Fostering a puppy on Koh Tao

22nd August 2017

fostering puppy koh tao djl blog

Fostering a puppy and being a scuba instructor is a big job that certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly, this is my experience of fostering a 3 month old puppy on Koh Tao whilst still teaching people how to scuba dive.

First and foremost I am definitely a dog person; I am the guy who tries to pat any old dog that walks by. I am the guy who on a night out disappears only to give a belly rub to the puppy in the back room. For as long as I can remember my family has had a dog in the house and so when “PJ” passed away whilst I have been travelling it was an easy decision to help out with fostering a puppy here on Koh Tao.

I often got asked “where did you get him?” when I was walking around with my puppy and the answer is a simple one. If you were to live here in Koh Tao you would be very familiar with facebook groups such as “Koh Tao for sale” “Koh Tao Dealers” and various other pages which sell or give away pretty much anything you can think of. Everything from motorbikes to cooking appliances to puppies can be found on these pages. Whilst doing my daily morning browse on Facebook I stumbled across a post from a lady who had been fostering a couple of puppies but was leaving so needed either full time owner or another fosterer and this is where I stepped in. After some time thinking I decided to puppy proof my apartment and bring him home until I could find him a suitable person to adopt him. So where did I get him? - I got him from a Spanish lady on Facebook.

buddy the dog hayden fostered koh tao

So the first few days with my newly named puppy “buddy” were extremely educational. Fostering a puppy was much more stress than I could have ever imagined. I loved the little guy but boy oh boy was he hard work. Waking up at all hours during the night, crying if I left the house and doing his business basically wherever he wanted made for some long days.

After a few days Buddy started getting more and more confident with people and was happy playing around the dive shop whilst I was working however in reality I think In order to be a good puppy daddy I would need more time to dedicate to him. Lots of dive shops have dive shop doggies but nobody had a Buddy and within the first hour of his first shift he managed to sign up 2 girls to do their open water course.

To continue on this topic, buddy was the ultimate chick magnet. Walking around town with buddy running around my legs or having buddy’s tiny head poke out of my bag as I drove into work was a very good talking point amongst Koh Tao’s finest and to be honest, I loved it.

So as I wasn’t fully aware of where all the pet shops were on the island or if I needed to get him injections or anything like that it was a blessing that a certain lady from summer hostel was there to help out with anything I needed. Working with the animal clinic she guided me through any hurdles I was faced with and made sure buddy was getting the injections he needed.

Costs were low due to the fact that there is a lot of volunteer support around Koh Tao however I still obviously needed to buy dog food. A bag of puppy food can be bought for 65 baht or just under $3 Aussie dollars. All injections and vaccinations were done at no cost.

Land Lord issues did eventually arise as he wasn’t buddy’s biggest fan. Making sure I was actually allowed to foster a dog at my house was a silly afterthought however all ended up okay when I finally got permission to keep the little guy.

Finding a new home was the most important thing about actually fostering the little guy and so I made multiple posts on various Facebook pages and used word of mouth to get Buddy’s name out there. A couple of weeks in my care and Buddy had himself an adoptee and just like that he was out of my house and into a new home. In conclusion I don’t regret taking buddy into my care however I think I needed more free time to make sure he was okay. Scuba diving is my passion and my career and adding a puppy to the family was a learning experience. Time management became crucial. I already miss buddy but I’m glad he has a full time owner who I know will treat him very well!!