Big News for Fuzzy Boy Bear
Big news to share: Operation Foster Bound Round 1 has officially come to a successful close! In other words, all seven of the homeless dogs have now been ADOPTED. It took 7 months for all 7 previously homeless dogs to find foster homes and/or adopters, and finally all were adopted by the end of 2016. Can you believe it? We launched the program at the start of 2016, and it came to a beautiful conclusion by Christmas:
Bear has been adopted by his foster parents!
“The best part about fostering Bear was seeing him warm up to us. When we first met Bear at the shelter, he had this tough guy attitude […]. It took some time, but Bear is now a big ball of mush. […] It’s so rewarding for us.”
As a young dog, Bear the Chow Chow / Schnauzer mix (yes, we ran a DNA test!) was rescued from a kill-shelter down South by Sean Casey Animal Rescue a no-kill shelter in Brooklyn. A couple years later, he was still stuck in the Brooklyn shelter, waiting for a foster home or adopter.
Bear was big and strong and goofy, and was sometimes reactive with other dogs. Getting him into a foster home was the missing link between his shelter life and his ability to be a great pet in someone’s home.
Operation Foster Bound’s mission is to assist “hard-to-place” shelter dogs in foster homes so they can work on basic skills such as: obedience training, leash walking, socialization with other dogs, etc. We also provide helpful dog care materials, as well as fun perks such as a cartoon portrait, photo shoot, and more.
BEAR was posted to our website in September 2015 after meeting him on a Foster Dogs group visit to the shelter 1 month prior. A few months later, we arranged for our volunteer Elana Buchalter to visit and snap some photos of him:
In April 2016, we featured his story again, including new photos from Robert Stoetzel @stoetel_photo:
Two weeks later, Bear found a foster home. With finding a foster home came a professional trainer through Operation Foster Bound. We asked Kellie Stevens of Gonzo Dog Training to help Bear, and she kindly donated three training sessions to get him started on the right paw for his future adopters!
Kellie’s first training experience with Bear, May 2016:
#Bear was in the shelter for nearly 2 YEARS before finally finding a #foster family to take him in, all thanks to the @fosterdogsnyc program "Operation Foster Bound." We did our first session today and I showed his foster parents just how miraculous the Easy Walk #harness is, even on a dog with major #pulling issues like this one. Looking forward to working with dog reactivity more in the next session! @nyanimalrescue #positivereinforcement #obedience #trainingmakesallthedifference
Kellie’s training experience with Bear, June 2016:
#Bear is doing so well after just a month and a half of being in the #OperationFosterBound program. He still needs some work on his #excitability and fear-based aggression with other pups and certain "rolly" things like carts and scooters, but overall I'm so pleased with his progress! @fosterdogsnyc @nyanimalrescue @spaghetti_meatballs91 @jben.dz
Kellie’s training experience with Bear, August 2016:
#BEAR! First time I have seen this #handsome #OperationFosterBound guy in a little while, but he is working hard and making great #progress with his #training. Bear is a #strapping and sometimes #stubborn guy who needs a #strong leader to help him overcome his #reactivity to certain things like other #dogs… But he's also one of the #sweetest pups ever. After two long years in the shelter, he is thriving in his #foster home but he needs someone to believe in him and give him the safe, loving forever home he deserves. If you think this could be you, contact @fosterdogsnyc or @nyanimalrescue for more details.
Finally, we arranged for a foster family photo shoot with @realhappydogs! It was the cherry on top of a beautiful foster tale.
We reached out to Ji Hyun and Josias, Bear’s foster parents since April 2016. It’s amazing the work they’ve put into helping Bear become the dog he is today.
What made you choose to adopt Bear?
Josias and I decided to adopt Bear after Ally [Sean Casey Animal Rescue’s foster coordinator] contacted us about a couple that was interested in meeting with him. When we realized that there was a possibility he couldn’t be a part of our lives anymore, we discussed very seriously how to go about adopting him — financially, etc.
During the nine months that we fostered Bear, we had focused more on progress with his reactivity than us adopting him right off the bat. By the time we had been contacted about this new couple, he had become a huge, important part of our lives. We’re happy we were able to make him an official part of our family.
What what the hardest part about fostering Bear over the first few weeks?
The hardest part about fostering Bear for the first few weeks was getting him adjusted to living with people in an apartment building where he would be hearing all sorts of noises and coming across new people constantly. Bear wouldn’t let us wipe his paws after walks. He would jump straight to being aggressive and show his teeth. He accepted that this was a necessary step in living with us and is now very good about it. He used to be reactive towards everything he heard outside as well as our neighbors.
He’s now much calmer with the noises and is very flirtatious with people he meets in our building.
How did fostering Bear improve over time?
The training tips we got from Kellie from Gonzo Dog helped us a lot while Bear was adjusting to living with us. She helped us get into his head a little more. It also helped that Bear is incredibly smart.
What was the best part about fostering Bear?
The best part about fostering Bear was seeing him warm up to us. When we first met Bear at the shelter, he had this tough guy attitude — very independent. He continued on this way the first several months of living with us. He felt that he was the boss and that proved to be challenging because he didn’t trust us. It took some time, but Bear is now a big ball of mush. He knows that we will take the lead when we’re out on walks, which makes him less reactive. He follows us around everywhere and is generally much happier. He is less tense. It’s so rewarding for us.
Thanks to @realhappydogs for this amazing photo shoot.