Tuesday, November 19, 2013


In case you missed it, the husband and I are fostering a pup named Wags.  She has been with us since September 13 (that Friday the 13th was her lucky day).  This is our first time to foster an animal.

How do I feel about fostering?

"That's not me."

No, Wags, it's not you...not anymore.

When I look at pictures like this, I feel pretty darn fantastic about fostering.  That picture on the left was taken almost exactly one year ago when Wags was picked up by BARC, the Houston animal shelter.  The picture on the right was taken in my backyard about one month ago.  It is hard to believe this is the same dog.  Pictures like this are why I have always wanted to be a doggie foster mom.

Fostering a dog is not always easy.  In fact, it is a lot of work.  I used to own one Kong toy and every now and then put a milk bone in it.  Now I own 4 that I stuff each evening with kibble and peanut butter and stash in the freezer so that I have projects to hand out to the pups.  Is that a lot of work?  No, not really.  What is a lot of work is being consistent all the time (or at least as much as possible).

When you bring home a new pup that has never lived in a home before it doesn't matter whether they are an adult dog or not; they require training just as a brand new puppy would.  Essentially you are bringing home a very large puppy.  In this case a 45 pound puppy.  Consistency is very important when you are training a puppy and it is a full time deal.  Even when you are not having a training session, you are still training them which is why consistency is so important.  That part can be very exhausting.  The reward?  Seeing the pup do the things you want them to do on cue.  That part is awesome.

The emotional side of fostering is a pretty big deal too.  I love this dog.  It makes me sad when people tell me I need to keep her.  I understand why people say that to you, but if I do keep her I am not able to save another dog like her.  I want to save another dog like her.  I want to save a lot more dogs like her.

Wags is a great dog.  She will be a wonderful addition to someone's family.  My biggest fear for when she finds her home is that she feels like she was abandoned.  I hate that thought.  That she would feel like we no longer wanted her.  I know she is a dog and her feelings are not as robust as mine, but I do know dogs feel.  I know this dog loves me, sometimes I call her Velcro dog since a lot of times she is literally attached to me.  I hate thinking she might miss me.  I know I will miss her.  The payoff of her having a forever home and family out weighs my feelings.  Completely.

If you are thinking about fostering, I recommend it.  It is hard work though, so don't expect it to be all snuggling and playing fetch.  It is rewarding work.  It is fantastic work.

You will feel thanked.

Wags is a rescue of Red Collar Rescue here in Houston.  If you think you would want to meet her you can contact them via email at info@redcollar.org.


  1. Ema, you are a wonderful foster mommy. I know that the thought of giving them up is heartbreaking but know that while she won't forget you, Wags will have a whole family to try to replace that love you give her. Keep calm and foster on!!!

  2. That was such a sweet post. Wag looks like a new dog! If Wag was my foster, I think a part of me would be hoping that nobody would want to adopt her so that I could keep her. But you're right, then you can't save other dogs. In Toronto (where I live), all the shelters are no kill. I hear it's pretty different in the States and a lot of dogs only have about 3 days to find a home. You being a foster can save so many lives. Keep up the great work and I'm so excited to see what's in store for Wag and any future fosters :)

    1. Thanks Kat! She is a new dog. I love how shiny her coat looks in that last picture!

  3. This is a wonderful post. You are such a great person for fostering and giving dog's the training and loving they need in order to be with a great family one day. I can totally understand why you'd get attached but I know that her finding her forever home will bring you great happiness! Thank you for being a foster "parent"!

    1. I will be so happy to find Wags' forever home, even while missing her!

  4. May God bless you as you show your love and kindness to God's creations!


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