For the last two years, 17 dogs of all different shapes and sizes have come to live with me while searching for a forever home. From St Bernard’s to Miniature Poodles, each fostering experience has been incredibly unique and rewarding. I have had dogs from Mexico, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Montreal, Toronto and Texas, to name a few and the knowledge that I am helping even one life has made me feel very lucky to act as a foster parent.
With each foster dog, I have learned how to deal with all sorts of different doggy personality types from dominant, passive aggressive, timid, hyper to dealing with dogs with separation anxiety and distrust of humans, among many others. One of the most rewarding things, though, is seeing these dogs come out of their shells and begin to let go off some of their past baggage of abuse and abandonment. While each dog has a different set of quirks, they always come to me frightened and jaded, until about a week or two in when they finally start to let their guard down. It is at this point that I feel the most gratification, seeing what a difference you can make for this living, breathing animal that deserves as much love as the rest of us.
As a foster parent, the rescue organization typically provides you with all of the support and resources you need. From dog food to toys and vet bills, the only thing you need to worry about is providing the dog with a comfortable, safe and stable environment where they can learn how to be a dog again. Although you can experience some challenges like having to teach a four-year-old Egyptian street dog how to use the grass outside and not the area behind your TV to do its business, with a little bit of patience and dedication it is achievable. Fostering is also a great alternative to owning a dog. I for one, do not have the time to adopt a dog at the moment, so fostering allows me to have a dog temporarily while still being able to make a huge difference in a rescue dog’s life. I foster with the Save Our Scruff organization in Toronto, but if you know of a great rescue group in your area, please let us know in the comment section below. In the meantime check out some of the dogs I have fostered in the gallery above.