Since the whole reason I started this blog was to encourage others to foster too I think it’s time I talk a little more about it. If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “I couldn’t do it, I’d just keep the dog” well, I could sure save a whole heck of a lot of dogs!
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it hurt my heart to say goodbye to Dash. Yes, I WAS ATTACHED TO HIM! But that’s the whole point. I loved Dash just like I love my two dogs. I saved him, on his (literally!) last day from the shelter, and gave him something he had never had before. Love. Stability. A home. These are the things that so many dogs have never gotten to experience. Without fosters like me, these dogs would likely die never knowing what it is like to have someone love them. Someone to scratch their belly and throw them a ball, or give them a toy to chew on. Someone to tell them that it is going to be okay.
Just tonight I sat down with a few of the volunteers from the rescue (Last Hope Rescue) and we brainstormed ways to find more people to foster. Foster families really are the key ingredient to the success of a rescue. Think about it, if the rescue wants to pull a dog from a shelter where it is scheduled to be put down they can only do that if they know that they have somewhere to place that dog. A foster home. The number of dogs saved is directly proportionate to the number of foster homes a rescue has available. Additionally, by fostering just one dog, you are actually saving TWO lives. The dog that you take into your home plus the dog that now can stay in shelter where an extra space has become available.
Consider how much more heartbreaking it is to know that you could help but chose not to just because you weren’t sure you could do it or were afraid it would make you too sad. It feels a little selfish when you think of it that way, doesn’t it? You can put the needs of another first. You can swallow the lump and say goodbye. You CAN do it.
Fostering requires nothing more than your time, love, and patience. I promise you, the dog won’t notice if you aren’t “perfect” or have questions along the way. And the rescue or shelter you work with can provide you with everything you could possibly need: food, leashes, crates, toys, transportation to and from the vet, and much more (just ask ’em!)
Check out Last Hope Rescue, learn more about them. And please, please, PLEASE consider joining me in fostering to save lives!