I am so flattered to have been asked to do a guest post. Christina gave me a wide range of options to talk about, and even though I love to advocate for pit bulls and other misunderstood breeds, I wanted to use this opportunity to promote fostering. After all, it’s the reason I started blogging and also quite possibly my biggest source of pride.
I have always been a dog lover and fostering was just a natural way for me to help out. It is the easiest (and generally cheapest!) way to make the most impact. By agreeing to foster, you are not only saving the life of that dog, but also countless others. Why? Because by keeping that dog out of the shelter, you are essentially keeping a spot open for another dog to hang out in until he gets adopted or a foster family comes along. People don’t always realize this, but because the pet over population problem is so rampant, countless dogs are put down every single day, usually for no other reason than the shelter was full and there simply was no longer room to house them. It’s heartbreaking, wrong, and most of all, preventable. But that’s a whole other topic, for another day, so I better get back on track: fostering!
The thing I most commonly hear from people when I tell them about fostering is, “Oh I couldn’t do that. I would fall in love and keep them!” Well, if you’re doing it right, you better fall in love! But the thing is, I choose to look at the idea of keeping the dog as a selfish act. Why? Because if I choose to keep that dog, just because it would be sad to say goodbye, I am also actively choosing to stop fostering and then how many dogs will die because I can no longer foster? That puts it in a new light, doesn’t it? Sure, it will be hard to say goodbye, but is it as sad as thinking of the lives that you could help, but won’t because you chose to keep that one dog? For me, it’s a big “NO!”
All of that said, it is also okay to “foster fail” and end up adopting your foster, which I actually have done once. Most of the time when you are fostering, the dog will only be in your home for a couple of weeks to a couple of months, before they are adopted. I had been fostering my Maggie for over a year, had had zero suitable inquiries, and was getting ready to move hours away from the rescue she was part of. We made the decision to make her a permanent member of our family and we’ve never once regretted it. Since the move we are still getting settled in but soon we will hop back on the fostering train and start saving more lives again!
I’d like to share with everyone the main things you need to know about fostering. This is actually taken from a post I did a few months back, but I still love it because it just captures everything in my humble opinion. So, without further ado, everything you need to know about fostering:
You will step in poop.
You’re also probably going to get some on your hands, because eventually you will use a bag with a tiny tear at the bottom that you won’t notice until it’s too late.
You will be a hero.
You will spend many sleepless nights as your foster dog learns to adjust to his new home.
You will have bags under your eyes, you’ll skip the gym, and you’ll gain 10 lbs.
Your foster dog will adore you despite what the scale says.
Your favorite shoes will be destroyed. Your couch will be shredded. Your clothes perpetually covered in dog hair.
People will look at you in awe as you tell them how you saved this dog’s life.
Your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will convert from pictures of you at clubs and parties, to pictures of your foster dog. Your friends will call you “the crazy dog lady”.
You will feel the most fulfilled you ever have in your life.
Your Saturdays will go from football tailgates to adoption events. You will skip trips to the beach to take your foster dog for a meet and greet with a potential adopter instead.
You will become addicted to saving lives.
You will get frustrated, you will cry, you will want to give up.
You won’t because this life depends on you.
You will get angry when you can’t understand how someone could do this to such an innocent creature.You will get angry when a friend chooses to buy a puppy instead of adopting one. You will begin to view humans as lesser beings for the cruelty you see them inflict.
You will speak up and begin to be the voice of change.
Most of all, your heart will break as you say goodbye to your foster dog when he finds his forever family. You will have fallen helplessly in love with him. You held him when he hurt. You taught him to trust. You invested your heart and soul into this dog and, under your careful care, he blossomed.
You will repeat the cycle and save another.
Every dog, and therefore every fostering experience, will be different. It likely will be easier than this. It might be harder. I promise you though, the amount of joy and love you will experience is indescribable. Mere words cannot express the feeling you will get when you see your former foster dog, full of life and happiness, bringing joy to his new family. If not for you, that life wouldn’t even exist. And that family, who is now whole, would have been forever missing a piece of themselves.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Morgan from Temporary Home, Permanent Love, you can visit the blog or the facebook page. On another note, the blog will be moving tomorrow so don’t worry if you notice a change in the layout.
I use Grammarly’s free online plagiarism checker because I like watching the animation of the paper and pencil going over the article.