Dear Bark: Our local shelter put out a call for foster homes for its animals during the pandemic. Four hours after thinking I’d like to help out, I was driving home with an adorable two-year old mixed-breed dog. Now what do I do?

Welcoming a new dog into your home can be wonderful, frightening, exciting, dizzying, gratifying and overwhelming—sometimes all at the same time. That emotional whiplash is especially likely when the dog arrives with so little warning. Whether you are adopting or fostering, the first few days, weeks and even months can be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier on dogs and people alike.

Whether fostering or adopting, there’s so much to say about taking in an adult dog that Patricia McConnell, PhD, and I wrote a book about this very subject. (Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home). Because anyone who just brought a new…

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