The joys of fostering

by Hilary Bentley • Posted in: Adoptions, Foster, Rescue

I don’t know who (if anyone) is reading this blog, but it dawned on me that our posts about the dozen pups we are fostering might actually be scaring people who hadn’t fostered but were considering it. Tales of middle of the night feedings and nursing sick puppies can be daunting. But it is isn’t just large litters that need fostering. We’ve had around 90 foster dogs in the last several years. Many of those were happy, healthy, well behaved dogs who fit in seamlessly with our own two dogs. Having two dogs is easier than having one, and having three isn’t any different than having two. And adding a new dog to your household can be like having your own puppy playday.

Some dogs need fostering for just a day or two, almost like just having a sleepover at your house. Some might need longer foster care. APA! is willing to work with you for whatever you have time for and feel comfortable with. Maybe you don’t currently have a dog but are considering adopting one. What better way to see if a dog fits your lifestyle than by taking a dog for a few days? The fact that fostering that dog saves it’s life is more than just icing on the cake. I am often asked if it is hard to see the dogs I have fostered go live with their forever home. I always say it is bittersweet. There are tears shed for every dog that leaves my home. But they are in part tears of joy. You remember the fate they were destined for when you took them in and see the happy home they are going to now. You get photos of doggy birthday parties, vacations at the beach and adoring children hugging your beloved foster. You get emails from people telling you the quirky things their dog does and how they can’t believe they ever had a life before her/him. We have foster family reunions and see litter mates play together like puppies again, dogs once victimized by abuse now strong and confident, dogs once sick and facing death now playing with the joy and enthusiasm of a puppy. And you look in the eyes of a dog and see a life you saved and see all the thanks you’ll ever need there, and then you see it again and hear it from their forever family. I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but none so important or as rewarding as fostering a dog.

A joyful good morning greets a foster family!

An enthusiastic "good morning" greets a foster family!

3 Responses to "The joys of fostering"

  1. mminncsays: August 9, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I wish everyone on Earth cared for the animals with the same compassion as you and all the other people who write here! I’m in NC and have 4 rescued dogs and one rescued squirrel (she’s 10 years old this month). I look at this site several times every day checking up on all the dogs.

  2. jp1113says: August 11, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I echo these sentiments wholeheartedly! Fostering a dog, be it for a week or a month, brings such great rewards for BOTH parties! Since I’ve begun fostering, giving and receiving unconditional love from animals who were once doomed to be euthanized has expanded my heart tremendously. To those who say “Oh, I could never foster, because it would be too hard to let them go”, know this is a normal response, because if you are considering fostering, you have a tender soul. But, please look at the greater good: dogs live in the moment (we could learn a thing or two from them!) and adjust well to new environments. By exercising the selflessness required by foster parents, we grow as well. Plus, then you will be able to foster even MORE dogs in need!

  3. 3dachsyladysays: August 12, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve no idea whose writing the blogs about the puppies, etc., but I can assure you, I read this blog several times a week. It makes me smile. It makes me cry. But I can’t help myself nor can I stay away. I’m pulled to it. It’s a “must read” for me. Don’t ever feel like you’re “writing to the wind”. You’re absolutely not. There are probably many who read your blogs, but who don’t leave responses. But — we’re out here!! You are not alone !!!