Fostering Dogs, How It Changed My Life

Fostering Dogs

How It Changed My Life

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.

Misty was my first foster dog, she had been found as a stray, She was approximately two years old and a cross between a cocker spaniel and jack russell. She was an absolute sweetheart,

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.

Uri came at the same time as Misty, he was a 2-year-old Jack Russell. He was painfully thin and suffered from epilepsy. He stayed for 8 months, he took part of me with him

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.

Oliver was a very cute Lhasa Apso. again just 2 years old. He came from a home situation but was an extremely nervous boy

At the time I was fostering dogs, chihuahuas were really popular with young girls as ‘handbag’ 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.


Bluie and Alma were a bonded pair of Maltese/Bichon, they were originally from Romania. They were so good-natured, I enjoyed every minute with them.

Harvey was a 7-year-old chihuahua from a home situation. He broke my heart.

For Harvey’s story

Harvey part one

Harvey part two

Harvey part three

Harvey part four

Mr. Darcy was originally called Dappy. I became a failed foster mum and adopted the two-year-old mini dachshund. To be honest, I had to, the future was not looking good for this little bundle of mischief, despite the angelic face. he has very severe behavioural problems, He was not suitable for rehoming but he is now part of the family.

How Fostering Dogs Changed My Life

I often say that I didn’t rescue the dogs, they rescued me, and I really believe that.

I had just left an office job, a stressful, thankless job and my health wasn’t good. Sitting on a computer for eight hours every day had left me physically unfit and I knew I needed to make a drastic change.

I desperately wanted to foster rescue dogs but didn’t think I could do it. It is a huge responsibility both physically and mentally but I was driven by a need to help homeless dogs.

I went to a reputable dog rescue who only took small dogs. There was a great community spirit amongst the volunteers and I made lifelong friends.

My physical fitness soured because I had a duty to exercise the dogs daily come rain or shine. I ploughed through snow, wind, and rain, pulled on my wellies even when I had a chest infection!

Mentally I felt better than ever because I knew I was making a difference. It was only a very small one but it warmed my heart to know that I had actually saved lives.

The hardest thing was letting them go and I shed many, many tears. However, for each dog settled into a wonderful new home, I had space to take another from the shelter.

Taking in a terminally ill chihuahua was the hardest one of all but it is also the one I am most proud of.

Then along came an aggressive dachshund and I had to adopt him because he could never be rehomed. I knew exactly what I was getting with Darcy, he had a history of biting, so he is here for good!

Darcy features a great deal on the Waggy Tales Blog but if you would like to find out how he came to stay forever, please read here

At the moment I can’t foster because Darcy is a handful but I hope to foster again in the future.

I would like to foster an elderly Staffordshire Bull Terrier or retired Greyhound.

Have you considered fostering dogs?


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9 thoughts on “Fostering Dogs, How It Changed My Life

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  1. Such beautiful pics! I feel like I could do it If the dog didn’t have any real issues. With the four we have now, and now the addition of a deaf puppy, it would be difficult. I’ve always thought about starting my own rescue, but don’t have enough experience. It’s a dream for me once my kids are grown. I think I’d enjoy it. 💗 Great post.

    1. It’s my dream too! I have it all planned (in my head) Good Luck with the deaf puppy, do you do sign language? it must be such a scary world when you can’t hear x

  2. Fostering did not work out for me, it broke my heart every time one left. So it ended up that when a dachshund come to me I kept it. That’s how I ended up with 12 at one time. Some head bad behavioral problems. I was able to keep them separated and I I am home all the time. Derby came from a home with big dogs and was picked on. I believe that’s how he got his behavior problems. They were going to put him down but I did not and he was such a sweet dog if if you put the problems aside. Separating the dogs and letting them out in groups worked well. Once I figured out what dogs got along with each other. At the end of Darby’s life, the last few months he got along with all the dogs. I don’t know why but he did.

    1. I don’t know how you coped with 12 dachshunds, I take my hat off to you! They are my favourite breed but they can be difficult especially if they have had an abusive past. .Like Derby, Darcy was taken to the vets at 2 years old to be put to sleep. He still has problems (he was a stud dog) but I accept him warts and all. I would love for him to have a dachshund friend but he is very wary of other dogs. He sits inside my cardigan, he loves to snuggle up. Thank you for sharing your story, I would love to hear more because I am a little bit obssessed with dachshunds.

  3. I recently started to foster and must say I can’t stop wonder what these dogs feel to leave my home to go to an other one.😔

    1. I know, I felt like that but you must remember that by passing a dog on to its forever home you will be able to save another ones life by fostering again. Dogs are forgiving, they know you’re helping them.

  4. I enjoyed your story. I think someday I will do the same❤️I’m still heart broken over my dog Romeo💔

    1. So sorry to hear that Donna, I know how you’re feeling. Do whatever feels right for you . Losing a pet is the worse pain ever. Sending a big hug xx

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