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Could You Foster a Shelter Pet?

When shelters like this one in AL and this one in NV send out emergency pleas for foster homes, do you immediately think, “I couldn’t do that”?  I always did.  But now I’m reconsidering.

I get attached – as perhaps you could tell from the recent rescue of Jennie (thank you Jamie!).  In that case, all it took for me to feel a vested interest in the dog was a photo – no description even.  So the idea of taking a homeless pet into my home and making her part of my family temporarily never seemed all that feasible to me.

About 20 years ago, I worked in a veterinary clinic owned by a heartless vet.  A man abandoned his kitten at the clinic one Friday and the practice owner was determined to kill the cat immediately.  The associate vet asked me if I could take kitteh home for the weekend to save his life and by Monday we could figure something out.  Of course by Monday something had been figured out – the kitten would be living with me permanently.  Foster fail.

When APL rescued Scout’s puppies this summer, they offered to take her as well.  By that time, I’d spent so much time sitting out on the porch with Scout, I had fallen in love with her.  I knew it would be a challenge to introduce a new dog to our home because of Linus’s anxiety issues but I decided to give it a try and APL offered to take her at a later date if needed.  Ultimately it didn’t work out and we had to bring her to APL.  It was a sad day (and it happened to be my birthday which was definitely not good timing) but when I look back, I really feel good about the time we spent with Scout.

We got her fully vetted and spayed, house trained, fed her good food to get her to a normal weight and spent many nights cuddling with her on the couch and in bed.  We learned lots of useful things about her personality that will be helpful in matching her to the right owner.  Basically, I feel like we gave her a leg up on finding a permanent home.  And I know we allowed APL to spend resources on other pets in need during the time we had Scout with us.  When I think about it in those terms, it makes me want to consider fostering another dog.  I’m not sure I’m up to it right yet, but I’m keeping myself open to the idea.

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