Foster families are proud of their dogs!
At Early Alert Canines (EAC), we believe dogs do their best work when they are kept in a warm, loving environment. We rely upon the generosity of foster families and we do not use kennels. Some fosters are experienced puppy-raisers and others are people who are motivated to help but need lots of training. EAC works with each foster to provide training and to find the right schedule that works for them.
Sue is a long-time foster and experienced puppy-raiser. In 2022, EAC successfully placed 11 dogs and Sue provided her unique perspective and helped foster many of those dogs!
What inspires you to be a foster?
Sue shares, "I think of myself as a bridge from the rigors of puppy-raising and formal training into the new life these wonderful dogs will take. Many have been in a kennel environment for upwards of 6 months and helping them to transition to home is such a joy. It's fun to see them gradually take on whatever their new role is in my foster home, whether that be the silly dog that keeps us laughing or the dog that lives to be attached to your side."
What unique tasks do you have as a Foster?
"As a former puppy-raiser, I know that the required training these dogs have received. I can determine how they may need some reinforcement training and where they exceed. While being a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) is different from their initial training, the same basic training skills are necessary to make the dogs not only great DADs, but also easy to live with," says Sue.
What are some of the best parts and most challenging parts of being a foster?
Sue says, "The best part of fostering a DAD is watching them in action. I was in a class with one of the dogs that I fostered and although he wanted to come to greet me, he was working with his partner on alerting. It was almost as if he was thinking, "Hey I see you, but I'm a little busy right now and I'll see you later", and sure enough during a break, his personality allowed him to greet me. After getting some good belly rubs, he went right back to his job. That was the first time I had seen one of our dogs in action, and it was remarkable. For me, there are no challenging aspects of fostering, but if I have to pick something, I would say that it is probably trying to figure out what I need to work on in a short period of time so I could relay that to the Trainers."
What are one or two of your most memorable experiences as a foster?
"Each dog has a different personality and engages uniquely with my own personal dogs. Some are a bit timid at first because dog-to-dog play during puppy-raising and formal training isn't allowed. Some take a few days to open up and some jump right in pushing the boundaries. I fondly remember each dog and am so proud of each one getting their second career," says Sue.
Thank you, Sue!