By Bruce Shu
The journey of a rescued or abandoned dog shouldn’t end at the shelter. Most dogs are only at their happiest with the security and affection of humans they trust. But many never feel that happiness, being passed over because they are older or big or mixed breed, because of anxieties developed as a stray, or simply because they are not used to people and lack the social skills to charm themselves into a new family.
This is where fosters make a difference and save lives – by helping dogs to transform mentally and physically to get ready for permanent homes and by advocating for their adoption. Fostering has its challenges. Rescued dogs range from the nearly perfect (rarely) to the severely behaviorally challenged, to put it diplomatically. They take patience and time, but any sacrifice is repaid tenfold in seeing their transformation and growing confidence and sense of security.
And like sending a child off to university, every time a dog goes to a new home you get a lump in your throat but immense pride in your heart. For a long time, before I started fostering, I donated to animal welfare charities and volunteered at events and at shelters. I even adopted one of the shelter dogs. All that help was welcome, of course, but I was really leaving the hard work, the real work, to others. Fostering was a way to take personal responsibility, because dog and cat welfare starts with each dog or cat, after all.
Helping one dog at a time, sending each one on its journey – that is the pride and satisfaction of fostering.
If you are interested in becoming a foster caregiver to one of these lovely animals, please click here