Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Joy of Fostering

My Mom has a new article out on about fostering. I don't know where she gets off writing about fostering. She's not very good at it. In fact, she flunked fostering. That's how I got my live-in Broke-bark mountain boyfriend, Lamby. He's my white hot pufta, my cotton candy man, my fluffynutty ball of love. When I'm on top of him I'm on a cloud. Cloud mine.

The Joy of Fostering click here to read

Are you missing the company of a dog but are reluctant to take on the full responsibility? Maybe you live in a smallish apartment or are worried about the burden of unexpected veterinary bills. Or perhaps you recently lost your dog but aren’t ready for a full-time dog. Well, there is a way to enjoy doggie companionship and help a dog in need on a temporary basis; it’s called fostering. Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding ways to get that sublime dog love without having the full responsibility of life-long guardianship.

The author with Jinky and Lamby, the foster boy who won’t ever leave

Here’s how it works:
You give: a temporary crash pad, some food, water, a little exercise and love.
You get: lots of tail wags, wet nose kisses, dog hugs and that emotionally satisfying feeling of having saved a life.

Sadly, every year, four million companion animals are killed in our nation’s shelter system. The lucky ones who survive are saved by a network of rescue organizations that bail dogs out of the pound. Until those dogs are placed in their forever homes, they need a safe and emotionally supportive place to recover from their ordeal of anguish, abandonment and sometimes, injuries. That haven, where a lonely dog can heal his broken heart and learn to trust humans again could be your home for as little as a couple of days. Sometimes it takes a few months for a harder to place dog like a pit bull mix or a senior dog.

Rescue organizations usually have a website and a location where they show the dogs and conduct interviews with potential guardians. A foster dog is usually picked up by volunteers every weekend for appointments and returned in the evening until a suitable home is secured. Rescue organizations could not function without foster homes— fosters are special people who are an integral part of the rescue system. It’s simple; if there were more reliable foster guardians, more dogs could be saved from the pound.

An advantage of fostering is that you can choose the kind of doggie experience that suits you best. A good rescue organization will tailor your foster experience to your (and the dog’s) particular needs. For example; if you are a high energy person who wants to jog or likes to take long walks, you can arrange to foster an active, athletic dog. If you are the type of person who likes to stay home in the evenings and watch TV, you can arrange to foster a senior dog or an injured dog who will be happy to sit with you by the fire. If you have more free time and love puppies, you can arrange for that too. There is a perfect dog for every foster mom or dad.

Yet another advantage of fostering is that if you are looking for your dog of a lifetime, this is a smart way to meet different dogs, helping them along into their new homes until that magic moment happens. One night, you’ll be lying next to each other in bed and your foster dog will look deep into your eyes and sigh sweetly. You’ll return his gaze and reach out to him. You’ll feel a surge in your heart. You’ll know. You’ll tell yourself, no one else is good enough for this dog. You’ll hold him close and you’ll tell him the magic words, “you’re mine forever. I love you.”

At that moment, you will join an exclusive club, the elite corps of failed foster parents. I’ll tell you a secret: failure never felt so good.

Carole Raphaelle Davis is the author of “The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife.” Website:


Blogger rita said...

Oh, Carole, I failed fostering too! I had a couple of Yorkies (for a week or so each, before they went on to their Forever homes) before I picked up Zippy, a little Yorkie Wannabe someone had found in a shelter because--get this--his owners got a new puppy that didn't like Zippy, so poor Zip was tied to a tree in the back yard for who knows how long. I already had 3 dogs, all elderly with problems, and I'd sworn not to get another dog till they were gone.

But Zippy sat on my lap while I drove him the 3 hours home, and by the time we got home, he was mine. We both knew it.

He's my baby, and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

10:14 AM  
Blogger My Cat Ranch said...

I am a foster failure too. It is so easy to fall in love with each and every one of the animals we foster. We have fostered several hundred animals, so I am glad we only failed a few times. ;)

We are always looking for more people willing to foster a dog, cat, and even small animals!

Our latest big rescue, was what we call our Great Guinea Pig Pound Rescue. We have a waiting list of people wanting to adopt a rescued Guinea Pig. The local animal control does not adopt out anything but cats and dogs. All other owner surrendered animals are killed. I told the local animal control that I wanted them to let me know the next time they had a Guinea Pig surrendered. On Friday, March 28, 2008 I got a phone call to come and get 24 Guinea Pigs that someone was at the pound surrendering. I told her I did not think I had enough cages. But, that I would look and see what I had before I went. They called back a few minutes later and said that an employee took 5, so there was only 19 left. After setting up cages, we went and picked them up. When we got home we counted them, and found we had 23 Guinea Pigs, as a litter had been born while in the pound. Most of the females were pregnant, so after some adoptions and some litters being born, our current guinea pig count is 34. We don't have enough cages, so we are hoping to place as many as possible at this weekend's big adoption event. As the males get older, they begin to fight, and they really need their own cages.

If you want to see photos of our animal rescues and adoption, please feel free to check out our Flickr site:

Keep up the great work, Carole!

Sue =^..^=

7:59 PM  

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