When A Foster Dog Visits…

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When a foster dog visits, things change.

If the foster is a puppy, we reorganize the house—put dirty laundry behind closed doors, block off the stairs, and set up an exercise pen and crate.

But even when the foster dog is a polite, adult dog who just needs a calm place to recover from surgery, Honey has to endure disruptions to her routine.

Honey the golden retriever takes a walk.

Why are you taking me on such a long walk? Are you trying to tell me something?

Here are just a few:

Honey eats outside.

I always feed Honey and visitors separately. The easiest way to manage is to send Honey and her food Kong out onto the porch while I feed the visitor in the kitchen.

So far Honey hasn’t complained. But I expect she’ll eventually revolt about being asked to tip when she’s eating carry-out.

Honey has mixed emotions about sitting on the couch with foster dogs.

When foster dogs become friends, we go together like a puzzle. But notice Pam is not in this picture.

Couch equilibrium is upset.

Because our house is small, our couch is actually a love seat. Which means that watching a movie as a family takes a delicate balance.

When a new foster dog doesn’t know how the pieces fit together, someone always ends up on the floor. Sometimes it’s even a dog.

Walks slow down.

When the foster pup is a sniffer dog, like a beagle or other hound, walks slow way down.

Sorry Honey, no long Adventure Walks for a while. We’ll be going at the new puppy’s pace for a while.

Blanche the beagle sniffs a flower.

This is what a beagle looks like on a “walk.”

Honey thinks I’m torturing her.

She can’t understand why our guest dog gets big meatballs twice a day when she doesn’t. And I don’t think she cares that they’re filled with pain pills.

What’s with the dog tease?

When our latest foster dog, Blanche, came to stay Honey did her usually frolic and play bow. Twice. But then Honey figured out that Blanche wasn’t interested in wrestling with her, even if she hadn’t been recovering from surgery.

If you could ask Honey what she’s thinking, she’d tell you she can’t understand why we invited a dog to stay who doesn’t want to play with her.

Blanche the foster beagle laughs.

Ha ha, Honey! I know you love me.

Meet Our New Foster Dog, Blanche

Despite a few small changes in the house, Honey is being her usual excellent hostess to our visitor.

Blanche is an 8-year-old beagle who was found as a stray. She’s recovering from hernia surgery and the shelter staff and volunteers worried she was looking a little depressed so they thought she’d do better in a foster home.

Somebody loved this girl a little too much. Or maybe it’s better to say they loved her the wrong way, because she’s very fat. She weighs around 46 pounds (20-30 is more common for a beagle) and it seems to be stressing her joints and system.

Blanche is a sweet girl who is an easy guest. She’s fully house trained (most fosters will have an accident the first day while they’re getting adjusted, but not her) and very sweet. She loves going for walks and  always greets us with a smile and a wag.

In fact, Blanche is so dear that I call her “Sweetie” far more than I call her “Blanche.”

She’s going to be a delightful addition to someone’s home. And if you know someone in the central NY area who is looking for a calm companion, send them my way.

Besides Honey needs to get her couch back someday.




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  1. Blanche has found herself a good rehab at your place with the hostess with the mostess, Honey.

  2. Wouldn’t she make a nice friend for Honey on the boat? I mean two humans, and only one dog??? 😉

    • We’re looking at pretty small boats – less than 35 feet. I’m thinking that if Honey needs an animal friend it will probably be a cat. :)

  3. So happy she has such a wonderful place to recover and glad Honey is such an excellent hostess! :)

  4. Honey is SUCH a good girl. Blanche looks so sweet. That face just has so much soul! I’m sure she’ll start to drop weight quickly in your house.

  5. Blanche could not have a better foster family than you, Mike, and Honey!! She’s a lucky girl to be with you! Honey’s name fits her perfectly — naturally sweet!!

  6. “someone always ends up on the floor. Sometimes it’s even a dog.” And I thought you had a heart. A dogs place is always on the couch, just ask my two who have been know to instigate a game on the floor and when I get down from the settee to join them they jump up and take my place!

    • I wish I had taken a picture for you last night. Mike and I decided to catch up on our favorite show after Blanche and Honey had established themselves on the couch.

      I sat on the ottoman and Mike pulled up a hard wooden chair from the desk. So apparently I’ve been getting advice from Chez Lauranne after all. :)

  7. I hope Blanche recovers quickly and a good home is found for her.

  8. Blanche sounds like a dog anyone would be lucky to have! I hope she has a good recovery and finds a forever home soon.

  9. Aahh, a home is always more so with a Beagle, especially one as sweet looking as Blanche AKA Sweetie. LOVE the photo of her laughing. I heard a speaker on NPR talk and share how other animals besides humans laugh – including rats. I do believe I’ll share this post with my newspaper readers since I’m moving in the foster direction, too. Thank you, Honey, Blanche, Mike, and Pam!

  10. We’ve not gotten involved with fostering yet. I’m not sure my heart could take saying goodbye …