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 firstname.lastname@example.org.