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I just bought home a rescue dog DL!

I decided to foster a dog, not sure of his age but they think he is between 1 or 2 years old and he is a German shepherd, I don’t know much about his background except his owner surrendered him because he was leaving the country for work and his name is supposedly Big Boy which I’m not fond of.

He is currently walking around sniffing the place and getting acclimated after enduring a long drive from Alabama to Florida.

by Anonymousreply 29April 3, 2024 12:35 AM

Pictures, please.

by Anonymousreply 1April 2, 2024 1:23 AM

Make sure you don't give him fleas or rabies, OP.

by Anonymousreply 2April 2, 2024 1:25 AM

OP, bestiality isn't prohibited in your state, but you still shouldn't do it.

by Anonymousreply 3April 2, 2024 1:26 AM

Pics or it didn’t happen.

by Anonymousreply 4April 2, 2024 1:31 AM

Good for you, OP!! And good luck with the fostering. You're doing a wonderful thing.

by Anonymousreply 5April 2, 2024 1:31 AM

If you don’t like his name, OP, change. Dogs associate their name more with their owners.

by Anonymousreply 6April 2, 2024 1:40 AM

OP congratulations on your adoption and lifetime commitment! What are you planning to name your pup? I like Fritz, short monosyllabic and sensitive to the dog's heritage.

by Anonymousreply 7April 2, 2024 1:41 AM

R6, if OP is temporarily fostering an Alabamanian dog, it’s best to keep to the given name or just “Baby”. Dogs love “Baby”.

by Anonymousreply 8April 2, 2024 1:43 AM

In a nod to his Alabama roots, how about naming him Banjo?

by Anonymousreply 9April 2, 2024 1:44 AM

R10 we can name the dog "Deliverance" in order of Ned Beatty's rape scene!

by Anonymousreply 10April 2, 2024 1:52 AM

Well done, OP!

Remember to give him decompression time: no public spaces for awhile. Look up the rule of threes for bringing home a shelter pet.

by Anonymousreply 11April 2, 2024 2:04 AM

Now he 's going to need a pasture of Germans to Shepard.

by Anonymousreply 12April 2, 2024 2:09 AM

OP, is he a rescue dog?

by Anonymousreply 13April 2, 2024 3:41 AM

Buy a sturdy hairbrush. You may not believe how much a Shepherd can shed.

by Anonymousreply 14April 2, 2024 3:44 AM

The biggest dog I ever fostered, and also my favorite foster of all time, was 120lb Bluetick Coonhound named Hoss (I’m in Texas).

Whoever adopted him never let us know how he was doing, as was often the case. However, not knowing where Hoss was or whether he was happy really got to me, and I only fostered a couple more times after that.

If you adopt a fostered dog, please drop the fosterer a line (and a pic if you’re feeling generous) to let them know that the animal is loved. I remember every dog I ever fostered. The ones I never heard about again, which was the majority, are the ones I lie in bed thinking about, and I probably always will. Just a note would mean so much.

by Anonymousreply 15April 2, 2024 4:33 AM

Congratulations! I did it three years ago and my rescue is the love of my life.

by Anonymousreply 16April 2, 2024 4:50 AM

The ones I never heard about again, which was the majority, are the ones I lie in bed thinking about

Maybe this business is too harsh for you.

by Anonymousreply 17April 2, 2024 4:56 AM

A reason I won’t foster baby gays, R17.

“His dick was huge and had sores on it? Did you at least get his wallet? Steal his phone?”

by Anonymousreply 18April 2, 2024 5:16 AM

Sell it to the Chinese restaurant with the highest bid.

by Anonymousreply 19April 2, 2024 5:28 AM

What r11 said. So important. German Shepherds can be such sweet dogs.

by Anonymousreply 20April 2, 2024 5:40 AM

My father, a Jew who fought in WWII, impressed on his children how mean a breed German Shepherds were. The things you learn as a child.

by Anonymousreply 21April 2, 2024 7:46 AM

Sorry OP but that was not a good idea.

