We have 2 dogs and a cat. They were our babies before foster care. They got demoted down to pet status the day Baby 1 came home. I think the only reason they stood for being kicked off the furniture and bedrooms is because they love having to keep up with our kids.
|Persephone- the first pet our kids start loving|
|Harley and Big AFTER grooming- ready for foster care!!|
The respites were a different story. They were all aware of the dogs and every one of them was afraid. The very first thing I did was let the adult who was bringing them to us know that we had animals. So the case worker and foster parent could prepare the kids before they actually saw the dogs. When they came to the door, I had the dogs baby-gated in our breakfast room and chewing on biscuits so they didn't bark. We got the kids in, showed them their rooms, and offer a snack (Foster parent trick- ALWAYS offer food to new kids asap). After they settle, we ask them if they want to see the dogs. We tell them the dog's name, let them see us pet the dogs, and I always say, "Big and Harley are very nice. They love to give kisses. Isn't it so funny that dogs give kisses by licking?!" Respites 1-3 wanted to pet the dogs at that point and after that goes well, we take down the gate and let the kids give them biscuits so the dogs are occupied for a couple of minutes while I get the kids engaged in play.