This article was submitted by our friend Ingrid Hurel, Adoption Coordinator and Activist at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue.
“You will remember, I have lived with you for a time,
I may not be yours, but you will always be mine.”
This is the end of a very powerful poem, “written” by a Foster dog. Being a Foster parent, really is the beginning. The beginning of life for a dog, who never had a chance before. A dog, who was saved from death-row at the shelter, a dog who was tossed out, like a piece of trash, a dog, who was passed around, because they were moving, they became allergic, they had a human baby, they didn’t have anymore time, maybe the dog wasn’t a cute puppy anymore or became too old or ill. They seem to be a million reasons, to give up a dog.
The beginning of life for a dog, who lived on a chain in a backyard, a dog who never got any attention or toys, a dog who didn’t have any shelter and slept on cold concrete. A dog who was running the streets, hungry, scared, injured. The beginning of life for a dog, who has spend years in a boarding kennel, living in a concrete dog run, because nobody wanted him or her. Maybe a black or a brindle dog, or a Pit Bull, or an old or handicapped dog, because most people want fluffy, young, light-colored dogs.
And then the miracle happens and you become a Hero without even knowing it. Your Foster dog comes home, for the first time sleeps on a soft bed, for the first time experiences human affection and kindness. Your Foster dog will start changing. You will see a smile on his/her face, your Foster dog might start playing with toys, wagging the tail and give kisses. Your Foster dog may be rolling in the grass, racing around and then snuggling up close to you, look deep in your eyes and you will know, you did the right thing.
This knowledge will carry you do the hard times, that you may experience with your Foster dog. Traumatic experiences are not always overcome easy. Your Foster dog might experience separation anxiety, aggression issues with people and/or other animals. You Foster dog might pee in your house, vomit, destroy things. You will have to plan your life around your Foster dog and you will ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Well, you are doing this, because you have committed to this and you know, that without you, your Foster dog, will not have a chance. You are doing this, because, once you know, what a wonderful life, the dog will have in his/her forever home, you will do this again and it was all worth it. You are doing it, because you will learn a lot about yourself in the process. You are doing it, because, you have to. For the sake of the dog.
Maybe you are fostering, because you are not ready to adopt, you can’t commit to a long-term guardianship, you are not financially stable enough. But you can always foster a dog. And you are not alone in this. Whether you want to foster one of our dogs or not, Pacific Coast Dog Rescue will be able to guide you through the process. With years of experience, having saved and placed over 2000 dogs and the best dog trainer in Los Angeles, David Roe, Pacific Coast Dog Rescue, makes the right matches and eases the dogs into their forever homes.
To you, this might be only one dog, but to the dog, you are the world.