If you’re looking for a sign to foster an animal through a local shelter or rescue group, here it is. One of the main reasons I hear as to why animal-lovers don’t bring a foster animal into their home is that it’s “too hard” or “I could never give them up.” I get that. I genuinely and truly understand that to the very core of my being. It IS hard!
This is me dropping Kilo back off at the shelter after only one week. I could only commit to a one-week “foster field trip” because I had some board and train commitments coming up. I tried my best to get him adopted before I had to bring him back to the shelter, but it didn’t happen. So I held it together at drop off, then fell to pieces back in the car.
I don’t share this to say “look at what it does to me,” because any one that loves animals understands that fostering is HARD. I share it to say even though it’s hard, it’s worth it! Let me show you what Kilo got out of that one week at my home:
- He got a chance to learn more house manners and increase his chances of success in his new home
- He got a chance to get out of the busy and noisy shelter environment and relax in a comfy, quiet home
- He got a chance to sleep in his own crate with his own cozy bed
- He got a chance to experience a big back yard and zoomie around with my dogs, and learned some valuable social skills
- He got a chance to go on leashed walks around my neighborhood and at the park
- He got a chance to visit PetSmart and pick out his own toy and learn what it looks like to behave in public
- He got a chance to cuddle on the couch while we watched tv at night and try a piece of my chicken sandwich
- He got a chance to experience being a “pet” for a week and I got a chance to see what he’s like in a home environment, which is valuable information for potential adopters!
Was it hard for me to let him go? Absolutely. I’ve cried over every single foster I’ve ever had, even when I know they’re going to incredible homes. But it’s not about me. It’s about what I can do for that precious little soul in the time I have to give it.
I understand fostering isn’t for everyone. Some dogs may not be a good fit for my current dogs and it would be too stressful for them. Sometimes circumstances simply don’t allow it. I don’t want to make anyone feel guilty for not being able to foster. There are many factors at play and I can’t always make it happen either. But if you’re able and have been thinking about it, but hesitate because it would be emotionally difficult, just do it. It will be difficult. But it will be worth it for the good it does for that one dog!
Interested in fostering but don’t know where to start? Contact your local rescues! If you’re local to the Montgomery Area, here are some organizations I know and love:
Helping Shepherds of Every Color Rescue