Why Foster?

Why Foster?
written by Laura Clarke

Why do we foster dogs for NASAP? That is a very good question. We have two teenage children that keep us busy.  We already have two dogs and a rabbit. Why on earth would we want MORE dogs? Dogs that have health problems or that were abused or abandoned for one reason or another. Fostering is time consuming. It requires patience and understanding. There is work involved. Some dogs require veterinary care. Pills need to be given. Creams to be rubbed on sores and medicated baths for dogs with mites and mange or regular baths for the dogs that just plain stink. Special diets may be needed which can be challenging with two other dogs wanting the “new” food.   

Gosh, we often have to kennel train and house train. That can be a challenge too with the dog that despises the kennel or doesn’t understand the concept of asking to go outside. Our foster dogs need to be “bunny proofed” and made aware of the fact that bunny is a friend and not a chew toy. The car is a sea of dog hair and muddy footprints. I gave up trying to keep it remotely tidy. It is now the “dog mobile”. There is always a dogfight upon receiving a new arrival, with all the snapping and snarling. Our matriarch dog must maintain the pecking order at all costs.  

We have to make sure the dogs get off leash time at the park for about an hour. Some days more so than others and we dare not miss too many of those special outings or we know about it by way of extra amounts of rambunctious behavior at home. It’s not easy to do what we would like all the time as often the dogs are in need of some form of attention or another, like an immediate bath or the vet appointment or the walk that comes first so we can go out knowing they’ve had some exercise.  

So, why do we continually subject ourselves to this steady barrage and upheaval? Each dog that comes into care needing our love and encouragement somehow manages to attach themselves to our hearts so intrinsically that it is near impossible to separate the strings that tug so tightly. Be it six weeks or a mere six days, as we watch our charges trot off to new and loving homes I personally cannot help but weep. Why do I weep? I weep for joy that they have found a loving home. I weep because I’ll miss them. I weep with relief that we will have maybe two weeks to recoup before we help another dog that will steal our hearts once again. It is a bittersweet thing this fostering. Why oh why do we do it?