To be a fosterer you need a tough shell, big heart and a love of dogs, without mentioning patience and some time. You cannot afford to be over house or garden proud. Personally I love gardening but my once pristine lawn is now a mud bath covered in woodchip, regularly scattered on what carpets I’ve got left by numerous paws. I believe my challenge as a fosterer is to re-establish every foster dogs trust in human beings. Teaching commands and good behaviour is secondary to this but supports it. Watching dogs gain that trust as well as improving their health and individuality are some of the most enjoyable parts of fostering. Another plus is seeing the joy and happiness of a family adopting the correct dog for them. On the other hand there are disappointments. The worst case being the sick dog that does not recover (only one in our case). Heart-breaking even though we only knew the dog for a couple of days. The sense of failure when what seemed a perfect adoption falls apart and the dog comes back. The second worst case falling in love with a long term foster and then having to let him/her go to a forever home to make space for the next foster. To justify letting them go we keep telling ourselves that several years ago we could have re-homed on lurcher, now we have re-homed over fifty. A big plus is meeting lots of interesting and nice people. These range from adopters, we are still in touch with some who adopted dogs from us in our first few months as fosterers, friends I believe. Also others within the rescue who support us and advise us plus the odd slapped wrist when needed. Overall I think fostering has enriched our lives and given it added purpose.
John and Ruth