A few years back, (in 2014) I was feeling kind of empty. Trying to find my place in the world, and trying to figure out exactly what I was passionate about.
I kept trying a bunch of different things. I tried the Minimalism thing, couldn't commit.
Zero waste thing, I have adapted a few things from this but I'm definitely not as zero waste as I wish I was.
Then I thought maybe volunteering was my thing.
I didn't have a ton of money to donate, and I worked full time so it was hard enough giving up my time to go volunteer. But I found out that you can foster animals.
I contacted a local dog rescue to see if I could try out this fostering thing.
My husband and I already had a dog before starting this, so we wanted to try it out to see if our dog would be ok with another dog in the house.
Our very first foster dog was a 1-year-old black lab, lots of energy, and a very sweet girl. Her name was Lucky. My dog Joey, loved her. They would wrestle all day long and wear each other out. It was fantastic.
After she was adopted, we decided to keep going. We got Reily next. She was a Red Merle Aussie. Such a fun girl. She loved to play fetch. We would take the dogs to the dog park and play fetch with her, and our dog Joey would just chase her. The best thing that came from fostering Reily, is that Joey became amazing at fetch after that.
Since then we have fostered about 10 dogs. We took a break for a couple of years and just started back up in April 2018.
I could go on all day about all the cute, crazy, and desperate dogs we fostered, but I'll just tell you quickly why you should foster a dog. (Or any animal)
1. If you have another dog, it gives them a friend (which helps them live longer)
2. You can feel good about volunteering and doing something for a helpless dog that would otherwise be put down.
4. You can have a companion without the commitment of forever.
5. Your kids will learn to love animals
6. Also teaches your kids responsibility
7. You will love every dog that comes into your house, but you will be able to let them go. (It is a great feeling to get a dog adopted and know they are going to be happy in their forever home.)
8. You will get exercise by walking your foster dogs daily. (That's about the only exercise I get anymore but at least it gets me off the couch.)
9. You will gain even more compassion for animals.
Cons of fostering
I have to add this because nothing is ever perfect.
1. Not all animals will be potty trained
2. Some animals have separation anxiety which can cause damage to your home. (I've only had 1 dog damage my home)
3. Dogs that come from shelters sometimes have issues with people or other dogs. It can make it difficult to work around sometimes.
4. Your neighbors might hate you. (I don't have a fenced yard so my neighbors get annoyed when we have a dog that likes to bark when they come outside).
I think the good stuff outweighs the bad. I was totally unsure about fostering dogs, but it's been a wonderful experience, and it's truly made me love my personal dog so much more. If you have thought about trying it out. Do it! Even after fostering 1 dog, if you don't like it, you don't have to do it again!
But beware, you will actually love it and want to keep doing it!
If you're interested in trying it out, find Rescues near you to contact. Usually your local Petsmart or Petco will have adoption events from local rescue, where you can talk to fosters. Or look up rescues on facebook. There are always opportunities to foster animals.