Foster Dogs


Catalina Pictures

July, 2013.  Next we fostered a pretty little Chihuahua mix named Catalina. She was getting stressed at the shelter and needed a quieter environment to gain a little confidence and make a better adoption interview impression.

Catalina bonded with me immediately, diligently following me around the yard or house without a leash.  She did fine with Boomer and seemed already housetrained.  When Theresa came home she eagerly snuggled up next to her once she laid on the floor, and didn’t appear to be a “one person only” type of dog like some Chihuahuas can get.

She did wonderful on our morning walk, and I suspected she would have happily walked next to me the whole time even without a leash.  

She wanted to get up on the furniture at first, but quickly got down after a verbal command.  She was also content sleeping on her bed next to ours without being up with us -- at first.  I put her in the crate when I left her alone, which, after a little whining, she seemed at home in.

I brought her to the shelter and she did pretty well, trotting along without much issue.  She would get scared and shake a little bit in places with lots of loud people walking around, but that seemed to go away once she was walking.  After a few more sessions the shaking went away and she seemed pretty at ease there.

But what she most wanted to do was climb in your lap and get petted, which of course I was happy to oblige.

After 24 hours she got a little snippy with Boomer a few times, so we did lots of sessions where both dogs got petted and took treats together.  After that they seemed to get along ok, but didn’t really play much together.  She was definitely a person oriented dog, although on several occasions she did lay next to Boomer to take a nap.

After having her for a few days, she somehow started doing a Jedi mind trick on us.  We are usually extremely firm on the house rules, but somehow this little girl kept getting us to look the other way.  For example, she started to jump up into bed with us after we were asleep.  I set her down each time at first, but after awhile my normal “no dogs on the bed ever” policy started to get overlooked.

I also never let dogs up in the front seat of the car.  But Cat (as I ended up calling her) would hop up and sit contentedly in the side passenger seat, look over harmlessly at me and somehow convince me to stop setting her in the back. Jedi mind trick!

It sometimes took awhile to find Catalina in the house when she was napping.  One day I was looking from room to room and finally discovered her sleeping in our laundry basket.  For any other dog I would have immediately made them climb out, but, no, Cat convinced me to let her stay while I went and got the camera to take a picture.

After six days with us Cat had her first adoption interview at the shelter, did very well, and got adopted on the spot by a young couple.  The wife had grown up with Chihuahuas and was convinced that Catalina was actually a Chihuahua - Pug mix, aka a Chug.  They reported that she was doing very well with them.

Catalina Update

About two months later we got a detailed update on Catalina, now nicknamed Kitty.  Highlights include:

"Over all, she's doing better and better at socializing. I'm proud of her. She's not just grown in confidence, but exploded. She loves meeting new dogs and bosses the Dachshund, Blue, from next door, around now. They're best friends. She's still timid around new people but she jumps in their laps after about ten minutes."