I have volunteered at various times with different organizations, but this week I signed up for something new – fostering for a dog rescue group.   I have cocker spaniels, and my previous dogs were cocker spaniels, so I signed up with a rescue group dealing in that breed.

Saturday, I told a co-worker of my decision.  She is the one who inspired me – she already fosters.  She shared with me that she just had to turn down a puppy because her dog is recovering from an injury.  Before I knew it, the words popped out of my mouth and I volunteered to foster her.

The situation was urgent because the individual that found her had to keep the puppy separate from her own dog, fearing that her dog would inflict harm. She actually took her to the shelter but was afraid she would be euthanized, and the next day picked her up. So once I called the organization things happened quickly.

So here it is Sunday night and I have an adorable three-month-old part Husky puppy in my house.  She is smart, or I am a wonderful teacher – though in actuality someone probably already worked a little with her on sitting.  Because within five minutes she was sitting on her own for treats.  And my dogs, while not enamored yet, are not hostile. I think the biggest issue will be not to lose my heart.

Adding an additional pet to your family is a very big decision.  But if you foster, then you only have the animal until it is adopted.  It might be one week – or longer. And depending on the organization, they do pick up some of the expenses.

If you love animals and have room in your home and heart then this is a wonderful way to help pull dogs out of shelters until they have a chance to be adopted.  If you don’t feel that fostering is a good fit and you love to drive, then you can sign up for relay transportation.  My neighbor found a Catahoula Leopard dog, and again, she was afraid her dog would harm the puppy.  I kept it until transportation could be arranged.  The dog was transported from Arkansas to Florida via relay.

There are so many animals in need and there are many ways you can help.  Have you ever fostered animals before?  If so, how did it work out for you – did you end up keeping the animal because it worked his/her way into your heart?  If you never considered doing it, what would keep you from fostering an animal?

– Leigh AAR

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