Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: The Benefits of Fostering a Dog

Laruen Colman serves as the digital marketer for the dog boarding and dog sitting community at Rover.com and is a true dog lover at heart. Lauren spends her days at the office with her dogs Squish and Brando by her side. All photo credits in this post belong to Ms. Colman.

Fostering a homeless dog is a true labor of love. The experience can be difficult at times, but most foster families love what they do. Although many people would love to help dogs in need, some are fearful of the work or of becoming too attached to the animals. If you’ve been thinking about fostering but are hesitant to make a commitment, here are some of the benefits for both the dogs and the families involved.

Benefits for the Dog

For a homeless dog, being released from a shelter may mean the difference between life and death. Animal shelters are often filled to capacity and can’t keep dogs for very long. Volunteers from various animal rescue groups try to help as many dogs as they can, but they must have enough foster homes for the dogs. By fostering, you not only save one dog’s life, but two. By taking them into your home and out of the shelter, you help make room for another dog and give them a chance at adoption or foster care.

Foster homes are also used to rehabilitate dogs. Dogs that go into foster homes for the first time learn how to be a part of a family. They’re introduced to manners, rules, exercise and love that the foster parents work to teach and enforce. Once the dog has been trained, he is more likely to be adopted and remain with his adopted family. If you’re worried about being able to train a dog, the sponsoring rescue group usually provides help.

If a dog is in need of medical care, foster families provide a safe place for the dog to recuperate after treatment. Sick and injured dogs are more likely to recover in a loving home. Some foster families also care for pregnant dogs and help with the puppies after birth. Because all veterinary services are provided by the rescue group, you won’t have to worry about the cost. 

Dogs are much happier in a home environment. Even if they are placed in a no-kill shelter, dogs are likely to be kept in kennels. Without freedom to run, consistent interaction with humans, love, and play, the dogs may grow depressed and may also gain weight. It is very hard to judge a dog in the shelter environment because of these implications, which can lead to lower adoption rates. By providing a temporary home environment, you are keeping the dog happy and healthy and allowing them to blossom into the character they really are.

Benefits for the Family

Although dogs definitely benefit from being fostered, there are also rewards for the foster families. If you already own a dog and aren’t sure if you’re ready for another one of your own, fostering is a great way to “test drive” the scenario and prepare you for the responsibilities of a multi-dog household down the road.

If fostering with no hard expiration date turns you off, consider short-term foster care. By doing this, you’re still able to test the situation and see how you, the dog and your family handle the living conditions. Regardless of time, by taking the dog in, you prepare them for adoption and help prevent overcrowding in the shelter.

If you have children, fostering an animal is a great way to teach responsibility. Taking in a homeless dog can show your kids the importance of caring for animals, and it can also help them to understand the impact of spaying and neutering our pets. In the U.S. as a whole, there are 6-8 million homeless animals entering shelters every year. Half of these animals are lucky enough to find homes while the other half is euthanized. These are healthy, sweet animals that could have made someone a great companion.

Fostering a dog is also a great way to give back to the community. You are not only saving a dog’s life, but you are also helping to prepare him for a new home. Although you may be worried about letting the dog go, you can rest assured that that you are providing an invaluable service. You will also be making more room for future dogs to come into your home.

Although fostering a homeless dog isn’t easy, it definitely has its rewards. By fostering, you provide the dog with a temporary home, medical care and training. In return, you’ll have the satisfaction of caring for an animal in need. Any fears or hurt you may feel by becoming “too attached” to your new addition will be replaced by the joy you feel when you see the new family with their dog. Remember, there is always another dog that needs your help after this one goes home.

Rover.com provides an alternative to kennels as a dog boarding option for pet owners. Whether it’s your own home or your neighbor’s home, you don’t have to drive hours to find a cageless kennel or worry about your dog being holed up in a lonely cage while you’re away. Sitters can sign up for the service on their own and range from professionals who will come to you home, large families with other dogs, or doting elderly folks who will love your pup like their grandchildren. For more dog tips, you can follow Rover.com on Twitter @roverdotcom or on their blog, Dog Boarding News.  

