Over the past few days I have had the opportunity to be a “holding home” for ARF. Simply put, a holding home is a place where litters, or partial litters, of puppies hang out before they go into foster care. These puppies are usually less than 8 weeks of age, and ARF believes that they should stay with some of their siblings before being separated into foster homes as individuals. The socialization they are exposed to while staying together is invaluable.
Now, back to the beginning. I was on Facebook and saw a post that a momma named “Holly” had a litter of 11, 5-week-old puppies that needed holding homes. For some reason, I thought it was fate (Holly and Holly?) and I filled out a foster application for half of the litter.
I was approved quickly and within a few days it was time to go and pick up my puppies. At this point, I had convinced my mom to take the other 5 puppies for the 3-week period, so she came with me!
Once at ARF headquarters, the volunteers, Susan and Julie, gathered food, blankets and towels for us. ARF supplies everything we need to take care of the pups including things such as toys and crates as well as xpens.
My husband, Ron, and I arrived home and set up a penned off area for the babies to stay. They had a bite to eat, and a play, and then of course a photo session. I was going to wait – but the light was beautiful, and they were so cute and well behaved!
Over the past few days, Ron and I have begun to see the individual little personalities emerge from these babies. There’s the follower, the talker, the independent one, the “chillers”, and of course the loveable ones. It seems that there is a puppy for everyone in this litter and we are just crazy about them! (please don’t fail, please don’t fail!)
We have four dogs of our own, and now the 6 puppies, and I won’t lie – with this many puppies your lifestyle will change for a few weeks! However, after only two days I am already into a groove that is working really well for all of us. I am tired, but what an amazingly awesome experience!
For anyone considering fostering, I would strongly recommend it! YES, it will be hard to let them go – but it’s very rewarding knowing that we are able to give them a good start to their lives and start them off on the right foot. In a weird way it seems to bring the whole family closer together. Even the dogs get in on it and seem excited to have a change of pace.
Our youngest, Grizz, has decided he loves to keep the puppies organized and brings them to me whenever they wander off. He loves hanging with them. And Brindel, she just stands there and the puppies fall all over her. They LOVE her. And, my husband Ron is already sad thinking about the limited time we will have with them. He gets excited every day to see them when he gets home from work.
If you are interested in applying to become a foster home for ARF, head to www.arf.ab.ca and fill out their foster application. You won’t be sorry! AND if you are interested in adopting, these puppies will be available for adoption in approximately three weeks. Keep your eye on the ARF website for them!