Saving one dog will not save the world, but surely for that one dog the world will change forever!
~ Karen Davidson ~
A personal story of fostering....
Fears That Discourage Fostering
My fear when I started to foster was....would I be able to give that dog up?Would those dogs, that needed so much attention and love, be alright with my current dog? What if they don't get along? How much will it cost me to foster a dog?
The foster home coordinator calmed my fears very easily. Sundance CRS provides all that is needed for the foster dog. Okay, so that was one fear gone. If the dogs did not get along, well, we simply try another dog until it works. After sharing some great tips on introducing the dogs to each other, well another fear was dispelled. After the meeting I sat down with my son and our dog and we talked and decided to at least try it.
My first foster came to me full of worms, had a touch of mange, and needed love. She came in the door very shy and cautiously. My dog went over and sniffed her over. Then did something very unexpected....bowed down and tried to play with her! Okay....so one more fear was taken care of. I did my best to not let her get into my heart...but, that lasted 5 minutes. She stayed with me for about 3 weeks while she healed from the mange and got that belly full of worms out of her system. Then she was ready to be adopted. And adopted she was! She had an incredible family wanting her! When the time came to hand her over...I cried, but seeing the happiness of the family and my foster...filled my heart with so much joy and pride. Knowing I helped to join that family together...just by taking care of the foster like my own....well, I answered my biggest fear. I was able to give up the dog to their new families.
There is a saying that the Rescues use..."Fostering saves 2 lives." That means, to me anyhow...the one you foster gets adopted, there is another one out there to save.
Fostering gives you and your family a chance to bond while taking care of the dog. Children will realize the time, effort, and commitment it takes to owning a pet. Saying that I am reminded of the difference it made with my son. He was so happy to be able to help the foster dogs. He wanted to take them for walks, pet them, feed them, and love them. For a boy of 4 he was pretty wise too. When our first foster was going to her new family, he looked at me and said.."Now we can help another puppy mommy!" He was proud of the fact that he helped to make the puppy better and felt like he made a difference. Self esteem went through the roof for him, and in honesty...mine too.
I was introduced to new people that enjoyed fostering dogs as well. I was making new friends almost everyday while walking with the dogs. Boosting not only my self esteem, but my confidence as well. I began reading and learning about tricks to teach the dogs, how to walk on a leash, how to care for their wounds (inside and out), and most importantly, to open my heart to them. I was able to talk to potential adopting families about the dog their were interested in with as much knowledge as the others. It was and still is the best feeling knowing that I have a hand in letting those rescued dogs re-start their life story.
Potential Benefits of Fostering
(taken from: http://jennaandsnickers.com/2013/02/fears-benefits-fostering/)
1. Anytime and anywhere at very little cost – After passing a fairly simple background check, individuals and families can foster a pet just about anywhere. Most shelters and humane societies will select an appropriate foster pet for the home environment and resources available. Foster pets can live in apartments or houses and can be trusted to individuals or families. Available for long-term or short-term placements, shelters provide the animals with vaccinations, medicines, and other veterinary services, so the foster family is really only responsible for food and space for the foster pet.
2. A family pet try-out – Fostering a dog or cat for a brief period of time allows a family to learn a lot about owning a permanent pet in the future. For example, sharing a home with a cat for a few months helps a family to decide whether a cat is a naturally good fit as a pet for all the home’s inhabitants. Family members will discover what it is like to own and care for a pet for a brief period of time without committing to forever providing for the pet. Similarly, a family may be interested in adopting a dog, and the fostering process will allow that family to try different breeds of dogs to discover which is the most compatible with the personalities of the family members.
3. Family entertainment and enjoyment – Although dogs are especially renowned for their cuddling and playing routines, cats can be equally entertaining in their actions. Playing fetch with a dog or spending time watching a cat chase a feather are enjoyable for both the pets and the families. These pets are also an excellent excuse to take extra walks, to explore new territory, and teach the pets new tricks. Families can bond over the common care and enjoyment that the foster pet brings to the home.
4. A new community – Pet foster families often seek encouragement and support from other foster families. Housing a foster cat or dog brings unrelated people together and helps form new friendships and bonds that otherwise might not exist. Additionally, caring for foster pets brings together pet owners of all types, whether they are owners or temporary guardians. Dog parks, for example, provide a space for all pets and give an opportunity for all pet owners and guardians to meet and build new relationships.
5. Saving a life – Kennels at humane societies and shelters become overcrowded and cramped, and families can help provide homeless pets a respite from those conditions. Medium-sized and larger dogs are frequently overlooked at shelters because they may seem too big or too unruly, and these are the dogs that are more frequently euthanized and not adopted. Families who foster these dogs can effectively save these dogs’ lives while they are in the foster home.
Fostering a pet can be one of the most rewarding opportunities that a person or family can experience. Both the foster family and the pet can benefit from a unique and nurturing situation when a dog is invited temporarily into the home. Through the time spent together and the bonds that are formed, foster families have the ability to change and save the life of a dog.
Well these are pretty good reasons to foster. You have heard some of my reasons, and the article covered more.
What do you think about the possibility of being a foster home yourself?
Interested or questions: Foster application