Guest post by Miranda Williams
Offering to foster a puppy is an honorable task and with ongoing pet populations increasing the need for it is important. Many organizations have stepped forward to help but what non-profit rescue groups find most challenging is where to place these animals. Foster homes are answering that challenge but before taking on the duty of fostering a dog or puppy there are a few realities to discuss, such as: finding an organization, falling in love, and poop.
Recently I rescued seventeen puppies from a rural farm. I called my affiliate organization and explained my discovery; immediately I had access to a network that could only exist with such an organization. Find a rescue group that has a mission statement that falls in line with your beliefs. Contact the founders and speak with them about their goals, missions, and what expenses they will cover. All legitimate rescues will care about not over-extending their fosters in regards to finances, housing, and the number of animals they can manage; they should all cover medical expenses or provide medications. A good place to start to locate a rescue group is your local Humane Society or Animal Control.
Falling In Love
You will fall in love. That seems a simple statement especially in regards to puppies, but it needs to be said. Many times I witness fosters surrender to their hearts and expand their personal pet obligations. Fosters will follow their hearts but before too long they are overwhelmed from two dogs to six or sixteen! We must believe others can love as we have loved them. There will be a special and unique puppy in each litter. Our job as a foster home, is to help house and care for them until they are ready for their forever homes.
Many of my fosters come to me as young as 5fiveweeks and leave at twelve weeks with plenty of time in between to fall in love. I create the mindset and make a conviction that my job is to foster – not to keep. Recognize the special in each puppy and help them find their way to their home of purpose. If you foster long enough your heart will break, but it will strengthen in the healing and create an expansive ability to love.
You will smell poop early and often — sometimes before your morning coffee. Puppies come to us in all stages of health and that means they cannot help what comes out of them. I believe God gave us puppy breath to help make the unpleasant bearable. Unpleasant smells and sights will happen. A momma dog I once fostered escaped her crate during the night and I awoke to an extremely unpleasant situation. I thanked God for puppy breath and started cleaning; within thirty minutes I was on the floor playing with her ten puppies and drinking my coffee.
I believe the moments of enjoyment need to be savored so that you won’t be so bothered by the times that aren’t as great. Fostering pets is not a small task — but the honor of having a puppy all the time and the privilege of helping them find their forever home is payment enough.
About Miranda: I truly have a passion for animals and feel that we are tasked with talents that help us know how we can help in this world. The way I help is by providing our smallest and furriest friends with a safe, secure, and loving environment while they’re waiting on their forever homes. When I am not chasing my young son or a puppy, I enjoy writing, hiking, and exploring.