I feel a little bad about signing up for a forum called "husky owners" since I do not actually own a husky. But we are seriously considering fostering one for our local shelter, and I'm looking for answers and input about our situation from folks who understand the breed.
I don't know if this is a good place to start with the questions or if it should go down in the Rescue section, but here's the jist.
We signed up to walk dogs for our local shelter because our youngest kids are finally old enough that we want to start looking for a dog. I always had a dog growing up, but my parents always got puppies, and we knew we wanted to rescue. I've handled big and/or active dogs all my life. Even when we didn't have our own, I got to enjoy our families' different critters. I'm most used to Mastiffs and Shepherds. My kids are 9, 8, 4, and 4 and have been around large dogs and many, many animals all their lives, and the twins are arrived at the point where they will obey all the rules for visiting dogs and our own cats. However, they hadn't been around large dogs that didn't have manners, so I thought this was a great way to get them exposed to that, help our local shelter, and start scoping out some Shepherds this summer.
Though this program, we met an incredible two year old Husky girl. She's been amazing with my pile of kids, clearly settles down after an hour or so of playing at the park, and start to listen to commands. I can tell she's not what we want in a dog, since she's definitely a Husky and not going to bond the way other breeds do. We also, as I said, have cats. However, she's been in the shelter a long time, and they are starting to make noises about her time running out. I still stand by us not being a good long term family for her, but I am seriously considering asking to foster her.
I work from home and once the kids are done with school, we spend almost every day outside, so I'm not too worried about exercise for her. We can afford supplies/food/medicine easily. However, I'm not sure our six foot wood fence in the backyard will hold her. I'd ask the shelter for time to try and reinforce the bottom, but I've never met a dog this clearly able to get out of a place. The only reason she can't get out of our car is the sliding doors have the baby lock engaged. She understands the handles just fine. And she doesn't just pull on her harness. She tries different angles and pokes at it in a very deliberate manner. So I'm concerned about her escaping. I can keep her on a leash even in the backyard, but it feels like there ought to be some way to for her to enjoy a fenced area.
And last, my main concern, our cats. I can lock them in a bedroom for month for fostering, or baby gate the stairs (we have a split level) but I'm really, really worried that they won't be safe and in order to make them so, the dog will have to be leashed indoors too.
Any ideas or input would be so, so welcome. It seems a shame to let a young, people friendly dog run out of time, but I don't want to turn her life into a bigger prison.