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Foster Dog Date Night

Dolly – our Valentine’s special.

Her claim to fame was being a pocket-sized pitty. Running around 40 lbs, this dog was a lover. She now frolics in the trails in Whistler with her awesome owner Jesse but before she went to the big city she frolicked around in the back trails of Thetis with us.

Valentine’s 2016 was a pretty chill night for us. We went to Bin 4 for dinner & decided to bring her a little piece of burger. And, because we thought she might be cute we decided to film it.

Sometimes, we blow the scent of food towards a dog to see if they’d be mildly interested. Dolly was keen and here’s the video proof. She couldn’t figure out what trick to do to earn the reward, so she did them all in quick, delightful succession. Play bowing, wiggly, high-fiving and licking her chops.

SIDENOTE: if your guy or girl doesn’t do this when you make dinner, we might suggest an evening with the London Chef.

Back to you, Dolly.

One beautiful evening we decided to take her paddle boarding out in Brentwood Bay with our good friend, Kelsey. We got her a life jacket & suited her up (Dolly, not Kelsey). Thanks to the super dog-friendly folks at Pacifica we got cruising the high seas in no time!

Dolly was so good about tagging along, literally in the middle of our feet on the paddle board. As we got closer to the middle of the bay, she hopped off and swam over to Kelsey’s board to make sure everyone was close together.

We all decided to make a pit stop (pardon the pun) to regroup on a small island in the bay and that’s when Dolly went buck wild. Being back on land she shook off and took off sprinting, chasing the seagulls that call that island home. At first it was funny & we hoped there were no bigger predators, but figured Dolly could handle herself.

How’d we get her back? Find out for yourself in this how-to-be-the-most-fun video.

SIDENOTE #2: We found out later on a follow-up visit with her & her owner that she had taunted a grizzly bear on a camping trip, so she’s clearly fearless.

Wrapping up February, it will always be a favourite month because of the fun times we had with our lovable, huggable foster girl, Dolly.



Formally Cocoa, adopted Margot, is celebrating her 1 year anniversary with her awesome family in Nanaimo. Thanks so much to Margot’s people for loving her & being the best home this girl could ask for.

My Friend Got a Dog – Now I Want One Too

I want a dog. I have since I could say the word dawg.

And I’m a responsible working adult. I have my own place (rented with a roomie) and I have some moolah to play with.

But, I know I’m too busy. Here’s the thing – I work 8 hours a day, and this doesn’t include travel time. I like going out with my friends on weekends and playing rec sports on Wednesday nights. Some days I’m able to sneak home for lunch hour, but that’s only if work isn’t crazy. Plus, when there’s a big deadline sometimes I have to stay at the office late or work on my laptop from home.

Tinder’s lame & I’m still single, but I have this one guy on the go.

I want a dog still, so what do I do? I’m lonely and know there are so many dogs that NEED a great home. Won’t the dog be ok to sleep while I’m at work? Do I need to feed it midday?



I feel stressed out writing this. It’s so much pressure on one person to be responsible for another living creature above and beyond herself. Let’s say these thoughts are happening in Jaunary post-Christmas maximum social time?

You want a dog but the weather is poop – it’s cold and snowy, or rainy if you’re living in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, there’s the arduous task of leashing up a dog to go out in the pouring rain & if they’re a pitty-mix they’re dodging you because they don’t like getting water in their ears.


Heading down the road of worst-case scenarios, what if the dog goes destructo-mode when it’s left alone?

Many dogs in the rescue system have had lame experiences with people in the past. The possibilities are endless and since we can’t reason with them verbally. It’s a time-intensive process of gaining trust through proof of concept for dogs to be ok with a daily routine. We don’t make it any easier when the main source of food, companionship and safety leaves for 8 hours a day.

This means testing a few methods until you find a couple that work for you:

  • gradual departures
  • mental stimulation
  • small breaks
  • checking in throughout the day to make sure the dog hasn’t eaten (or humped!!) the couch and hasn’t left you a Hershey’s Kiss as a token for leaving them alone for a half a day

The rationale people use when adopting a puppy is that they can structure the dogs’s behaviour from the get-go.

