Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors

Our dogs are experts when it comes to fostering puppies. They welcome them with open paws and are happy to show them the ropes. Our fosters learn lots of helpful things by following their example like potty training; crate training; how to sit, wait, and come; how to share; and most importantly – how to sleep through the night! But there are a few tricks our boys might keep to themselves.

Jackson is the OG. At nearly 15, he quietly administers his private lessons of “don’t mess with the old dog.” There are no growls or snarls involved. He just stares at them, and they get the message. All our foster puppies adore him but know better than to mess with him. Good lesson…well delivered.

Yogi is now eight…I can’t believe it. For many years, he was the foster puppy playmate and self-appointed supervisor. He is very patient and extremely tolerant to a point, issuing kind but firm corrections when needed. He is the first to comfort sick or recovering pups and they all look up to him.

All good…except Yogi is a world-class counter surfer. And puppy see; puppy do. Pretty much any puppy that can reach counters has to unlearn this when they go home. With apologies to their adopters.

Yogi on counter
Giant Puppy Milo on counter

Skye – now three – has taken over as the primary puppy playmate. He’s happy to meet everyone and immediately engages the new arrivals in play. It’s great for their socialization and confidence, but Skye sometimes regrets the monsters he unleashes. Skye seriously miscalculates by forgetting three things: 1) puppies have dagger teeth; 2) puppies grow bigger and stronger; and 3) puppies have four times his stamina.

While Yogi is bigger and better able to correct with authority – the puppies just won’t take Skye seriously. They figure turnaround is fair play and he is their play toy. Our four- to five-month-olds are almost as big as Skye who comes screaming for mom when the roughhousing gets too ruff!

Every single puppy in our home learns to get on the furniture. That’s my fault and I proudly own it. These kids have been bounced around. They need comfort, security, and love. Yes…I too contribute to the delinquency of our minors.

Yesterday was our Milo’s going home day. This giant puppy arrived at 15 weeks with ear infections and double entropion – a condition that causes the eyelids to grow inward causing the eyelashes to poke the eye. He goes home following surgery with his eyes now wide open and a clean bill of health

– FINALLY (hopefully) potty trained and ready for adventures.

Of course, on my way home from Milo’s adoption, I got the call that another puppy needed our home for a bit. I turned around and picked him up. Yes…he’s already on the couch. That’s just how we roll around here.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

14 thoughts on “Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors”

  1. Aw, such beautiful dogs/puppies – they are all so lucky to be with you and have an understanding foster parent! My first permanent foster had been at HB for a few years, but the first thing he did when he got here, despite being weak, old, and (I thought) on his very last legs, was to jump on the couch. And he pretty much lived there for the next 18 mos. I’m currently dogless (and heartbroken) and the furniture looks way too empty. Hoping to fill it up soon with another permanent foster! Thank you for sharing your great stories with us!

      1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Patti. I just lost Jenny a couple of weeks ago. Even with 3 cats here, it’s way too quiet. I wish us both new (or old) dogs very soon!

  2. What great photos of all those pups! I agree wholeheartedly with your furniture rule. In my house, my dogs are family and I want my family to be as comfortable as I am! Besides, snuggling is much easier when we are side by side on the sofa.

  3. You are such a talented storyteller, as you weave the details of each dog together into a beautiful tapestry. I always enjoy your posts, whether about rescue dogs, incredible gardens or both together. So happy to read another post of yours. I absolutely adore the title too! 💜

  4. They are all so sweet and look at those puppy eyes. How could you not let him on the couch.
    Counter surfing with his collar on made me laugh! Go on, buddy–you can do it!

  5. Good job corrupting the minors in all the best ways. Wish our own critters were as welcoming of fosters as yours are!

  6. Love this story. It’s a very common oneforso many of us Golden owners and we love every second of it 😊🐾

  7. Aw, what good foster siblings!! And I must say “ditto” to Judy’s comment! The newest foster is adorable, and I couldn’t say “no” to his being on the couch either!!

    My own two are, in some ways, two peas in a pod; and in other ways as opposite as they could be. Raising them alone – without another human or mature dog – is a challenge; but they’re keeping me young(er) and busy and I wouldn’t give them up for all the money in the world. My little girl – 5 months old and a counter-surfing, sassy little sweetheart – is the Golden Retriever reincarnation of Ducky but without the possessive, protective-of-mommy streak. So much so that I catch myself calling her Ducky almost as often as I call her by her own name (Zoey). Zen is trying to teach her potty training, but she’s got a mind of her own. She’s good in the crate, as long as she knows I’m not far away.

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