~

3 Comments

Filed under Guest Post, Our Foster Journey

Guest Post: If Only I Could Speak Dog

 Well folks, after a year of fostering and blogging, we finally get to hear from Foster Dad! I don’t know about you, but I think it was worth the wait. Enjoy! ~Laura

Dear Oscar,

If only I could speak dog, I would wax idiotic to you all day long.  I would tell you just how important you are to me.  I would remind you of the times that you made me laugh.  If only I could speak dog, I would ask if you knew…

…that no matter how tired I am, every time you paw at the covers so that you can lay under them with your back completely stretched along my legs; I smile? 

…that by making room for me to sit next to you on the top step, then leaning on me once I do, I know why you are called man’s best friend?

…that I find the inquisitive nature of your eyes amazing?

…that I’ve never felt more comfortable sleeping uncomfortably; I know you feel the same way when I hear you sighing as you lay your head on my ribs, squished between me and the back of the couch?

…that even though I shouldn’t smoke; I love how you wait with me outside while I do?  I know you’re waiting because you get up and head towards the door as soon as I put out my cigarette.

Do you remember…

…when you first came home from the pound, riddled with a stomach bug, and all you wanted to do was lay on top of, next to, or across the people you had met just an hour ago?

…when Mom and I finally understood what you were trying to say to us when you would move your food from your bowl in front of the window, mouthful by mouthful, across the room to the corner of the carpet before you would eat it?  We moved your bowl there the very next meal.

…when we took you to the lake for the first time, and your water-loving body was submerged and you were free to swim?  I remember that when I picked your front half out of the lake, your paws kept kicking, as if to say “heck, if I can swim in this water stuff, then why not keep going in the air?”

Oscar, I may never be able to tell you how much you mean to me.  So, I can only hope to show you everyday, that it makes me happy to know that no matter how late I’m at work, you would never let anything happen to Mom; that I know how hard you try to please; that you will always and forever be my Friend.  That I’m proud of you, I will Love you Always, and You have changed my life for the better.

Love,
Dad

~

15 Comments

Filed under Guest Post, Our Foster Journey

Guest Post: Snug as an Olive in a Rug

Jen is first-time foster momma to Olive the Pittie Puppy, liberated from life on a chain just a few blocks from Foster House.  She is a neighbor and good friend of mine, and she also writes the awesome local blog, South Nashville Life (check it out if you want to learn about all about my ‘hood.)  Enjoy! ~Laura

Oh my. What have I done?

I swore that my home had a NO VACANCY sign when it came to more rescue dogs. Two is as many as I can handle in our little house, and sometimes that seems like too many.

But when the opportunity came along to offer refuge to one of the sweetest girls from her world consisting of a tree, a chain, a small plastic home and lots of dirt and little water, well…it broke me.

Meet Olive, or Ollie, for short.

It’s only been a couple of days and by watching her you’d think she has no memory of her old dirt bed. My boys, Eli and Marvin, whom I’ve affectionately dubbed the Grumpy Old Dogs, have been spending a lot of time putting the rambunctious pup in her place. But Ollie just takes it in stride, flopping her puppy paws in whichever direction gravity takes her.

Oh, I should mention this girl has the head tilt down to a tee.

Although I must admit it is so nice to have another female in the house, I’m anxious to get this girl to a forever home where she won’t have to be subjected to the growling of Eli the Feist that might be translated to something like, “Get offa my lawn!

Pending a few behind-the-scenes details, Ollie will be up for adoption soon. No more dirt beds for sweet Olive (unless she just feels like getting dirty, of course).

Olive will be ready for adoption soon!  If you’re the Furever People that Ollie is searching for, fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

8 Comments

Filed under Guest Post