It means the ability to open up my home to help a dog in need. It means to show a dog that was once abused or neglected, a loving hand to help them open up and see what love means. It means that I am able to prepare them for their new forever family. It means to be able to save not just one, but two dogs – the one coming into my house as a foster, and another dog that is saved because of the extra space now at the rescue. It means a happy ending. You have to put your feelings aside. Would you rather bring a foster dog home, or see that dog be euthanized because you thought you’d get ‘too attached’? Foster failing isn’t a bad thing either, it happens to the best of us.You will shed many tears once they leave for their forever home . The tears will be sad when introducing them to their potential forever parent(s) and watching how both dog and human connect and to see the love in both of their eyes knowing your journey together will soon end. Knowing you had a special part in the dogs’ life will make that process that much easier. Once they moved into their forever home, you will see happy updates from their new parent(s), then you will shed many more happy tears. The cycle then resets itself. You will want to experience the joy of saving many more. You will become addicted to knowing that you played a pivotal role in saving these dogs’ lives. You will enjoy seeing the pup-dates and how cherished they are with their new families. You helped them achieve this. Fostering is also extremely helpful in getting these dogs adopted. We can provide a better description of the dogs needs and allow the potential adopter a better idea of their unique personality. Is fostering easy? Most definitely not! Is it gratifying knowing that you did a selfless deed by helping these innocent animals? ABSOLUTELY!
Fostering has touched my life in more than one way. I am beyond blessed to be the stepping stone for each dog that I have fostered. I foster to help make that dog become more adoptable, by house training and teaching my foster how to be apart of a family. Fostering is very rewarding. It’s like raising a child and when they turn 18 years old they leave your home to go on to accomplish more in their life. I feel like in a sense that once I help my foster grow into their best self, then they are ready to leave my home and go on to find their forever family. I absolutely enjoy watching them grow. Being able to be apart of their journey is something I will cherish forever. The amount of love each dog has to give to their foster family is something I cannot even begin to describe in words. I feel complete when I am fostering. Each one of my fosters has helped me grow by allowing me to be apart of their journey. Fostering does require patience, understanding, and love but believe me when I say you will get back so much more.
What does fostering mean to me...Some people ask how I can open my home and my heart to a dog that I know will eventually leave. To me the answer is easy. Bringing a dog into your home gives another chance for a dog to be saved. My foster doesn’t have to stay at the rescue and can enjoy a life most of them never had. They can snuggle on the couch with my kids, interact with my other dogs, and essentially learn what a family means. There is no better feeling than looking into your foster’’s eyes and seeing how much they love you. When you get a call a family is interested in adopting and you meet them, you know instantly if you think that family is the right fit. Nobody knows your foster better than you. When adoption day comes, yes I will cry but it is happy tears. To see the new family smile and my foster light up the room I can’t really explain it in words. It is never goodbye. It is just see you later. To my previous and current fosters Beckham, Marcy, Georgia, and Gabby, thank you. You have made me a better person and thank you to Speranza for giving me the opportunity.
I started fostering a little over a year ago. I fell in love with a dog named Hank, and knew I had to bring him home. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was the start of something wonderful. To see these dogs faces when I bring them home, is priceless. Yes there are times when I think, how will I give this dog up, than that right person comes along, and you know it was meant to be. These dogs forever have a special place in my heart. I will always have a foster dog in my home, they bring me and my family, so much joy. To think that I had a small part in saving a life, is a feeling like no other.
‘Saying goodbye’ is the hardest part to fostering, but with the sadness comes reward and happiness. I think as time goes on and you are able to let go of those first couple of fosters, it DOES get easier to say “see you later” and it isn’t always “goodbye”. It IS possible for you to visit and see your foster in its new home. Updated pictures of him/her smiling with content in their furever home is a euphoric feeling because YOU did that, YOU made that happen, and YOU helped to save a life. There is nothing wrong with being a foster failure, but being able to foster and find homes for new dogs is something you can do to give back to your community and it gives you a purpose in life. Experiencing a dog that is learning to love and trust again, who was once in a neglected situation, is something magical to watch. I had a foster dog who was kept in a basement for most of his young life. For the first 3 months of fostering, my husband and I would have to leash him and bring him into the basement by the backdoor because he was petrified of going down the basement steps. I will always remember the first steps he took going down them, how proud we were of him and how happy it made me feel as a person to experience his success. It was like seeing your child take his/her first steps. I wouldn’t change my decision to foster. It has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.