dogs so I was excited and apprehensive.

Jack the puppy with his foster carer

We attend training classes every two weeks and it is a great opportunity to talk to the other foster carers and make new friends. Although all our lessons are printed out it is really helpful seeing our trainer Neil show us how to work with the dogs, he is always patient and the dogs love him.

This is a picture of one of ADNI's puppies playing at his foster home. It is a golden labrador puppy looking up at the camera.

Jack finds a brush head while playing on the beach.

It can feel quite overwhelming at times trying to get it right but if we have any problems in between lessons, Neil is always available by phone or email. Although many days I am tired and ready for my bed, I love working with Jack. He is an amazing wee dog.

When Jack was twelve weeks he found a brush head on the beach.

Nothing would persuade him to leave it behind. He carried it back to the car, putting it down three times for a rest because it was nearly as big as he was. He showed great determination. That brush head became his friend and he still has some sort of relationship with it. He just loves carrying things. He now carries a little purse into shops and can get up to hand it to cashiers wherever we go.

This is a picture of one of ADNI's puppies in training. He is standing up against a shop counter and handing a wallet to the cashier while his foster owner stands beside him.

Jack learning how to hand over money to cashiers.

 

They take the money out of the purse and put the change back then give him his purse again. He then gives me the purse and I give him a treat. He is a smart fellow.

It is hard work training an Assistance Dog, but very worth while. It is hard too walking in the wind and rain a few times a day but even on the stormiest day Jack chases the waves at the beach and falls over himself with the joy of it.

Jack taking a break and playing in some waves.

Jack taking a break and playing in the waves at the beach.

 

One day Jack will go to his forever home and we will say goodbye to him. That will not be easy but we feel that a year out of our lives will change someone’s life for many years to come. Jack has changed our lives too and we are enjoying being part of his journey.

Lavinia Abrol.
Foster carer.