Our 1st Foster: Matilda Wormwood
After applying to adopt the sweetest little Border Collie and losing him to another family, Ziggy and I decided to hold off on our search for a new pack member, and instead direct our attention towards a temporary member....
Enter: Matilda Wormwood. I have always followed various rescues on Instagram since I volunteered frequently in college and adopted Ziggy from a rescue as well. But one rescue always stood out to me in particular because of the FABULOUS names the give their adoptable dogs! This rescue is Hearts & Bones Rescue, located in Brooklyn, NY - they take dogs from shelters in Texas and NYC and give them a greater chance at finding love.
During my lunch break at work, I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across their most recent story - they were in search of new foster parents for a fluffy little black and white Chihuahua named Matilda. Her current fosters were having issues with her resources guarding and crate aggression and could no longer care for her. Challenge accepted.
To make a long story short, I IMMEDIATELY messaged them and Matilda was mine within a day. Matilda was not only my first foster dog, but it was also my first time caring for two dogs, which definitely made me a little nervous at first!
To prepare for her arrival:
I stopped by Petco and picked up food - I was feeding Ziggy Ollie's fresh, human-grade food at the time, and I since I wasn't sure if her new family would want to stick to that regimen, I opted for a kibble that was in the medium price range.
I gave her a space of her own. For all I knew, Ziggy could hate Matilda or vice versa, so I needed to give her a space of her own so that they could slowly get to know each other and have a space where they each felt safe. Matilda had her own crate with blankets inside, as well as a blanket covering it to provide privacy and make it a little more cozy in her new environment.
I invested in a travel carrier. Though I knew she wouldn't be with me for long, I knew a carrier would be very useful when navigating our way on public transportation from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn for adoption events. And I was 99% sure I would be taking in another foster at some point or another and would be glad that I made this purchase. In a crunch, my only option was a fairly pricey carrier (around $55), but if you have time to prepare, I definitely recommend getting one second hand or on sale.
Luckily, since I already have a dog, toys, treats, and beds are already in an abundance in my apartment, so those 3 things were my biggest tasks to cross off before I picked her up.
Though very nervous and stand offish at first, Matilda quite literally turned her personality around at the flip of a switch as soon as we were home! She rolled on her back to ask for belly rubs and stuck her little tongue out of her mouth when she was super happy. And if you stopped petting her for even a second, her tiny little paw would give you a little nudge to remind you "Hey! I'm still here! More pets now!!!!" Potential foster fail? I started to think so...
She craved attention 24/7 and truly wanted nothing more than to be held and loved. This sweet girl was clearly missing out on the attention and care she deserved for a long time. After a day or two, she started to show signs of severe separation anxiety which tore me apart - I knew she had two foster families before Ziggy and I, so I couldn't help but assume that she may have been tossed between homes and shelters as well.
Our biggest focus with Matilda was resource guarding and separation anxiety. If you want to read more about how we worked on these issues, you can check out my other post here.
Sweet little Matilda was only with us for a week and a half until she was adopted by an amazing couple on the Upper West Side, accompniated by their resident Chihuahua who I strongly believe was Matilda's twin!
For more photos and videos of my foster dogs, check out my "Fosters" highlight on my Instagram.