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AnnaCornick

Hi! Considering a foster

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Hi!

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.

Thanks!

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hi! It is nice that you all go and volunteer at the shelter! 😊

random thoughts: 

fence not a big deal. Many ways to proof it, including hot wiring ( posted on our local husky rescue website). 

Family situation sounds great. I work from home too, it makes everything so much easier.

but yes, the deal killer may be the cats. If you foster her and she is no good with the cats...imagine how she would feel being taken back to the shelter...I don’t know if I could do that to a dog.

but on the other hand, if her time has run out....I don’t know if I could just stand by and let her be euthanized! Agh! 

i am the owner of a dog whose time almost ran out...he was saved on his last day by a rescue. Are there any husky rescues in your area?

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a husky and a cat - and will soon be taking on another, adult, husky.    I got my first husky as a 12 week old pup and luckily they are quite friendly (now).       We are having to buy loads more child gates - one for every door.   We cut out one bar in the gate so the cat can get through at speed if necessary, but the dog cannot.    The cat has recently taken to coming downstairs during the day which is slightly concerning  (used to stay upstairs during the day and only come down in the evening).   We are also in the process of creating a dog-proof section just outside the lounge door so the cat can go out in the garden and the dogs wont be able to get to him.       Whilst my dog and cat get on well together I worry that with the new dog's influence Marley just might re-discover his prey drive.     Hopefully with the correct training the new member of the family can learn to tolerate the cat as unfortunately the cat has lived with up to three dogs at a time for all the time its been with us  (over 12 years) and looks upon dogs as his friends.   He is not a 'runner' normally so hopefully will not trigger the prey drive instinct in the new dog - but only time will tell.

Obviously you will never be able to let your guard down - nor will I.      However I am convinced it is possible with suitable protections put in place.   It is good that you will be there all the time   -   is it possible that you could divide the house into two areas  - upstairs for cats and downstairs for dogs?   I know others here have that system.

Good luck and I hope you find a way round it all    -    it just might happen that the dog you foster will tolerate the cats.

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Thanks for the great ideas! I admit I couldn't figure out how a baby gate was supposed to stop a Husky, but the idea of making a cat hole is very clever. We do have the split level house, so one at the stairs going down and one at the stairs going up should give the dog a nice area, but also give the cats options. I think we'll probably give it a try for a night and see how it goes.

I also passed on the idea of a breed rescue. Hopefully something comes out of that!

 

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Yes, friend with basenjis (they are also not good with cats) -
they have a gate across their stairs so dogs can not go upstairs, but cats can.
During the day, the cats are closed in their own room with litterbox, toys, climbing spots.
The cats come down and interact when everybody is home and can keep an eye on dog/cat interactions! 

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