Feature Foster: Olivia and Patrick


I didn’t make the decision to become foster Mom to a TBAR foster dog lightly. I had been thinking and praying about it for some time now. While my dogs are a wonderful pack, I do have a corgi mix that seems to live with a lot of fear. But when Melanie informed me that T-bar was taking in two puppies that had been found on the side of the road starving I felt the pull grow. What sealed the deal was a picture of the two puppies side by side looking very thin and scared. Since My corgi mix is mostly scared of anything bigger than him I figured a puppy would be easy for him to get used to.

Patrick10 Our foster dog Patrick came into T-bar care on St. Patrick’s Day, hence his name. I could not help but notice his long legs and soulful eyes when Melanie and Teresa came by with him. Thankfully T-bar provided a crate for me to use for him. His ribs were showing and so were his hip bones. Knowing my dogs, I was right about their reaction to the newcomer. Lucia, my oldest, wanted to check on him non-stop, Chloe our middle dog, could have cared less (Patrick could be a new chair for all she noticed), and of course Jack, the corgi mix, was the biggest hurtle.


Patrick made it clear that his experience on the streets had given him encounters with bigger dogs already. Jack growled once and Patrick bowed his little head and hunched his shoulders. The puppy was going into a submissive stance to try and let Jack know things are ok. This dance has been repeated a lot in just our first week with Patrick, through no fault of the new arrival. Jack has trust issues and Patrick is responding very well. He gives Jack space, he knows not to try and play with Jack unless Jack invites him, which has so far only happened once.


Patrick picked up crate training pretty fast and had only one accident in the house which was mostly my fault because I stopped watching him when a friend came over for a visit. Since I work from home I have my dogs on a set schedule. Having three other dogs to model his behavior after has made things pretty smooth for us in adding Patrick into our pack. If Patrick were an over-eager dog, or insistent on jumping on Jack or our cats this would have required more work on our part. Thankfully Patrick seems to be one of those dogs that is Heaven-sent. He already knows to nap on a dog bed, or sit there and play. If I catch him chewing on something I firmly tell him no and then make sure to give him a toy that is okay to chew on. He is still a pup and is teething. All puppies like to chew but, it is up to those watching them to teach them the do and don’ts of what they can chew on. So far he has left shoes and socks that my cute husband leaves around untouched (which is more than I can say for Lucia, who loves socks).

It’s an honor to train Patrick and house him for T-bar. Many people have asked me questions about him so I will try and answer them now.

    • How is he with cats? Like all puppies Patrick wants to play. We have only had to get after him twice about the cats and his “chasing” efforts were fainthearted. He took two bouncy steps and then stopped.


    • Is he hyper? He is a puppy and has the desire to interaction and love. We make it a point to not pet him when he jumps on us, but to show affection when he is being calm or laying down chewing on a toy. This helps him not feel the need to jump on us seeking attention and love. Since he is a puppy I put time aside to run around with him outside and get him to move. Even so, he is a pretty low-energy dog. As I write this he is blissfully snoring on his favorite blue dog bed.


    • Does he bark a lot? He is not much of a barker. For now other dogs barking scare him a little. But this is a huge improvement from when we first got him. Dogs would bark and he would whine and want inside. He is getting braver day by day.


  • Is he good with kids? I always want people to understand that kids are high energy beings. They are young and they want to run, play and make noise. That will have an effect on any dog’s behavior, especially a puppy. Patrick is a gentle dog so if a family with kids wants to adopt him he will be safe, but always keep in mind it is up to you and your kids to help a dog remain calm and happy.

Fostering Patrick is something I am so excited to be doing and when a family comes along for him and he has a forever home I know that the amount of pride and happiness I will feel will be huge. Helping an animal get healthy and then find a forever home that fits him will give me joy beyond words. For now though, I am enjoying this new ride. Patrick has been so sweet that I am already thinking about doing fostering again! But I have to ask my corgi mix first!


We hope this story has inspired you to join in our wonderful group of TBAR Foster Homes. TBAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit animal rescue made up of only foster homes. We have no public funding for a central shelter location, so every person that can take in just one foster animal is a big help to our mission of saving lives. Read about fostering, or write to us at [email protected] to find out more!