Before Darcy I fostered dogs for a rescue, giving them a home and to give an assessment of the dog’s needs so that the perfect home could be found for them.
Many dogs passed through, one stayed for nine months but some just three weeks. The cute ones were snapped up, the ones with health issues, oldies and bull breeds not so much.
I’d sit for hours staring into the eyes of the dog I was fostering trying to imagine what their life was like before they came to me. Of course, I never got any answers and I don’t know if I would really want to know anyway.
Some were strays, some ex-breeding dogs but there was also a few whose owners circumstances had changed and they had no choice but to give up much-loved family pets.
The strays that came to me, or ‘poundies’ as they were known, all had impeccable manners and were completely house trained, so someone somewhere had put time and effort into training them even for a short time. I wondered if they had been loved as a puppy then discarded and replaced when they got older.
At the time I was fostering, chihuahuas were really popular with young girls as ‘hand bag’ dogs. Anyone who has ever owned a Chihuahua will know that they are actually fiercely independent, strong-minded and extremely lively, so not suited to being carried around as a fashion accessory. So. another influx of a particular breed in rescue.
The same thing happened with dachshunds when they were featured in a couple of television adverts. Everyone wanted one because they appeared so cute but they are difficult dogs to train and need loads of patience.
All the photos show just a few of the dogs that stayed with me.
For anyone considering becoming a foster parent for a dog rescue, here is a selection of books available from Amazon which may be helpful.
You can find more personal fostering stories in these blog posts.
John L Leonard
Have you ever tried to housebreak more than one puppy at a time, or a dog that lived his whole life outdoors? Have you ever had to convince yourself there is room for just one more? Have you ever met a cat that struck fear in a pack of dogs?
I have, and experienced great joys and the occasional sorrow as a result. This expanded edition of Always a Next One is a true account of how we went from caring bystanders to front-line animal rescue volunteers. Follow our journey of rescuing misfit dogs and unwanted cats, fostering them, nurturing them, and rehabilitating them until their perfect “forever” homes come along.
Touching, amusing and life-affirming, these stories capture the highs and lows of fostering homeless animals.
2013 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Award
You Can Build a Bridge to a Better Life for Dogs
Pat Miller’s How to Foster Dogs is the first book on the market to deal specifically with the care and training needs of foster dogs and how the fostering process works when done through a formal arrangement with an organization like a shelter or breed rescue group. Fostering dogs involves caring on a temporary basis for puppies and dogs who for whatever reason cannot be housed with their owners, shelters or breed rescue organizations. Many shelters now have formal fostering programs for dogs who are too young, unhealthy or have behavioral issues and therefore have to be housed with a foster family or face euthanasia. The book also covers informal fostering situations when families move or have some disruption and a friend or relative agrees to care for the dog temporarily.
You will learn
•About the various organizations that seek the services of foster families for dogs.
•What a typical formal arrangement between a shelter and a foster parent involves including expectations of care and training, and the support you can expect from the shelter including covering expenses and other legal issues.
•About the most common behavioral issues facing foster dogs and puppies including fear and separation anxiety, a likely undeserved reputation for what may have been perceived as “dominance,” and irritating but usually solvable problems such as house soiling, chewing and barking.
•How to successfully integrate a foster dog into your home if you own other dogs.
•While it is possible that you will end up adopting the dog yourself, learn how to prepare to say goodbye to your foster best friend knowing that you have done your best to build a bridge to a better future for him or her.
What experts are saying about How to Foster Dogs
Opening your heart to a foster dog is easy; opening your home is much more challenging. In How to Foster Dogs—From Homeless to Homeward Bound, Pat Miller shares her secrets for success. She covers it all, from training techniques to management tips to support when it’s time to say goodbye. It’s like having a good friend in your corner providing help and guidance along the way.
Colleen Pelar, author Living with Kids and Dogs
Where has this book been? Pat Miller’s How to Foster Dogs is an important book that should be on the shelf of every trainer, shelter and rescue organization in the country. This clear and thoughtful book will do a lot to help dogs find their forever homes. Here here Pat!
Patricia McConnell, PhD, author, Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home
Pat Miller is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, dog trainer and author of six books on dog training and behavior including Play With Your Dog, and Do-Over Dogs. She offers training and behavior services, conducts academies for trainers at her Peaceable Paws training facility in Fairplay, Maryland, and presents seminars worldwide.
An Amazon.com Bestseller!
This e-book is a compilation of heart-touching stories of courage, friendship, love, loyalty, and bravery of man’s best friend. Dogs are more than just pets, they are companions that will comfort you during heartbreak and at the same time will protect you if need be. They will love you fiercely as their own family.
These stories talk about that bond and respect that we as humans share with them.
1. This e-book covers touching true stories of how stray dogs were given a home rather than euthanized.
2. This e-book also contains facts and figures about stray dogs in America.
Whether or not you are a dog person, you surely will fall in love with these stories that will make you laugh, cry, cheer, and fall helplessly in love with these torch-bearers of warmth, love, and loyalty.