Foster Dogs


Bongo Pictures

May, 2012.  Our next foster was a high energy five month old Bernese Mountain Dog mix named Bongo.  He was friendly with people and confident but according to IndyHumane: "He does not take correction well from other dogs and needs to learn how to interact and play without getting upset."

His play style with other dogs was very rough and tumble, with lots of mounting, mouthing and powerful body checking with his hips.  So I spent a lot of time trying to teach him a less intense way of playing, with no mounting allowed and less mouthing.  Boomer did pretty well giving him corrections when Bongo got too intense, but they needed constant supervision together.

Bongo was one of our few foster dogs to have a higher energy level than our dog, so he ended up getting an extra walk and play session each day alone.  Since he wasn't housetrained and drank a lot, I kept him on a tight schedule of three hours in his crate, an hour or so of activity, then back in his crate.

Bongo was our first "double dew" dog, with an extra dew claw on his back left leg.  He also had a pretty amazing tail, very long with an upward bend in the last few inches that made it look like a panther's tail.  When he pranced around it would curve upward and the white tip would point forward, looking almost like a dancing snake.

We had our nieces over a couple of times to do some socialization, which showed that he was perfectly at ease with lots of unfamiliar people around. He wanted to meet everyone we encountered on our walks.

When he wasn’t wrestling or running around the yard with Boomer, he loved chewing on sticks and playing with his dog toys.  He also helped us out by pulling up a couple of tall weeds that had grown up through our deck. Good doggie!

Theresa helped out a lot with Bongo, working towards her “Foster Mommy of the Year” status with lots of play sessions, backyard supervisions and poop cleanups.

We did the usual puppy training: learning what to chew and what not to chew, curbing any digging instinct, learning to loose-leash walk, getting his nails trimmed and working on his recall.  We did a lot of fetch-the-stick to drain his very high levels of energy.

So the only real issue was carefully monitoring his interaction with our dog and making instant corrections whenever he tried to mount or get too intense, and to teach him to stop playing when our dog wasn’t in the mood. He was probably the “highest maintenance” dog we’ve fostered so far, reminding me a lot of our first foster, Sadie.  I think they would have made a good pair together.

Bongo went back to IndyHumane after two weeks with us, when we discovered that he hadn’t been neutered yet.  Guess we were distracted by his double dews.  He was adopted soon after the operation.  Hopefully being taught to behave properly with one dog will help him out in his forever home.