While it is a great kindness to offer love to someone who needs it, I will not turn this into a dissertation on how, without foster families, rescues cannot help animals in need. We already know this and, if you are one of those who for whatever reason is not able to foster, it is not my intention to make you feel bad. I have been there too.
I have fostered several times in the past. Some of the dogs fit in well with my dog Mickey and some not so well. For the record, I loved all of my foster dogs but when the right homes came along, I found it pretty easy to let them go – much easier than I would have thought. Somehow I knew they were not meant to be mine.
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans – they often go awry. And my plans were thrown into complete chaos this past October when I attended an event and met a dog named Dan. He was there with a local Animal Control unit in hopes of finding a home. I learned he had been seized along with seven other dogs in a cruelty case and had spent many months in the pound. His siblings had been adopted but he remained.
In spite of everything though, nothing seemed to faze him. He enjoyed being petted, walked obediently on his leash and greeted everyone he met with a smile and a tail that never stopped wagging. One of the vendors even offered him some chicken soup which he happily lapped up from a cup.
As the days passed, I found myself thinking about him more and more, looking at the shelter website and making some inquiries. Finally I asked one of the rescues I volunteer with, Furry Friends Foster and Rescue, Inc., if it would be willing to pull him from the pound if I agreed to foster. The rescue said yes!
First, though we had to make sure he and our dogs would get along. My boyfriend and I took our two dogs to the pound to meet him and everyone seemed fine. It was a done deal. We decided right then to give fostering another try. I notified the rescue which then made an appointment to spring him. About a week later I gave Dan his freedom ride.
Dan likely has had no real training or socialization but he is sweet, smart and tries hard to please. He will take time and work but I believe he has tons of potential.
He is funny and goofy and his head is a little too big for his body. He runs clumsily and his whole body wiggles when he is happy. He can be a bit pushy but Mickey doesn’t seem to mind – in fact they really seem to like each other and Dan will learn his manners eventually.
I guess my point in all of this is, if you have the home, the heart, the love and you are on the fence, fostering is worth a try. If you’ve had a bad experience or two, it is worth trying again. Having a reputable rescue behind you makes things a lot easier. Everything is provided for you – food, supplies, medical care and any support you may need.
Yes, you will get attached. And yes, it can be hard to let them go. But sometimes, if you’re lucky, you find one that you’ll never let go. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find just what you need when you didn’t even know you needed it. I certainly was not looking to adopt another dog but then a sweet, lonely senior boy that no one else seemed to want adopted me.
He waited seven years but his wait is over. Dan is finally home and we could not be happier.