My 1st Foster Experience

Huey Pic for Blog

It was a big decision for us to decide to foster. I’d been volunteering with Zoe’s for over a year and from day one I had dreamed of being able to foster. After a lot of consideration and making sure it was the right time we decided to fill out the foster application form and officially become fosters! Little did we know that our 1st foster would be more than we had imagined.

Huey came to Zoe’s from a loving home, the owners situation had changed and he could no longer keep his beloved boy. He was successfully adopted out to a great couple, but unfortunately it became apparent that their resident dog was not accepting of Huey, it just wasn’t the right fit. As Zoe’s has a policy that a Zoe’s animal is always a Zoe’s animal, they took Huey back in and he became our 1st foster. I had heard a lot about Huey, I knew he was a Mastiff and that he was VERY big and a great dog. What pulled up in front of our place was a vehicle stuffed to the brim with one dog, Huey….all 190 pounds of his brindle sweetness.

One of my favorite movies growing up was Turner & Hooch. So naturally you think back to that movie and all of the crazy moments where Hooch basically destroys everything you love. Thoughts of oh my dog how big will his poops be, will he even fit on the dog bed that we have for him, will he eat our resident cat, how much do you feed this brindle slobbering pooping farting machine?

It took days for me to get over how big Huey was. He didn’t realize his size and didn’t understand why he couldn’t sit on your lap. Over the course of the next couple weeks we had a fun time getting to know Huey’s quirks and personality.

Things we learned:
1) Huey farted loud and often and at shockingly loud decibels with no shame
2) he snores like an old man
3) when he shook his head slobber did literally fly everywhere and coat surfaces such as the tv, wall, ceiling and anything in its path
4) he had the sweetest demeanor and just wanted to be around his people
5) never leave anything unattended on the kitchen counter, including a whole block of cheese
6) Huey does what he wants when he wants and sometimes pretends he’s hearing impaired
7) when shopping for a collar, measure first, trying to explain to the person at the pet store that “no sorry I don’t think a collar that’s the size of a humans waist will fit Huey” gets very surprised looks
8) our yard looked like a dinosaur grave yard because of the massive bones that Huey liked to chew on
9) Mastiffs are a unique breed and not like any other breed of dog I’ve come across

Huey came to us a bit on the fluffy side, but hey we all need to work on ourselves don’t we?! So we got to work right away on a diet plan and exercise routine. Huey took to it like a champ. He loved his new weight loss food, carrots as treats and going on lots of walks. Over the next couple weeks applications started coming in again for Huey, which made me happy but sad at the same time. We started to become very attached to him and discussed adopting Huey. But we realized that we weren’t the ideal fit long term for Huey.

So after reviewing applications the perfect family arose that had experience with Mastiffs, older children that we wouldn’t have to worry about him knocking over and a home with no other dogs as he wants undivided attention and a family willing to take his weight loss and his bit of separation anxiety seriously. You do second guess yourself, am I doing the right thing? Will they love him as much as we do?

When the family came over he seemed relaxed around them… relaxed enough to let out a long big loud fart. Eh em….my husband and I looked at each other mortified thinking oh shoot, not a great selling feature. But the adoptive family laughed and said “oh don’t worry we’re used to that”. Just like that I knew we had a match.

When the family came to pick them up I knew it would be hard. They were so excited and Huey was so happy to see them that he didn’t even look back. They pulled away, I was holding it together, I went into the kitchen and Huey had left a big slobber snot streak on our kitchen counter and I burst into tears. Happy tears!

Anytime I talk about fostering with people they always say “I could never foster I’d get too attached and it would break my heart to let them go”. I can honestly say that yes, it’s hard, but knowing that you helped that animal on his journey to find the perfect home is the most rewarding feeling. Your foster home is now open to bring in another animal, for some that can be lifesaving as we bring animals in from many types of situations. Fostering saves lives and in the words of Huey’s adoptive family “thanks so much for helping us to adopt Huey. He certainly has rescued us”.

By Crystal Stronski