Post # 1
My husband and I are thinking about fostering and just wondering if anyone has any experience?
We had two dogs for the last 9 years and this summer our senior dog passed away leaving out other dog all alone. We have tried to keep his busy with new training and socializing but he seems to need a doggie friend. We are thinking that fostering may be a good idea for him and also help out a local rescue. There is a local rescue that specializes in senior dogs and I thought this may be a good fit with our dog since he is about 9 years old.
Post # 3
@Lily2323: I have! I fostered about 11 dogs (um, mostly individually, though not all 😉 over the past ten years. 🙂 I have nothing but good things to say. Ask me anything you want! What are you specifically worried/concerned about?
Post # 4
I take photos of foster dogs to help them find homes and I would love to be able to foster one day. The only downside I can see is that you’ll get attached to the dog and then it’ll get adopted. 🙁 but at least it will have a happy home and you can foster more!
I say go for it.
Post # 5
I’ve fostered cats!
As long as you’re psychologically capable of letting them go to their “Forever Home”, it’s a great experience!
Post # 6
So sorry for the loss of your dog, that is such a hard thing to go through!
We have fostered a few dogs now and are waitign for another. I think it is a great thing to do and its a huge help for those dogs during the transition period. The hardest part for me is always wanting to keep them 🙂
Post # 7
@Lily2323: We ended up fostering a dog for about 8 months total.
Originally we had intended to adopt him but due to health related issues I had with him we were unable to make it a permanent thing so we agreed to foster until an opening was available. He was precious and grew so much in the little time we had time. While I was sad (heart broken really) the day we gave him back to the rescue I was at least happy to know that we made a difference and gave him a place to rehab after being abandoned.
Post # 8
My sister fostered a dog and loved her, but she was single at the time and working a lot, so it was really a drain on her life to have that responsibility. She loved the dog, but was a bit relieved when she was adopted so she could go back to her regular life. This year she and her boyfriend fostered a different dog, and then they decided to adopt her. I think it’s a great way to test the waters, especially if you’re considering making it long-term, but make sure your dog meets the other dog before you agree, so you’ll know that they’ll get along alright.
Post # 9
I have a friend who has really embraced the role of intermediary that fostering animals carries. She has little vests like those that working dogs wear which say something like “ADOPT ME!” and the name of the shelter she works with. The dogs wear it when they are out of the house; at the dog park, on walks, dining in outdoor patio spaces at restaurants, errands to the pet supply store, etc. Not only is she taking every opportunity to expose the dog to new things and teach it the manners that an adoptive family wants, but also expands the number of people who may see and want to bring that dog into their home.
She had great support in the community, everyone was looking out for her and helping the dogs she had find great homes. Even her vet would put a little blurb about the animals she had that were ready for new homes in his newsletter.
I think the “group effort” approach helps her not to have such a hard time letting them leave after they’re adopted. She definitely sees these pets as beloved projects, and she fits into to their life as the one who brings them to the mental/emotional/physical best that they can be so that their placement in a home in permanent rather than temporary.
It’s certainly no small task, but so fulfilling for those who love doing it!
Post # 10
Thanks for all the replies!!
@wrkbrk: I think I am the most concerned about being able to let the dog go after getting attached. Does it make it easier knowing that they are going to their forever home? and what about my dog that will get used to another dog and then they will leave? Will he be ok?
@Dogsbody92: getting attached is my biggest concern.
@WillowTreeWade: thank you so much, I hope I can have your attitude 🙂
@shaka: I love your friends ideas! It sounds like she does great thinks for the rescue!
Post # 11
@Lily2323: I totally get the part about being afraid of becoming attached, that really is the hardest part. I am on the board of an animal rescue roup and we call it a “foster fail” when the foster parent adopts. Not in a really serious dramatic way, everyone is happy when an animal gets its forever home but in most cases that also means that the former foster home can no longer be an available future foster home (just due to space). I always knew I was doing the best thing for the animals by letting them go to their forever homes and leaving that space in my home for future situations where the just need a place to stay for a while.