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by Anonymousreply 22April 2, 2024 7:51 AM


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by Anonymousreply 23April 2, 2024 8:19 AM

German Shepherds are incredibly sweet dogs if treated with kindness and love. They are very protective of their humans. My family had one when I was little, and I loved that dog. He bonded with me and my mother more than the rest of the family, but he loved us all. I could go anywhere unsupervised with the dog with complete confidence. He needed a lot of exercise, so we used to go walking for hours. If anyone had approached me he would have gone crazy. At home he just wanted cuddles. I was heartbroken when he died.

by Anonymousreply 24April 2, 2024 8:20 AM

They are wonderful pets who enjoy surprising people. I swear they laugh to themselves.

I used to visit friends who had a badly lit yard and a terraced lawn high enough to where their GS could poke her head into my drivers side window when I pulled up. I’d get my things together, turn my head to roll up the window, and get a huge kiss in the face.

A few times, smoking in their back yard at night, I’d feel something bonk against my junk and just stay there. Then, I’d notice her tail wagging (she was a very dark colored GS).

by Anonymousreply 25April 2, 2024 9:13 AM

Update : poor Big boy was hungry I’m not sure if they fed him before the long drive but it made me sad to see him wolfing food down like an urchin.

He is sweet but has a few habits that need adjustment for example he loves jumping on furniture and my bed which I don’t allow my dog a GSD to do. I will see about some obedience training with a trainer we have used in the past.

He spent the entire day in my office with me while I worked.

by Anonymousreply 26April 2, 2024 11:40 PM

Lucchese is not the world’s cutest dog. Picked up as a stray somewhere in Texas, he is scruffy and, as one person aptly observed online, looks a little like Steve Buscemi. (It’s the eyes.)

Isabel Klee, a professional influencer in New York City, had agreed to keep Lucchese, or Luc, until he found a forever home. Fosters such as Klee help move dogs out of loud and stressful shelters so they can relax and socialize before moving into a forever home. (The foster can then take on a new dog, and the process restarts.) Klee began posting about Luc on TikTok, as many dog fosters do. “I fell in love with him, and the internet fell in love with him,” she told me over the phone earlier this month. “Every single video I posted of him went viral.” In one such video, which has attained nearly 4 million views since it was published in October, Klee’s boyfriend strokes Luc, who is curled up into his chest like a human infant. The caption reads, “When your foster dog feels safe with you 🥲🫶.”

Beneath this post are comments such as “this is so special 🥹🥹” and “Wow my heart 😩❤️❤️.” And then there are others: “If this story doesn’t end with you adopting him I’m going to SCREAM FOREVER,” and “If you don’t adopt him already, I will slice you into dozens of pieces.”

The idea behind Klee’s posts, as with any foster’s, is to generate attention to help a rescue dog find their forever home: More eyeballs means more possible adopters. But something strange also tends to happen when these videos are posted. Even when the comment sections are mostly positive, a subset of commenters will insist that the foster dog shouldn’t go anywhere—that people like Klee are doing something wrong by searching for the dog’s forever home. Sure, some of the comments are jokes. (Klee seemed generally unbothered by them in our conversation: “I don’t think people have any ill will toward me or the situation,” she said.) But others don’t seem to be. “We frequently get absurd comments like ‘these dogs are forming lifelong bonds with you, only to be abandoned again and have social anxiety and abandonment PTSD,’” April Butler, another dog foster and content creator, who runs a TikTok account with more than 2 million followers, told me over email.

Becoming a dog foster effectively means signing up to be a pseudo–content creator, if you aren’t, like Klee and Butler, one already: You are actively working to interest your audience in adoption by taking photos and videos of your temporary pup looking as cute as possible. You could opt out of the circus entirely, but doesn’t that sweet, nervous dog deserve every bit of effort you can muster? The whole thing is a neat summary of the odd social-media economy: People post, and audiences feel entitled to weigh in on those posts, even when the conversation becomes completely unmoored from anything resembling reality. Even when the subject at hand is something as inoffensive and apolitical as animal fostering.

nt blocks that the algorithm gobbles up. The content economy cycles onward.

