Are Fostered Animals the Ones Doing the Fostering?
Most of us think the term “foster” refers to providing somebody or something a place of shelter and substance for a short time while long term arrangements can be made. Out of curiosity, I Googled the formal definition and it somewhat surprised me – “to promote the development of something good.” It is less about a tangible act, it was much broader. The more I thought about it and all the benefits my family has accrued from the process – the less certain I was who was fostering who? Then I realized it wasn’t one or the other, but a collective benefit – the “development of something good” was mutual.
Our kids have learned some hard life lessons and giving the animal up when it is time brings a day of tears. We could easily keep one or two, but I put the decision on our kids – keep one or two dogs – or save dozens. They learned the value of putting the greater good above their own wishes. Most importantly through this process, they see the value of love and how radically it changes something for the better. These animals often come the first day looking horrified, many narrowly escaping horrible deaths – many saw their siblings die – and it is entirely obvious by the look in their eye. In the coming week or two, the transition that occurs before our family’s eyes is nothing short of amazing. With love comes trust, confidence, happiness, loyalty – an endless list of positives. Love is one of the few things in life where there is no consequence for it occurring in excess – and the more love you give, the more you get – and this amazing compounding cycle begins. Our kids see the impact of this first hand, it is obvious and indisputable. The family is deeply involved in the selection process of the new home, ensuring that it is a great fit for their respective personality. We keep in touch with owners – sharing pictures and organizing play dates for those that are local. Our kids love it, they often can see these animals grow up and start to live a normal life full of happiness and fun – and they grasp the significance of what good they have done.
So, going back to the definition of to “foster” – fostering is not a one-way street, you are aiding in the development of something good and by doing so everybody involved learns a great lesson about love and all the benefits that come with it. For our children, it is a lesson they will carry into their adult lives and beyond, making this one of the most valuable investments in their future we could possibly make. We are aiding in the development of good – and while fostering animals, you can’t help but be fostered yourself!
Michelle Cole, Foster Volunteer Coordinator.
Once you’ve become a foster parent, Promise 4 Paws will provide everything that your foster dog needs, including a collar (with ID tag), a leash, toys, and food. A crate will be provided as well if needed. We also cover all medical expenses for the period of time the dog is in your foster care.
We are always available, day or night, to discuss any concerns or issues that you may be having with your foster dog. We have our own personal trainer/behaviorist on board ready to help you if there are any behavioral issues that need to be addressed. Helping rescued dogs work through such issues while in foster care will set them up for success with their new forever families.
Perhaps you find that you’ve fallen in love with the dog you’re fostering and want to make your home his or her forever home. The loving action of adopting one’s own foster dog is a fairly common occurrence that is affectionately referred to as a “Foster Failure” within the rescue community. Once your adoption is finalized, you have the option to further help us by fostering other dogs in need.
If you’re a resident of either Orange County or Riverside County and are ready to begin the rewarding experience of fostering a dog, please submit our online foster application. You also have the option to download an application and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For any additional questions about fostering, contact us at email@example.com. Also, you can always follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with especially urgent fostering needs.