Post # 12
I’m fostering a dog right now! He’s a retired racing greyhound. He’s my first foster, and its been a really great experience! He’s going to his forever home next weekend, and I’m hoping I deal with it ok. I’m away at school and got placed a rural placement about an hour away from anyone I knew, so he has been great company and has really cured my lonliness. The first 2 weeks or so were quite an adjustment for both of us. We had to make our own schedule and get used to each other. I also had to teach him what it was like to live in a house (potty training, feeding schedules, crated while I’m at the office etc) but I’ve really seen his personality come out lately. He’s been with me for about 8 weeks now.
I’ve packed him a little bag to take to his forever home with his favourite toys (a kong, peanut butter, squeaky tennis balls and a ham bone) so hopefully he can settle in a little easier with some things that were familiar to him. I’ve also given his new parents a letter with my contact details, so hopefully they stay in touch and send updates.
I’m not in a position to keep a dog right now. I’m living overseas, I move every semester and I don’t have a stable house or work schedule. I never know what the next semester will bring, so adopting him is not an option, and I think having that mind set, and really putting him out there to be adopted (we went to alot of the rescue events and i tried to introduce him to as many dog people as I could) helps me psychologically prepare for next weekend when we say goodbye. I will miss the little stinker, but its been a great experience and I got to help a sweet dog get to his retirement home.
Post # 13
@Lily2323: I’ve fostered both dogs and cats. Honestly, I’ve cried every time I’ve given them up to their forever home. Luckily, in most cases I’ve kept in touch with the adopters and get regular updates on how they’re doing. It helps to know that they’re being well loved and cared for. I adopted a dog that was fostered by another family and I can say that I do the same thing- I send pictures, send status updates and I’m so thankful our pup had such loving fosters when he was so little.
I can say you will definitely get attached. The way I try and think about it is, I’d rather cry letting them go to a forever home, than cry because I knew I didn’t rescue them from being euthanized.
Fostering is challenging but so rewarding.
Post # 14
@Lily2323: YES!! We just picked up our second foster dog this weekend!! The first one we had for a little over one month and then he found his forever home! YAY! It is so rewarding!! I cried a little when we handed over the first one (an 8 year old Great Pyrenees), but I knew he was going to a loving home and would be getting all the love he deserves in his final years!! The person that adopted him has also thanked us for taking such good care of him and that is so heartwarming to hear and confirms that what we are doing is so worthwhile for us and for the dogs!!
The article below is so dead on!! It’s worth a read!!
Shoot me a message if you have any questions!
Post # 15
You would be giving a wonderful gift if you foster! I had the same fears about attachment,for both myself and my forever dog. Then I realized that the only reason my dog was alive was because she was fortunate to have been fostered! I live in Miami, Fl where the County shelter euthanizes 20,000 animals a year. My dog was a Shepherd mixed breed with an amputated foot – she didn’t have very good chances being adopted. Her foster family saved her life By giving her precious time to be adopted. I then decided to foster a dog- and while I thought the foster pup was wonderful, I knew my mission was to find her a forever home so saying goodbye wasn’t terrible. I actually met my fiance through fostering! We did end up keeping one foster because his injuries were so severe. We are so passionate about it we started a rescue organization this year! -Save the Strays Foundation (www.savethestraysfoundation.org). We have so far found homes for 7 dogs- and we have also had our foster homes become “foster flops”. We need more foster homes but even if we lose one because they’ve adopted the dog, we are happy to have found a “forever home” for the dog. My own dog passed away from cancer 5 months ago- and every dog we find a home for I whisper to her is in her honor.
Post # 16
@Lily2323: Hi! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! I thought I would have that problem too, and I didn’t. Not at all. I think it’s because I worked it out with the shelters I fostered for that I GOT TO CHOOSE (interview, etc) the family my foster dogs went to. I was waaaaaay more strict in my screening than the shelter would have been (understandably so, they have hundreds of dogs to place and I had one, etc). I kept in touch for a long time with the families who ended up getting my doggies 🙂 I really liked and trusted them all. And thinking about where the dogs came from … it was just a happy situation all around, and I felt like I really was making a difference for the dogs so I was not too sad to let them go to their forever homes 😉
As far as my dogs getting along with them, I guess that’s up to your individual situation. At the time I only had two dogs (now I have four!) and they were easy going so I didnt have any problems. I dont think I could do it now, though, given the tempermant of my jack russell and the fact that I am gone from the house at work SO MUCH MORE than I used to be. It helped that I was home a lot to spend time with the motly crew 😉