A Pet Helper Foster tells what Rescue means to her....
For the longest time, I was that person who said, “Oh, I don’t know how you foster dogs, because I could never give them up.” I have loved dogs for as long as I can remember. When my parents would take me to visit friends as a little girl, I would find that family’s dog and play with it and love on it until it was time to leave. But what I felt was more than just a love for dogs – it was an urge to actually do something to help the unwanted, the abused, the hurt and the abandoned. I know that some people don’t understand ‘animal lovers’, but I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t love animals. Animals make my heart swell, they bring me peace, they make me smile and yes, they make me cry. If I had a previous life, there is no question that I was a dog.
My first fostering experience just fell into my lap, as though it was meant to be. Last summer, a coworker emailed me to say that a pup had been dropped off at her house and she couldn’t keep it. I contacted Pet Helpers to find out if they would be able to take it in, and I remember the response - “If you can foster it, we’ll take it.” I was on board, now to break it to my husband!... I ended up naming that perfect little black ball of fur Boulder, and he was that special pup that turned me from someone wanting to help, to someone who was helping. I only had Boulder for 9 days before he went to his furever home, but that 9 days cinched it for me… I had found what I’d been looking for, and I was going to foster dogs for Pet Helpers. Since that day, I have fostered 18 more dogs, some adults, some pups, some entire families. Some have slept in our bed, some have slept in their crates, some have been house trained, some we have had to house train, some have been destructive, some have not, but there are some things that are for sure: they have EACH left our home with more confidence than when they arrived. They have EACH learned to engage with children and other dogs. They have EACH learned what it’s like to live in a home with rules and to be trained to follow those rules. And most importantly, they have EACH been given our full love and attention and have known that they are special and that they are loved.
Fostering is not something one person does, it’s something the entire family takes on. It changes your schedule, it can make you lose sleep, sometimes your house isn’t as clean as you’d like it to be because of the additional hair. But it has taught my daughters the meaning of giving something all of your love, even if it’s just for the short term. It has taught my husband patience and the importance of training dogs. It has taught me that it is ok to cry when I hand them over to their new family – in fact, it’s wonderful that I cry, because that shows how loved he/she was while in our care. They have each left a pawprint on my heart that will forever be there, like a tattoo, from Boulder to Kendall to Zeb and all of them in between. The Pet Helpers family has taught me so much, and has given me the chance to do something that is, quite simply, in my blood – to love and care for animals. With tears in my eyes, I say – I know we can’t help them all, but we will always help as many as we can!
Finally, an animal lover with a purpose,