Fostering: How do you do it?
Two of my foster puppies are at the Loving Spay+Neuter Clinic today getting (you guessed it) spayed and neutered. Which means that they are ready to be adopted and no longer need to come home with me. I’ll go home and break down the puppy crates, pack up the baby gates, and stop clipping coupons for puppy pads.
I get asked the “how do you do it?” question a lot.
"I could never foster, I’d end up keeping them all!"
I’ll admit; the first time it was hard. Not the initial “bringing home the puppies” part - that part is easy. Sure, the potty training is a little rough, and the 2am i-hate-my-crate-and-want-to-get-out-NOWNOWNOW gets old pretty quickly. But the universe made puppies cute for a reason and you quickly adjust to the new normal - rolling up area rugs, hiding the bathroom trash can on top of the toilet tank, baby gates, daily mopping, etc.
Sometimes you’ll want to pull your hair out. One adult dog foster I brought home escaped from her crate, opened up the refrigerator, and helped herself to a head of broccoli. Another foster, Nugget, hid my phone under a bush in the backyard. And my wallet. And my car keys.
But teaching them manners is kid’s play compared to letting them go.
I promise you that it gets better. In the last year, I have fostered more than a dozen dogs. Once you let the first few go, it becomes easier and easier to see the big picture - each animal that you love, take care of, and then send to their forever home makes room for the next one that needs you.
Trout and Cora made room for Spike and Annie. Mikayla made room for Jovie. Koala made room for Nugget. Most recently, Pearl, Pewter, Porpoise and Pencil made room for Trout, Bo, and Spoon (pictured above - and still available!).
No one can adopt them all. But we can help them all find homes!
RAL is always looks for fosters - for puppies and kittens, but also for adult cats and dogs who need a break from shelter life, a chance to recover from an injury or illness, or simply the opportunity to learn that people are alright.
If you are interested in fostering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.