Fostering a Dog on the Road
Being married to a consultant and then choosing to travel with him is a never ending series of packing your bags and staying in hotels. I have found myself in hotels of all shapes and sizes in towns as small as Stroudsburg in the US and as big as Shanghai but I am not complaining. There have been many adventures along the way, some minor and some life altering. One of those adventures was a tiny bundle called Bumbleshoot who was named after a music festival by the rescue center in North America.
We did not want to name him as he was only going to be with us for a few weeks until he got adopted. But shouting Bumbleshoot every time he chewed my belt or got into my wardrobe in the hotel room was tiresome. So, he was cagily named Chambu as he followed me dutifully from room to room.
To rewind a little, at the time, we were living in a small city in Pennsylvanian called Conshohocken in an extended stay hotel for about four months. It was around this time that I heard of Wags Rescue and the idea of fostering a dog was planted in my head. I had never owned a dog and my husband had not warmed to the idea of becoming a dog lover.
He came into our lives and hotel room untrained, much to the chagrin of the hotel’s housekeeping staff.
We called up the rescue center and after they had contacted our referrals and had confirmed with our hotel, Bumbleshoot came into our lives. Chambu, as we later called him, was a four-month-old black lab mix pup. He was part of a litter that the rescue center had saved from a kill shelter. He came into our lives and hotel room untrained, much to the chagrin of the hotel’s housekeeping staff.
The rescue center insisted that the pup be crate trained and gave us a crate and a few other essentials. The first night that the pup spent in the crate, he howled nonstop while we Googled frantically. Most sites advised us to leave him in the crate until he got used to it. Finally, somewhere around 3 am, we finally gave in and let him share our bed, where he happily snuggled.
The next day was spent systematically crate-training him. He learnt fast, and his adopted family later told us that he was the recognized as the most well behaved dog at a training center they had taken him to . We then started the quest of potty training, which took a little extra time and also teaching him to walk with a leash since most often, he had his own agenda and would sometimes just plonk on the grassy patch near the hotel. Time moved fast and Chambu got adopted by a lovely family in the neighborhood.
We had quite a lot of adventures during his two-month stay with us, like taking him to the vet when he got an allergic reaction that we were unable to diagnose (this was taken care of by the rescue center), making friends with fellow dog lovers, making a dog lover out of my husband, getting freaked out the first time he was taken near the river, and many more.
The last day before his family picked him up was a very emotional day for me as we spent most of the day snuggling and going for a walk near the Schuylkill River. His family came that evening and he happily climbed into their car. We received a few pictures of him later as a strapping young dog and are quite happy that we let this little one come into our lives even if it was just for a short duration.
Top Photo Michael Gil