Is your life ordered and normal? House tidy in general? Routine set in place on a daily basis? Time on your hands?
Well what I am about to tell you could change all that!! It has for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
As I have mentioned in many previous blogs, we have not long joined the ranks of dog fosterers worldwide.
I struggled with where to start on this topic, as I am so passionate about it, everything just wanted to spill out all at once in a mildly comprehensible babble, so I had to stop and really think about the important things I wanted to say.
The way it is said, should hopefully convey the feelings behind the words….So here goes…
WHY PEOPLE FOSTER?
Because there are so many dogs and cats out there that deserve a second chance. They have mostly had a rough time, been abused, neglected, unloved, un-cared for and then to add insult to injury..rejected.
If you look closer at the reasons why this has happened to them, you would in most cases find out something really important-They did nothing wrong. The people who foster want to help the ones who can’t help themselves.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ANIMALS IN NEED OF FOSTER?
There are many reasons, but this is the main one-People are ignorant!
Pets are dumped, surrendered and abused because their owners lacked something, whether it be knowledge, time or care. My favourite reasons include the following:
“I didn’t know how big it would get and we don’t want a big dog” Do a little research before pretending to commit to an animal huh?
“We had a baby, so the dog has to go” Did you forget you had a dog when you planned the baby or the other way around?
“We are moving to a house that can’t have dogs” Why? Couldn’t you find a house that allows dogs? There are plenty out there.
“I am bored with the dog. It’s old and I want a puppy” Well you shouldn’t have either!!!!
I believe there are some valid reasons for animals requiring foster, which include-…Death. Nope-That’s it. The only one (with the small exception of near death and can no longer physically look after.)
WHAT DOES FOSTERING ENTAIL?
You simply open your heart and home to an animal in need. Using a reputable rescue organisation, you are assigned dogs to care for. You feed them, keep them safe, transport them if required and love them. The rescue organisation will do all paperwork, make all the arrangements for applicants to adopt and take care of vet costs etc. As Foster carer, you can choose to have a say in the home the dog/cat goes to by meeting with the applicants before adoption too.
WHAT ANIMALS CAN YOU FOSTER?
Lots! There are heaps of organisations set up out there with animals in desperate need of fostering. There are a lot of dog breed specific rescues too, so if huskies pull your heart-strings, labradors are your style or you’re a sucker for bitsa, you can choose. You can also choose the age and size of the animals you help save, and even the sex (although they are all desexed before fostering).
All the animals are also vet-checked, micro-chipped and vaccinated before the stork drops them off.
And all that said…here is my personal account of the subject….
Above are pictures of the beautiful dogs we have fostered so far…..Starting with Harmony, Nala, Elvira and currently Zodiac…
..Aren’t they just amazing!
Fostering changes your life for the better. Sure there are moments when your new foster puppy has dragged your favourite soft toy off the bed and across the loungeroom floor, when they have chewed up the odd shoe, have a growl at the resident dogs, don’t do what they’re told, but then they look at you. Those sad remorseful eyes should be used in times of war. They are the best weapon I’ve ever seen, reducing a person to a whimpering mess.
-Those moments are outweighted tenfold by the good things they bring into your life.
-The first time this timid foster dog comes to you for a pat or falls asleep at your feet, because they trust you.
-The first time they sit and lie down for you with a treat, because nobody has ever taught them anything before you were there for them.
-The first time you can walk away from toys or food and know it is safe because they have learnt boundaries from you.
All of this, and the knowledge that you have saved a life, which may otherwise have been wasted because nobody else took the time to care.
The question I get asked the most of all is this…”Is it hard to let them go?” Simply-YES. It is very hard, but you do it knowing that they are going to a good home.
A home where they will be loved. A place where they will be safe. It leaves a space in your home to do it all over again and again and again.
I know that one day we will be ‘Foster failures’ (adopting our own foster dogs) but until that day I will pretend to remain strong in front of the new adopting parents and shed a few tears when I get home. Each foster leaves it’s mark on your heart and home, and these are the moments you remember with a smile.
Soooo…If you think your home is right for a foster, please consider. There are links to two fabulous organisations on the left hand side of this page to start with.
It really is it’s own reward.