Buster was technically my second Foster, my first attempt had bit two runners, a waiter and eventually me- she’d gone back to DARG to spend some time living with a behaviourist and i was issued with Doglet No 2- Buster!!
Buster: a Staffy mix, found tied up and abandoned at 3 months old, now coming on one year the staff didn’t want him growing up in the shelter- unsocialised a powerful dog like Buster could go very wrong.
So there was I, still shaken from ‘the Biter’, looking at the lovely Buster but rather seeing one very large mouth with some very large teeth!
Needless to say for the first week at least, Buster got what he wanted when he wanted!
Eventually I managed to strap a proverbial pair on and took stock of my situation:
I had one room in a third floor flat, was living with an, at best, disinterested Spaniard, had a oversized Staffy with zero social graces and seemingly no way to home him.
So like everyone of my generation, I immediately turned to Facebook!
And thus ‘DARG Foster Mom’ was created, a Facebook group designed purely to post selfies of Buster in the hope that he’d catch someones eye before he got me evicted.
From then followed a few sleepless weeks, you see the thing with Buster was he did not want to be alone! E-V-E-R!!
Even to sleep in his own bed for him was torture, and believe me I tried. I had a crate the size of a spaceship, treats, and all the patience of a ginger with something to prove.
But no matter what I did Buster’s pitiful crying/ hysterical crate destruction would continue all night every night, at approximately 4am i would give in, to the relief of the no longer disinterested Spaniard.
So whilst everyone was assuring me ‘You’ll keep him”, I was parading Buster around in his ‘Adopt me’ jacket like there was no tomorrow!
I had a few offers to adopt him, my spidey- sense said no, don’t ask me why but when my intuition says no its a no! It often happens and I’m always right!
Then one Saturday my phone goes, me and Buster had been at DARG earlier in the week and a school group had taken a picture with him.
Busters future dad had seen that pic and having a young girl himself wanted to meet the dog who was “so good with kids”.
Buster was actually terrified of kids and as that picture was being taken I was genuinely having heart palpitations.
Still, a play date was set up, a heart to heart was had over the pro’s and cons of the lunatic that was Buster, and off Buster went on his trail foster!
…I slept, I slept for days! I felt like a single mother who’d finally gotten baby sitting! It was bliss!
But letting go was hard: not sending a text every hour to see how he was doing/ restraining myself from demanding photos as proof he was alive and happy! My oh my letting go is hard!
I actually remember sitting on Hout Bay beach balling my eyes out, strangers passed by and awkwardly patted me on the head, the Hout Bay crazies stayed away cus I looked crazier!
It was a glorious moment where I began my free- fall decent into no longer giving a damn what the general public thought- a vital mind set for any foster parent who will be repeatedly blamed for canine behaviour that is no fault of your own as you patiently try to clean up the mess the last ‘owner’ made!
Fostering Buster was an exhausting, cathartic experience and it got me hooked, totally and irrevocably hooked, on rescue!
The end of the story? Gary fell in love with Buster, Buster fell in love with everyone apart from the cat, the cat is making use of its 9 lives!
Over and out xx