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Becoming a foster parent to Chloe - Part 3

The next day I took Chloe to the oval, it was deserted and free of other dogs or people. I went through the same process as the day before in order to calm and ween her off the leash. This time I felt ambitious and had brought a toy that I could throw long distances and have her fetch.  It proved a hit as Chloe ran as fast as she possibly could to retrieve the Kong.  It had been a while since shed been free in such a large area to run to her hearts content and she was revelling in it. Just watching her was filling me with a huge sense of satisfaction as she bounded, sprinted and slid across the oval grass panting excitingly. 

I too was becoming just as involved in the activity as she was, seeing how far I could throw the Kong, trying to trick her with the direction I was throwing and also running and darting in a competition to see who could retrieve the Kong first.  If someone were to keep score, Chloe would have made a killing. We carried on like this for a good hour at least and then returned home walking slowly and satisfied.  Being summer it was quite warm and upon returning home Chloe was panting extremely heavy and welcomed the opportunity to take a large drink out of her bowl. She then made her way inside and exhausted, spread her self out on the cool kitchen tiles.

During this time I made my dinner and relaxed or did what I had to do before going to bed. Sometimes Chloe would walk or relax around me contently as she was well satisfied and worn out from our session at the park. If I were relaxing on the couch watching Television she was more than happy to relax with me and when it came for me to turn in for the night, Chloe was tired enough to do the same. The very first night after our extreme exercise session Chloe slept all the way through the night without the need to wake me up. The next morning I woke up extremely happy, feeling like Id had the best sleep Id had in a long time. Chloe was still hesitant about being left alone for the day; she had become accustomed to the sound of the alarm clock meaning that I would be gone for several hours once I had my shower. I was more comfortable with the thought that I would make it up to her with another extreme exercise session after work.

The extreme exercise sessions after work continued over the 3 months and I dont ever recalling missing one. I was quite dedicated to my role as foster parent and would come home immediately after work most times. However on the odd occasion that I came home late, I was still %100 committed to taking Chloe for her exercise. It became an integral part of both our daily schedule and I had developed and extremely heavy sense of responsibility geared towards this commitment. I too enjoyed the exercise sessions as much as Chloe and it meant that we would both sleep well through the night. There may have been only one or two occasions over the next 3 months where Chloe felt the need to wake me during the night to relieve her outside. I was okay with this.

I learnt a lot from this experience of looking after Chloe. I had never been solely responsible for a demanding person or dog before over such a long period of time. Maybe the fact it wasnt permanent may have had something to do with things but I never thought I would have adjusted my life so dramatically and become comfortable in doing so. I did sacrifice a lot during these 3 months but it was rewarding enough for me to remain committed.  My social life took a temporary dive but Chloe was the most incredible companion, which is perhaps why I felt such a need to do the right thing by her also. Though I was keen to return to my life after looking after Chloe, I still miss having her as a constant companion to this day.


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