By Kaela Basse, Nellie’s foster mom
“Hey babe, what would you think of another foster … possibly a very long-term foster? She’s so sweet, loves dogs, potty trained, beautiful, smells great, enjoys long walks at the park, soft hair, big brown eyes … she’s basically just like me!”
That was me, trying to sell the idea of taking in a possibly long-term foster to my husband, Scott. Truth is, though, she wasn’t a hard sell! Sure, she took a little longer than any of our other fosters to warm up, but it was worth it once she wiggled her way into our hearts.
The day we got Nellie, we had to carry her into the house (a little strange, but nothing we weren’t prepared for). I walked her around the house, got her comfortable, and she slowly found her place with our two dogs and made herself at home in her crate. We gave her some space, knowing she takes a little time to warm up, but I just couldn’t stand it… she was so cute I just wanted her to love me! So I broke out a big bag of training treats, and, with Scott next to me, got down on the floor and started hand feeding her, hoping that would make us her new best friends. She would slowly walk up, take her treat, and then back away. We began working in some pats under her neck, then she started lingering for longer petting sessions. YES! She was beginning to learn that we were nice and wanted to be her friends!
In the days following, we practiced going in and out of the house, something that she wasn’t too fond of, but was obviously necessary. She was hesitant to go outside, but once she was brave enough to venture out, she loved it so much that she didn’t want to come back in the house. With a few handfuls of treats and multiple passes through the front door, she began to learn that it’s a normal and safe routine.
One day, Scott took Nellie out front. He was out there for quite some time, so I looked out the window wondering what they were doing. I saw Scott sitting in the grass with Nellie. She had walked right up to him, no treats necessary, and the two of them were bonding. Of course, I creepily took photos through the front window—someone had to document this breakthrough moment!
Later, we were relaxing in the living room when Nellie walked up under Scott's arm that was hanging over the arm rest. Scott obliged and started to pet her head. I could feel him staring at me across the room; he wanted to be sure I noticed what was happening, but he didn’t want to scare her away. I lit up with excitement, and we quietly celebrated the little milestone. It’s the small things in life…
We tried multiple times to get Nellie into bed to snuggle with us, but she wasn't into that, so I let it go…for the night. She would tease me by putting two paws on the bed, and letting me pet her, but not coming all the way up. At that point, I would take what I could get! It didn’t take long, though: About a week after she came to live with us, Nellie was in our bed. After Nellie jumped in, our dog Zoey came in to claim her regular spot. At this point, Scott was left with a sliver of the bed, and now I had to figure out which yoga pose I could contort into without disrupting these two sleeping beauties. Nellie seemed so content being snuggled with her humans. It made my heart happy.
Nellie is still a work in progress, but aren’t we all? She’s come a long way since joining PawsCo, and we’re here to help her every step of the way until she finds her perfect forever family. She has a heart of gold. Give her the patience she deserves, and you’ll be one of the lucky humans to experience that heart of gold…and, believe me, you’ll fall in love with this beautiful soul we call Nellie.
If you are interested in Nellie, view her full bio here and contact email@example.com.