Fostering Dogs

When my son was in kindergarten, he decided that he needed a puppy. With my husband and I both being dog lovers, we did not complain, but we already had two dogs in the family, and a third seemed a bit much. I decided that I would make a deal with him to foster puppies, and he would help me take care of them. The thought behind this was he would learn responsibility, and we all would be able to get our puppy fix, plus we were helping homeless puppies find homes.

We all went into this decision as a family and agreed that it would be something that we could do together—knowing that it would mostly be my project; that’s ok more puppy breath for me. I was amazed at how much my son enjoyed helping me take care of the pups and just wanted to help as much as he could. What was even neater was that the program we were fostering with let my son help out during the adoptions.

Children who have physical challenges frequently don’t get the chance to socialize daily, so they often end up delayed, socially awkward, or unable to handle social situations. So him being able to “work” with other fosters, potential adopters, and other volunteers helped him build his social confidence. A child raised with animals can have more compassion and responsibility, and that’s never a bad thing.

When your child cries over the puppy leaving your home but sees the joy of the new family bringing him home, it makes it easier for them to see how they are helping. Getting a new pup home the following week helps a lot too. 

We fostered around 800 puppies over ten years and only adopted 3. So the odds are not bad, sometimes certain dogs you just can’t let go of. If you are wondering, yes, he did finally get his dog. Grizzly came home with a boo-boo head after being found on the side of a road thought to be dead. He had a challenging start to his life, but it was evident that he was not leaving when he met my son. We also ended up with Merlin and Elsa, all with a different story but all needing our family as much as we needed them.

Who knew that we would get so much out of fostering puppies?! I miss doing it, but our dogs are getting old and grumpy, so puppies coming into the home won’t work right now. But I do look forward to starting back up again in the future. Dogs are an essential part of our family and bring so much joy to our lives. 

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