My husband and I had been thinking about fostering a dog for quite some time, but there were always several factors holding us back; not enough time to provide the care they need, having to be selfless, adjusting our shy kitty to the new lifestyle, but what scared me most was developing a bond that I couldn’t let go of.
We do some volunteer work with the Seattle Pug Rescue, and often get emails asking for volunteers to open up their homes for fostering. I would continually delete them thinking it just wasn’t the right time, but always felt so guilty because we have a loving home and big hearts, and if we just opened them up to a dog in need, we could change a life forever.
One day we received an email from the Pug Rescue stating they were in desperate need of foster homes. That is when we put all of our uncertainties, doubts and anxieties aside and just let it happen. Not knowing what we were getting ourselves into, we stopped by the Pug Rescue to pick out a pug. They did their best to match us up with a pug that would be a good fit for our situation.
Out walked a little pug named Maria. She was shaking, tail between her legs, head and eyes faced down toward the ground, not interested in being anywhere else, but a dark corner of a room, where no one would bother her. She approached us, not knowing what to do. We crouched down to her level and let her sniff our hands. She let us pet her head and her tiny ears. Her big brown eyes slowly softened. I do believe, at that point, she knew we were going to change her life.
Right away, we decided she needed a new name, one she would be proud of and one she could take with her to her forever home, knowing it’s a new beginning… so we named her, Lucy. During the several weeks we had Lucy, we gave her all of the love we could possibly give. We showered her with affection, and gifts, and long walks, and belly rubs. We showed her what life was really about. In return she gave us constant companionship, unconditional love, never-ending laughter, and reminded us every day to take things in stride and live each day to its’ fullest.
Lucy blossomed into a happy, energetic, playful little girl. This is when we knew she was ready to find her forever home. It was a sad day for my husband and I, and there were certainly moments where I couldn’t hold back my tears, but knowing we changed Lucy’s life, and got her ready for her forever home, makes it all worth it. Watching her come back to life was an incredible experience.
Too many animals are killed each year because there is just not enough room in shelters. For each family that fosters, a new space becomes available for another animal in need. Fostering also helps animals adjust to home life making it a smoother transition when they find their forever home.
Fostering is taking a pet in need, guiding them in a positive light and showing them how to live and love again. If you are in the right situation, and have the opportunity to foster, it will be well-worth your time – one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done. I guarantee it.