A bit of fostering inspiration for our new friends

We don’t normally post on weekends. But we’re also normally not featured on the front page of WordPress.com, which drove a lot of unexpected traffic our way this week.

We got barrel-fulls of kind, thoughtful comments from lovely new readers, many echoing a very common sentiment we’ve heard before: “I don’t know how you foster; it must be so hard to give them up.” No doubt, it is hard. But it’s also one of the most fun, challenging, inspiring, and rewarding things I’ve ever done.

So here’s a quick rundown of a few of our favorite past posts that address this issue specifically. Dare we hope it’ll inspire somebody to jump in?

About us

How to Save a Life

One year blog-a-versary: The stats

One year blog-a-versary: In photos

Resolutions

And new friends may not have seen the fostering guest post series we did last fall, in which we interviewed a handful of stellar foster families who we admire about their own experiences. This series is certainly eye-opening, and offers some diverse and beautiful perspectives on the ins and outs — and hows  and whys — of fostering.

Q&A with us – Love and a Six-Foot Leash (Austin)

Q&A with Heather – Handsome Dan’s Rescue (RI)

Q&A with Josh – Animal Haven (NYC)

Q&A with Kate – Bully Paws (VA/DC)

Q&A with Chris – Animal Compassion Network (NC)

Q&A with Jen – Homeward Bound (Albany)

Q&A with Amy – New Leash on Life (Chicago)

Q&A with Laurie – All Paws (St Louis)

Welcome new friends, and enjoy!

25 responses

  1. I’m a new reader as of yesterday, and I loved your blog! My husband and I started fostering Border Collies and Australian Shepherds two years ago, but we’ve always struggled to help our own dog, Happy (a seven-year old Aussie-mix), adjust to the new faces that come through our door. Your blog has been a great tool on strategies that we can use to help ease these transitions for Happy – thank you!

    We’re on a fostering hiatus for two years while living abroad in South America, but reading your posts has me looking forward to jumping back into the foster ring as soon as we get back to Canada.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your family’s fostering adventures – happy writing!

  2. Thanks for the index of posts – it’s an easy “table of contents” for those of us new to your blog. I’ll be spending a good chunk of the day here.

    And, as a PS to what it’s like to foster: my own 7 years of fostering (in my case, the dogs we fostered were ex-racing greyhounds back in the early days when not too many folks even knew about greyhound racing) changed my life in ways that I never imagined.

    Fostering is like having an endless affair. It’s an adrenaline rush of excitement and quiet satisfaction; a constant learning experience where you get to wrap your brain around figuring out the dynamics of dog behavior.

    You’ll learn that people may be deceptive but that the dogs will always tell you the truth. And, that knowledge is part of what makes fostering worthwhile even though it will also break your heart.

    But, guess what? Hearts are supposed to be broken because learning how to mend our hearts is how we learn and grow. And, there are SO many dogs waiting in the wings. All they need is that one foster home to help them fly.

  3. I’ve been reading for a few weeks so still a new-ish reader ;-) I also worry about whether I could give them up but the biggest reason I don’t want to foster right now is because I have young (ish) kids. My son in particular is a real soft hearted guy and he would have a hard time giving up a dog he had come to love. So maybe someday but for now we just donate to shelters and do things like that.

    I have a question though. How does giving up a foster affect the dogs? I know, like people, every dog is different but do some of them have a hard time living with another dog for weeks or months and then that dog leaving or is it usually not a big deal?

  4. Congrats on being featured, that’s awesome! And that pic of Doodle is to die for – is he feeling any better today? I hope so! And thanks for the repeated shout out today! We, too, get the “it must be so hard to give them up” comments everyday. It is hard, developing a relationship with an animal and then to just end it. But we think it’s important to remember that they’re not leaving your life, just your home. And knowing that they’re going on to homes that are equally as loving as ours is more than enough justification for saying, “See ya later!”

  5. Hi Shannon – I posted above you and just happened to click back here after reading a few of the stories from other fosters that Aleks posted. From my own experience with fostering, I can tell you that the majority of foster dogs we had over the years made the adjustment to their forever homes just fine. And, my own dogs were also okay with having “guest dogs” stay with us temporarily. There’s more of a learning curve for the humans in this respect than there is for the dogs.

  6. congrats on being featured – if any blog deserves to be featured – it’s this one – such great work for beautiful animals who have no control over their environment – thanks for the post

  7. Congratulations on being featured – it will help so many more dogs and would-be or current foster homes. Totally enjoyed reading the comments. That Doodlebug is too cute – hope he feels better…

  8. We are amidst our first fostering experience and I can tell you we get the same question about, “Don’t you want to keep her,” “Isn’t it going to be hard to give her up?” I am a huge mush and I have no doubt I am going to bawl my eyes out when she does find her family. But I can’t even imagine what an amazing day it will be when it does happen, because that’s the whole point!

  9. wonderful … I admire your work, I just had to announce it on Twitter … I hope the people are thus much more attention to you.

    you only the best
    Greetings from Germany
    anipics

  10. Congrats on being featured!! Your FB fans have jumped to nearly 1,800!! Now all of these fans can witness first hand what we’ve been sharing on our own sites. Love the pic of Gonzo Bunny Ears and foster dad. Great work!!

  11. Love your blog. I wish we could foster but with a territorial Bull Terrier, it makes it hard. I appreciate what you do for the Bully community. I have a pit bull and he is the best. I wish more people knew how special they are. Really liked to article that you posted on FB from Garden and Gun Magazine.

  12. Congratulations. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and I love it. I had a crush on Gonzo (I like dudes, too) and was very happy to see him in a home of his own; I miss hearing about his adventures. I’m gonna be a foster brother one of these days, my mama keeps promising. I’m working on my manners in the meantime.

    • That is, a FORMER foster update :) On Jan 15, 2012 5:01 PM, “Love and a Six-Foot Leash” wrote:

      > Lucky for you, there is a yorker foster update this week from Gonzo!

  13. Pingback: How to foster a dog: Resources | Doggerel

  14. Pingback: The Week in Tweets (25th January 2012) | Some Thoughts About Dogs

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