Yes, this is true to a point.
Except when you realize you cannot influence natural behaviours. You cannot expect a puppy to behave 100% of the time and you cannot expect things to be perfect all of the time. Real life is messy & so is learning how to care for a dog to the best of your ability.
Options for satisfying your desire for companionship without throwing your life as you know it down the toilet:
  1. Make plans to hike with a friend and her dog. Offer to towel off the dog after it runs through mud.
  2. Visit your local animal shelter and sign up to volunteer.
  3. Volunteer in fundraising efforts along with a rescue you like. We offered to volunteer at an event we would have otherwise bought tickets to, and guess what? We got to run the poopy – sorry – puppy pit. Obsessive folks swept in and would hang on to these 10 week old puppies for as long as they could. I’m pretty sure some would have snuck them out in their purse if we hadn’t been watching like hawks.
  4. Foster FIRST. Read more about this here.
  5. Offer your home as an overnight or temporary place for regular fosters to have their dogs go when they head out on short vacations or get away for a weekend.
What we’ve seen first-hand is people who want a dog dive into pet ownership with the best intentions, thinking of the animal first.

Then life takes over and the well-being of the dog suffers. Not fair & super stressful for both of you.

Let’s encourage helping with intention, trial & error before committing to a dog for keeps. That way, when you do find the dog you want to be your co-pilot you know it’s when you’re good & ready.
Making life better for you and your furry bud.

Ask the Right Questions about Your New Foster Dog

The VACANCY sign is flashing & you’ve answered the call

A foster dog is coming into your home – yippee! But also, wow, you just took a look around and you’ve got a few things to organize before throwing a dog in the mix. Alright, how do you ask the right questions before your new foster dog arrives for check-in?

Ask ALLLL the questions

Age, name, size and suspected breed are a start even if you’ve seen a photo. Think of the questions curious folks will ask if they were to cross you in the street. Here are 7 to get you going:

  1. When will the dog arrive and do I need to pick him up?
  2. Are there any vet appointments they need to get to in the next few days?
  3. Any current medications?
  4. Do they have issues with food, people or other dogs?
  5. Crate-trained?
  6. Walking on a collar, harness or gentle leader?
  7. Anxious or nervous of people/noises?

Dogs develop all sorts of quirks especially if they’ve experienced any level of neglect, cruelty or trauma. So, by assuming nothing and asking questions directly of the last caregiver/rescue contact you’ll be the best position to help this dog. Treat this animal with kindness and give it tons of space to start (no hugging, kisses or forced-cuddling).

Don’t just ask the right questions, ask all the easy ones too

If the person you’re working with has the time definitely ask the dumb questions too. You never know what you might learn just by asking nicely and not acting like a know-it-all.

Try spending the first 12-24 hours just observing your new dog to see how they adapt. This is when you might discover the perks of keeping your place tidy. Thanks past self. We’ve had dogs grab socks, shoes, yoga mats and swipe a scrambled egg breakfast off the bar top when we weren’t looking.

Moral of this story?

Keep a watchful eye and allow your new foster dog time to settle in. Naturally den animals, they enjoy having somewhere safe to burrow into. If a crate has never been explored before, try setting up a bed or some blankets under a table or near some furniture that’s juuuuust out of the way.

As your foster dog becomes increasingly comfortable, this is where you will spot the fun personality traits. Enjoy your first meeting with your foster dog and feel good about letting things happen naturally.

You might be surprised what you find out!




What kind of dog parent are you?

what kind of dog parent are you

Your lifestyle and default way of running your life has a big time influence on the type of dog parent you’ll be.

Which sounds more like your style of living? Homebody or Man on the Town? Family guy or adventure vixen?

Are you going to have a better time marrying a dog or dating them? That’s really what fostering is, you get to try out looking after a dog who could use a place to stay for a bit. And have fun while you’re at it!

Especially for people in their early twenties, and even moreso for people who live alone. They crave a companion, someone who will love them and remain stable – so they go and buy a dog. Should their delicate crafted lifestyle shift, maybe a new relationship or job opportunity – how does this impact a dog? It’s unfair to expect your formative years will be laid out step by step in a way that’s ideal for full-time dog care.

What if there was a better option?