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Foster one dog, save another.

Becoming a Dog Foster Family

*All of our foster puppies

In the Fall of 2016, were ready to add a second dog to our family. I was researching organizations when I saw a post on Facebook from local rescue, Rainbow Rescues, Inc. They had just taken in a litter of puppies and were looking for foster families. After discussing with my family, we decided to apply to be a foster and offered to take in two puppies from the litter. A few days later, volunteers came and dropped off two of the cutest puppies I have ever seen. They supplied crates, food, collars, leashes, and toys. All we needed to do was provide the space and the love. As time went on, we got to know the puppies and their personalities. We fell in love with both, but it was obvious that Wren would make a better fit in our home. Our dog at the time, Foster, was shy and timid, and Wren had a brilliant confidence. We knew they would make a great match.

The day Ellie left us to go to her adoptive family was a hard one. I cried for a few hours after she was picked up. The first is always the hardest. Since then, we have fostered 12 more puppies and I have not shed one tear. This does not mean I don't feel sad when they leave, but I realize how amazing it is that we can give these puppies a temporary home and help prepare them for their permanent homes. A foster dog is one more dog out of the shelter system. Fostering has taught my children the importance of unconditional love, empathy, and animal care. We feel blessed that we have seen 13 puppies go on to amazing families, living their lives to the fullest. It is humbling to be a part of it. We have pictures of all our foster puppies hanging in our living room, reminding us daily of the special part we played in their lives.

*All our foster babies going on to their happy homes

Benefits of Being a Dog Foster Parent

There are so many benefits for both humans and dogs when it comes to fostering.

Benefits for you:

· YOU ARE SAVING A LIFE! This dog needed a place to go, and you provided it for them. With 675,000 healthy and adoptable animals euthanized last year, fostering leaves for space in the shelter for other dogs in need.

· ARE YOU READY? Fostering allows a person or family to decide if they are ready to adopt a dog or if a specific size or temperament fits better within their family.

· IT IS NO COST TO YOU! Foster programs primarily provide all needed supplies like crates, bedding, bowls, food, collars, leashes, and toys. Organizations usually schedule pick up of your foster dog for veterinary appointments and meet and greets. Some may allow you to be part of the process.

· HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND! Having a dog with not only give you companionship at home but it will also get you up and going, taking walks, and meeting new people out walking their dogs as well. It is great for your mental health and well-being!

Benefits for the dog:

· ADOPTABLE: Being in a foster home gives a dog a better chance of being adopted. As their foster parent, you can not only teach them new skills, but also get to know their personality, likes and dislikes, helping the shelter to make a perfect match to their adoptive family.

· LESS STRESS: The shelter can be a stressful place for some dogs. Having foster families available allows dogs in distress to be in a temporary home while waiting for their forever family.

· SHELTER SPACE: One dog in a foster home opens one space in the shelter. With overcrowding issues plaguing shelters across the country, foster homes help to open space within the shelter so more dogs can be rescued.

· MANNERS AND SKILLS: If you already have dog(s) of your own, your foster dog and current dog(s) will learn great skill and manners from each other while also having a playmate! This is also a benefit if you have kids or cats. That is a win-win!

Insert foster diaries YouTube video

Consider becoming a foster parent! Most shelters and rescues have programs available and are in desperate need of you help. Go save a life! It will change you forever.

*Two of my favorite Instagram pages to follow are @theasherhouse and @rockykanaka. They have dedicated their lives to fostering and finding homes for dogs in need.

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