By Volunteer, Jackie:
I’ve been asked to write something about a day in the life of a foster mum. I don’t have any magic formula for fostering, and don’t deviate from a tried and trusted method, if you can call it that, and which must be well known to all our fosterers out there – routine!
I’m retired and don’t have many family calls on my time, so can arrange the day very much to suit the pugs and myself (which I do).
Each day feels more or less the same as all the other days, perhaps the only difference between myself and many of our fosterers is that I would foster on an industrial scale. That is, if I could get away with it, so my “mentor” keeps a close eye on me!
(It’s quite a sizable grumble here, but always room for one (or two), more). How true I’ve found the 3/3/3 rule is, when introducing a newcomer, you can more or less guarantee it with the routine in place.
That’s 3 days to start to trust you, 3 weeks to relax, 3 months to make themselves fully at home and take over!
Whilst acknowledging that all pugs are different in character, they seem to respond positively to the repetition of the day, same time for meals, walks, treats and naps. This in turn generates order, so a newly introduced foster pug will soon pick up on what is going to happen and when. It not only sooths them, but makes my day more manageable.
The only exception to this is meal times, which as you all know, is of paramount importance to a pug. Although there’s a strict order in which bowls are placed, (and they all have their own designated feeding space), it can look, and often is chaotic!
I’m a big fan of getting the pugs out for a walk, if they’re capable and want to. Some go out in the buggy (twice a day), others for a walk (three times a day), across the many safe open spaces I’m lucky enough to live near. This breaks the day up for them, keeps them healthy, and provides an opportunity to socialise with other dogs.
So many fosters come in with mobility issues, and as a consequence, have endured very restricted lives, so it’s wonderful to see them enjoying unexpected freedom. Even the “wonky” ones get an opportunity to run about, as much as they are able to, with the confidence of walking in the safety of the pack.
So, with pug walks and meals to provide, working in the garden with the pugs around me, and doing a bit of PDWRA business in between, my days drift uneventfully by …..
We wouldn’t describe it quite as modestly as Jackie does. We couldn’t do what we do without such experienced and willing volunteers like her!
If you would like to foster please see more details and apply at:
Fostering | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk)