Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Reasons To Foster a Dog

I have a 2014 New Years Resolution for you. If you've always wanted to help animals but never took the plunge into fostering (or adoption), this is your year.  If you're doing the One Word thing, your word is "Foster", or courage, or fearless, or rescue, or care.... :)

You're stronger than you think you are. You can do this. 

Wick Photography
1. Because you are needed.  It saves lives.  Every animal taken in by a foster family, means there is more room at the shelter.  Every foster dog adopted, means we can take on another.  It's a cycle. Shelter-->Foster-->Adopted-->...then we go back for more.  See how it works?  We need you. 
Gorgeous Mr. Bingley was a former Puppy Mill stud 
2. Because you are a project oriented person and love a good challenge.  Seeing progress and recovery with a traumatized foster is the most rewarding thing you can imagine.  You'll have to think outside the box, trying different things to help each new dog.  You'll grow in knowledge and when you see a rescued puppy mill dog run for the first time (maybe in their life), your heart explodes.  
Marshall's so proud.  He wants me to watch how fast he can run. 
3. Because you are a great admirer of "feeling happy" and you like smiling. "Petting a dog for just 15 minutes releases the feel-good hormones serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol, a University of Missouri–Columbia study says."  
Our Charlie...
4. Fostering a shelter animal can be healing.  My husband had been horribly ill with Graves Disease for over 2 years, possibly longer.  My husband felt like he was DYING. ALL. THE. TIME. We took the leap into fostering, and his health immediately improved.  His mood improved.  His spirit improved. His color improved. He was eventually announced "cured". I know the big turn around for him started the day we got our first foster, Charlie. 
Charlie was severally abused.  He bonded with Tim immediately and Tim started feeling better too.
They healed each other. 
5. Because you're bored, in need of entertainment.  Let's face it. Dogs are fun.  We are never bored.  We're always playing with our kids dogs and cats.  Who needs TV?  We've got our own comedy troupe right here in our house.  
6. Because the relationships in your home could use some strengthening.  I can affirm, this has been one of the most rewarding things my husband and I have ever done together.  Our home is an empty nest now. We've raised 2 fabulous human beings (you're welcome). Now what? We've both been living our own lives.  I had my interests and he had his.  We know, together, we are really good at projects and parenting.  When fostering dogs, both our awesome skills are used, bringing us back TOGETHER.  You have to communicate and work as a team to help each animal. 
Wick Photography
7. Because your children need to learn the world is not about them.  They learn compassion, servanthood, nurturing, responsibility and develop a generous spirit.  Having a sick or severally traumatized animal in your home forces you to think before you act.  I see how our son has learned to think responsibly towards pet ownership.  He sees the BIG picture.  Just because you're dying for a Boxer, doesn't mean you should have one, right now.  (If more people understood this...we wouldn't have such a big problem with pet abandonment)
My daughter's adopted English Bulldog, Bruiser
8. Because you need exercise and you're unmotivated.  Your dog needs to go to the bathroom. Now!  And a 2 minute walk isn't enough.  It needs to burn off that energy, learn how to be a dog outside of a cage, socialize with neighbors and sniff things. Voila! You've just burned calories and got some Vitamin D.  

9.  Because your other animals are open to new companions. Our dogs need socializing too and they enjoy having fur friends. We have 3 dogs, all have been rescued, with their own set of issues.  Having new dogs come and go has been good discipline and training for them.  They in turn, have been very good for incoming foster dogs, teaching and showing them the ropes.  Mill dogs especially have no idea how to "just be a dog".  

10. Because you're stronger than you think you are.  Of course, you bond with them. Yes, it hurts to give them up.  But you can give them to a new, beautifully perfect family and be at peace.  

This is Marshall's new family. He bonded immediately. We are so happy for all of them.
I have a 100 more good reasons to foster, but for the sake of brevity, I stopped at 10.  Do you have some to add?  I would love to hear from you, and discuss this subject further, so please leave a comment.  

If you have any questions about fostering, I'm happy to answer as honestly as I can. 

If you're interested in fostering, you can call your local animal shelter and find out more.  Also, if you have a favorite breed of dog or cat, there are specific organizations all over.  You can volunteer for them.  We volunteer for ESRA and rescue Springer Spaniels.  


I hope you'll follow me and keep up with our fostering shenanigans.  :)  Lots of good times, with occasional animal drama 

Cats and Quilts go together like Peas and Carrots.


Sharing with these Sweet bloggers:
Mom's The Word ~ Making Your Home Sing
Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Block Party
Say not Sweet Anne ~ Sweet Sharing Monday
DIY Home Sweet Home ~ More the Merrier Monday
Create With Joy ~ Inspire Me Monday
I Should Be Mopping the Floor ~ Inspiration Monday
Rain On A Tin Roof ~ Give Me the Goods
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ Tuesday's Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Our Table For Seven ~ Share Your Stuff Tuesday
Life On Lake Shore Drive ~ Last Bouquet of Talent


Sabrina said...

Love this! Foster Mamas ~!/FosterMamas/photos/a.457844360919547.96756.457834224253894/717876978249616/?type=1&theater

Lara B. said...

Michal, what you wrote here is so beautiful! I am moved to tears. Thank God your dear husband's Grave's disease has gotten better!
I had not thought about how rescuing dogs together improves relationships, but it truly does.
Adopting a rescue dog and seeing what a profound difference you can make and how happy you can help another being become is one of life's greatest experiences. When people ask "who rescued who?" It isn't just a cute saying!

Unknown said...

Thank you for a well written and thoughtful look at fostering.I am considering doing it and you made some great points that I had not thought of yet.

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