What does it take to foster?

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

(Page 3 of 3: Viewing entries 21 to 27)  
1  2  3  
Jovi, NPC,- CEGE

Momma's boy and- proud of it!!!
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 9:52am PST 
When I speak to potential adopters I tell them everything about the dog...the good the bad and the ugly. Its up to them if they want to adopt them knowing this

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 11:06am PST 
Sanka, if you don't want to foster fail, consider taking in a foster with issues that drive you nutslaugh out loud If I was ever in the position to foster , I would take in a terrier or a hound. Nothing wrong with those breeds, just not for mesmile Now, if I took in a companion breed, working breed or non sporting breed, I would be in big troublelaugh out loud
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 11:38am PST 
I hear you on that Bunny!

I have a hound dog now lol. I do love the goofiness of hounds, but living with one is rather a pain. (No offense Sanka!)

It'll be a long while before I dip seriously into this, but I just got good news on a potential house, so I'm fantasizing about my future.laugh out loud

Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 8:46pm PST 
Good luck with the house! I know we are painting a pretty grim picture, but there's also a lot of skills and knowledge you gain by fostering. I've been fostering 3.5 years- This week I saw my foster's leg hanging off to the side and I kept my cool, but three years ago when Sarah (my foster at the time) was being treated for heartworm and started coughing up blood- not so calm!! I think you have a great knowledge of dog behavior and training which will really help you out if you ever decide to foster. I always say- give it a try and if you don't like it- quit!
Deia- *adopted *

Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 12:04pm PST 
I just started fostering a 5 month old puppy, I have always wanted to foster dogs especially puppies. You know it really is a great thing to do especially if you can help teach the dog basic manners or work through behavior problems. Deia is a such a sweet dog and I love working with her I am teaching her basic commands she already knew sit so I have taught down,wait,leave it, shake, and touch my hand. Let just say that the rescue and potential adopters were super impressed at what I taught her. Even though Deia is a young beautiful puppy who is sure to get adopted even if I did not teach her anything it warms my heart to know how much I am helping her even just living in my home.
and I had a lady just thank me for fostering
She said that was such a nice thing to do. So if you think you can do it please do you will not regret it! Also know your own dogs and make sure to get a foster dog compatible with the dogs you have.
Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
Barked: Sun Mar 3, '13 9:23pm PST 
I'm a bit late to this thread but had to contribute! Definitely keep a bit of emotional distance, because you are just a pit stop on their way to forever. It's our job to polish these guys up so that they will find that amazing home to fit right into and stay it until it's their time to pass on. It helps that my husband is the strong one- I BEGGED him to keep our first foster!! laugh out loud I am better this time around, I was able to hand him off to be placed no problem.

I do concur with what others have said, about only taking on a foster that fits YOUR home. You want a dog you can handle and that would be able to stay with you until they were adopted. I would always, always need 1) boy dogs, 2) dogs good with cats and 3) dogs that were crate trained. Just because of our lifestyle. They all go hand in hand. I have a bitch and two kitties, and I could never trust a foster in the house, unsupervised, with any of them. And they are all my top priorities. Both fosters we've had have been fairly easy boys. Not without their issues, but truly, very nice dogs in general. The first one wasn't great with walking and was a bit dog aggressive, but we worked through that. The second and last one we've had (just placed him today, cross your fingers!!) was a stellar boy, but liked to jump up and was mouthy. Very different boys indeed.

You can't be upset about messes. Accidents will happen, there will be more fur to vacuum up each time you clean. Our first one was amazing in the house, but the second went through a good round of marking before he finally settled in. Just keep lots of carpet/enzyme cleaner and paper towels on hand, and rent a steam cleaner at the end of it all.

We were also very straightforward with our adopters about what these boys are, and what their faults are. I want them to know he's a bit mouthy, I want them to know that he goes a bit bonkers when we walk by small dogs. That way they can make the judgement call about whether or not they can handle this dog.

Our rescue also has a website that is updated very frequently. I try to take pictures, and email the lady at the rescue extensively about what I've noticed, and how the foster is settling in, etc. Today the adopters told me that they loved how detailed the notes were, how it really helped them pick the right dog. So I'm convinced this is the right route to go and will continue to do this. I suppose it's a bit like Tiller said- hooking the adopter in before they've even met the dog. Paint as vivid a picture as you can of the dog you're fostering, you never know who's looking at their page.

I'm a lover!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 4:49pm PST 
Fostering is a great experience- but you have to figure out how it will work for you (if it does) and what parameters you will put on it. I love many of the larger breeds, and always had big dogs until just recently, but I now have small dogs. And as much as I said they would not be treated differently..well, we definitely have small dog rules in our house that are different than big dog rules.

Sometimes I will take a larger dog while another foster for a brief time...and it is tough because the 60 lb sweet young lab mix doesn't understand that chasing the 14 lb dog along the top of the couch is not the place for her...and next thing you know both lamps on the end tables tumble to the ground..and this creates a very grumpy foster Momma! But....an older calm, big dog is a different story in my house...and works. So yes, know what works in your house and don't take on more than you can handle.

OK- that said- it's hard not to get sucked into the needs of the rescue organization once you see the roots of all this. I know every time I say no to a foster, that's one less dog we can pull from the euthanasia list. I think that is much harder to deal with than the potential of foster failures. We need to send them off so more can come, and saying "no" when your life is busy gets very hard to do once you see the grittiness of rescue. The barrage of horrible homeless dog stories never ends...we do terrible things in this country to dogs. That is something to consider as you enter this- how will you handle that? Fostering is great- but it exposes you to that world.

Foster failures....I worried about this too, as most of the dogs I have had in my life were dogs someone else didn't want and I took them in smile I have fostered 25- 30 dogs- lost track of the actual number, but it's around there. I've only kept one...and I knew before I drove home with her that she wasn't going anywhere...just had to convince my hubby.

Writing the bios- foster parents have the best input. You want to frame the bio in a way that is positive, without leaving out important information. You may want to have a more experienced person work with you in the beginning. Tell them the good, bad, and the ugly...but make sure you outline a plan where the dog will be successful. For example- continuing training, a home with another well- adjusted dog, a lively family home, etc.

I don't want to dissuade you from fostering- it is a wonderful thing- just realize that it can become complex and you have to decide how much of that you will admit into your life. I am probably the poster child for failing at this though. I said in August that I had a very busy year and I would not foster. Well, next thing you know, I have a 12 year old neglected, blind dog at my house to foster! We didn't know she was blind until she got here- but she was a sweetheart and I took her home. Unbelievably, she was adopted very quickly by a lovely family- go figure...I thought she would live out her days on my couch! Just goes to show that for every horrible story there is a wonderful one...and that is the great part of fostering dancing

Many people have given you great advice. Fostering isn't for everyone- but it is worth trying it. If nothing else- you help 1 or 2 dogs of a euthanasia list into a forever home. As a bonus, you may find it, as I have, that is one of the most wonderful things you have ever done!big grin
  (Page 3 of 3: Viewing entries 21 to 27)  
1  2  3