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by Anonymousreply 27April 3, 2024 12:32 AM

Of course, people have long been unusually cruel on social media. Last year, my colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany reported on how strangers have unabashedly trolled the relatives of dead people, even children, over their vaccine status, suggesting that something about this brutality is endemic to the social web: “As much talk as there has been about whether or not social media has caused political polarization by steering people in certain directions and amplifying certain information with out-of-control algorithms (an assumption that recent scientific research calls into question), it’s useful to remember that even the most basic features of a social website are conducive to the behavior we’re talking about.” Psychologists note the “online disinhibition effect,” whereby people act with less restraint when they’re writing to others over the internet. Even the worst comments on dog-fostering videos pale in comparison with the harassment and even real-life violence that has resulted from other abuse on social media.

Posting cute little videos of dogs in need—the internet’s bread and butter, really—can draw some low-grade cyberbullying. People who’d never accuse a dog foster to their face of being heartless apparently have no problem sending such messages on Instagram. Algorithms, optimizing for engagement, can encourage public pile-ons. What once might’ve been a conversation among family, friends, and neighbors suddenly reaches a new scale as feeds blast out local dog-foster posts around the country and the world (which is, of course, partly the point). People who have no connection to that particular region, or intention to adopt, suddenly have opinions about where the dog should end up, and can share them.

Users seem to be developing a parasocial relationship with these animals. “People can get very connected to these dogs they see online,” Jen Golbeck, who teaches information studies at the University of Maryland and fosters dogs herself, told me. She explained that followers on social media see “the selfless sacrifice, the care, the love that fosters give to the dogs,” only to feel betrayed when they hear that the dog is moving along in the system. Social media encourages these parasocial dynamics time and time again. Fans project onto the personal lives of beloved celebrities, bullying their enemies until the celeb has to release a statement telling people to back off. Average teenagers find themselves becoming a trending topic for millions; hordes of people speculate about a missing Kate Middleton, only to have her come forward and reveal a cancer diagnosis.

I started fostering last fall, and since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about influencer creep—a term coined by the media scholar Sophie Bishop to describe how so many types of work now involve constantly keeping up with social platforms. In an essay for Real Life magazine, Bishop writes about expectations to post and post and post, coupled with “the on-edge feeling that you have not done enough” to promote yourself online. This creep now touches even volunteer work. Though I’ve never been bullied, I find myself contemplating the same double bind that haunts so much of online life: post, and risk all the negative consequences of posting, or don’t post, and risk missing out on all the opportunities that come with reaching a larger audience.

by Anonymousreply 28April 3, 2024 12:34 AM

Some commenters may be acting out of genuine concern for animal welfare, but their moral case is limited. Research suggests that even temporarily putting a shelter dog in foster care improves their stress levels and sleep. “I highly doubt moving from a foster home to an adoptive home is anywhere as stressful as returning to and living in the shelter,” Lisa Gunter, a professor at Virginia Tech and one of the study’s authors, told me over email. “Caregivers and their homes increase shelters’ capacity for care. To ask caregivers to adopt their animals reduces shelters’ ability to help dogs in their community.” Lashing out on behalf of a dog can have the effect of diminishing the human on the other side of the screen—dropping a foster dog off at their new home is difficult enough without a Greek chorus of internet strangers harassing you.

And explaining this, it turns out, is another content opportunity. Some creators have recently taken to making moving montages set to wistful music such as Phoebe Bridgers’s “Scott Street.” As the sad music swells, they flash clips of recent foster pets, pointing out that they had to say goodbye to each dog in order to meet the next one.

Butler’s version, which she posted after receiving “hundreds and hundreds” of comments and messages encouraging her to keep a foster named Addie, got nearly 5 million views. The comment section here is much friendlier. Perhaps social media can help educate and move the fostering conversation along. Or maybe the fostering conversation is just more fodder, content blocks that the algorithm gobbles up. The content economy cycles onward.

by Anonymousreply 29April 3, 2024 12:35 AM
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