Meet Amaya: A Calgary Humane Society Foster Story

Meet Amaya

Amaya is a sweet puppy who needs a little extra care before she finds her forever home. We want to share her journey with you, so follow our weekly blog series as this girl heals and grows in our Foster ProgramPlease note: Amaya is not available for adoption at this time. 


Once people find out I work for Calgary Humane Society, the first question I usually get asked is, “So, do you get to snuggle puppies and kittens all day?” No, this is usually not my job, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t get to do this sometimes. Yes, puppies and kittens are adorable, but animals that need some extra love and care is where I really like to focus my attention.

The Foster program was a no brainer for me. My partner took a little bit more convincing, especially after a few of the singleton kittens I brought home, but I think we have really gotten the hang of having an extra little fur ball in the house. We already have two dogs, a three year old boxer and a 15 year old pit bull/boxer cross, and a cat, but “What is one more animal” I said. Later, those words would come to bite me in the butt.

On Tuesday, I was told there was a puppy (cute) between six to 10 months old (cuter) and she is a French Bulldog (I literally squealed). She needed to be fostered for Demodex, which is a form of mange that can’t be transferred to other animals or humans. This particular mange can take anywhere from two months, six months or even up to a year to clear up. I had to take into consideration that this could be a very long term foster that will need a lot of extra love, attention and care.

Before I even asked the permission of my partner I knew we would be taking this puppy to become a part of our family for the time being. My message to my partner was “I will be bringing a foster home and it is a Frenchie puppy. Love you.” He has come to just accept the fact that when it comes to an animal, whether he says no or not, I will bring it home.

I found out that she travels very nicely in vehicles. She even sits up to look at me for some attention or look at the vehicles that are passing by. When I got her home, I had to introduce her to my family of fur animals. At CHS, we are very lucky to have behaviour staff who assess the dog’s behaviour. They assess the animal on how they do with being handled, their arousal levels, if they don’t mind their food or treats being taken away from them, if they are very social or more reserved, if they have prey drive and if they will get along with other dogs. She passed her behaviour assessment with flying colours and I knew she would get along with my two.

The introduction went well and they all seemed to hit it off. She was very interested in the cat however, and took her time sniffing his butt and following him while I’m sure he was wondering what the heck was going on. My boxer is a very high energy gal and literally is all legs, so when I say she can run, she can run. Now imagine a French Bulldog trying to keep up with that while trying to nip at her ankles. This provided myself, my dog and my partner endless entertainment for the evening.

When it came time for bed and if any of you have fostered, usually the first night is the hardest as it is not only an adjustment for the dog, but for the family too. I was lucky that I had my own, handy dandy, exercise partner (my dog) and the pup seemed to be pretty tired. She clearly had me fooled. The first night, I was up at 2a.m. with barking because my cat jumped off of something. I swear that I have never seen my partner and I get up at the same time so quickly. After finally falling asleep I was then woken up by crying at around 3am. She clearly needed to go to the washroom, so I quickly got her outside for her potty break. Her idea of “potty break” was to go outside, do her business and then come back inside to play. Did I mention this was at 3a.m.? I am usually a morning person, but at 3a.m., I am not. After finally getting her settled and back in the crate, I was able to go back to sleep only to be woken up again at 5a.m. I like my sleep. I am a go to bed at 10p.m., wake up at 6:30a.m. person, so you can imagine the toddler-like reaction I had. It was very similar to when your mom wakes you up for school, but you really, really, really don’t want to go to school. I really, really, really did not want to get up, but I knew that if I didn’t, there may be a not-so-pleasant surprise left for me to clean up. Again, I took her outside and we both clearly had different ideas of a “potty break.” This adorable, sweet, cute little Frenchie thought that I would love to play when clearly, I did not. She was pretty upset by this and continued to tell me all about how upset she really was.

I pride myself on being very presentable and professional at work, but trying to hide the bags under my eyes became a big problem. All I could think was, she’s very lucky she is so stinking cute. My partner took this opportune time to remind me of how earlier I had said “What’s another dog?” You can imagine the death glare I gave him.

My partner and I had the privilege of finding a name for this sweet gal. For the first day, she went by many names. Little butt, butt and stinker, just to name a few, but we knew she needed her own name. My partner is part Japanese, so we wanted to give her a Japanese name to make her a real part of the family. We finally agreed on Amaya.

Sweet, adorable, red faced Amaya has become a part of our family while we help her learn, grow, become healthy and teach her what love is all about.