Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why I Foster

This foster dogs was nuts.
Since January 2011, I have been fostering dogs. There has been Sherman, Chloe, Alice, Kassie, Bree, Toby, Dude, and now Carter. Some have stayed a week, some more than a month. All have touched my soul in small and big ways.

Every time I foster, someone asks me why I do it. Isn't it hard? Don't you want to keep them? How can you let them go?

Sometimes it IS hard. I wanted to keep Chloe. Badly. She is now Keely and happier than all get out. Kassie hated Mina, and Dude stressed out easily. Sherman and Alice chewed on everything. Bree broke screen doors. Toby annoyed Mina with his constant bonding. Carter is the first blind dog I've fostered, so there are setbacks and adjustments.

So why do I foster?

Because I can.

Because it is right.

Because it makes me feel good.

Because it often saves a life.

Because it is, at the end of the day, a gift to myself and a gift to another.

It really is that simple for me. I invite a dog into my world and, in exchange, I am invited into theirs - what
Chloe, before she was Keely.
makes them happy, angry, sad, concerned, playful. I get to watch them transform, and I get to help pick their forever home. If I am really lucky, I get updates on them as they age in their new home.

It disrupts the girls' routine. It stresses everyone out. And it's why I take breaks between fostering, for us all to decompress. But it is not an enormous stress, and I have found ways to ensure Mina and Celeste receive the attention they need (fact is, they spend 8+ hours with me at work, so I don't feel they are THAT deprived). It does not send Mina or Celeste into a downward spiral resulting in uncontrollable rage or grief.

I hope everyone is able to foster at least once. Even if you do it once a year, you are making a difference! Or sponsor a foster dog so that rescues can continue to fund the training, enrichment, and medical care of foster dogs. And, if you ever want to adopt, the best method I know of is to foster first! I've done it twice with great success. :)

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