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Fostering is a vital step in our rescue mission and we need your help!
On Being a Foster Parent:
“I foster old dogs or adults that need a little help before going on to a new home. I find it equal parts fun and challenging. The fun part is watching their personalities unfold over time. It seems like every day they make a little bit of progress and you rejoice in that and take the time to smile and watch them…” Read full article.
When Fostering Turns Into Something More“I have never fostered or adopted an animal before but have always been wanting to. I want to thank Carrie and Travis at FoSCO for helping me and making it so easy to find another member of our family. We fostered BoBo for about two weeks then we adopted him. He has found his forever home with us and seems very happy.” ~ Dawn
What It’s Like To Be A Foster Parent
Carrie asked me to tell in my own words what it’s like to be a foster parent for FOSCA. I foster old dogs or adults that need a little help before going on to a new home. I find it equal parts fun and challenging. The fun part is watching their personalities unfold over time. It seems like every day they make a little bit of progress and you rejoice in that and take the time to smile and watch them. The challenging part is when they present you with a behavior that you don’t understand and don’t know how to work around. You can end up banging your head against a wall trying to figure out why the puppers won’t walk through a door, eat or drink outside of their crate, or any other simple behavior, and how you can help them overcome their fears.
While I never enjoy the challenges when we’re going through them, I do love to research dog behavior and to develop relationships with more experienced folks in the dog training community. And it’s such a joy when you have a breakthrough.
It does take patience to be a foster parent. To me, being house trained means that the dog does their dead level best not to mess in the house. Some adult dogs are house trained, but some aren’t. Thankfully most can hold their pee and poo for several hours and quickly come to understand what “Outside!”means. I find the easiest path to take is to put the dog on a potty schedule and to crate them when you can’t be home. In a few days they understand how life in the Baker house works and they look forward to their excursions to the yard.
I think I would be a better foster Mom if I had a more developed sense of play. I tend to be task oriented and can miss opportunities to play with my dogs. And dogs, like children, learn through play.
Being a dog foster can be hard on a family. It takes time to get used to a new dog, and the non-animal crazy family members can get irritated with having to make accommodations to another animal. There’s always a bit of chaos when another strange dog comes into the home, but it usually settles down quickly. And everyone grows from going through the experience. It does help if your resident pets are welcoming to fosters, but their being territorial or cranky can be worked through.
Being knowledgeable about dog health and physiology is useful. You can spot problems when they start and handle them before they become critical. There’s a 2 week ‘honeymoon’ when you take in a new dog. After that their real colors show, and wow, can they surprise you. A dog who was very laid back and chill can seemingly turn into Cujo overnight. Being on the lookout for this change makes life easier for you and all your pets.
All in all, being a dog foster parent is really no different from being just a plain old’ dog parent. You love them, care for them, and train them. Then you go one step further find them a loving human that will do the same after you.