We started fostering dogs who needed a temporary roof over their heads in late 2012. There was Ruby, the Irish Setter who was recovering from her spaying. There were the puppies, Tula & Kota. There was Dre, the black-and-white Jack Russell. And Riley, another feisty little guy. We hosted these critters for a few days to a month, until they went to live happily ever after with their ‘forever families’. And that’s always a happy outcome, though it can be hard to let go. I mean, we wouldn’t be doing this if we weren’t crazy nutso about dogs in the first place. We even got the puppies back for three weeks that summer, to babysit while their people traveled.
Fostering is one of the invisible pillars of animal rescue. Dogs and cats don’t go from being rescued from a shelter or from the street and go right home with their new people. It can take some time. A week, a month, longer. In the meantime, they need somewhere to go. So if you can’t adopt, please consider fostering. Call any local rescue organization or shelter. You’ll be a hero.
At the end of 2012, the rescue organization we volunteered with took on a massive challenge. One day, a woman walked into the Saturday adoption event at Petco with 8 dogs. Turned out she was a “hoarder” who had about 100 animals, dogs and cats, living with her. That’s another post! But we brought Charlie home with us that first night. Six weeks later, Bernardo and Tiger had nowhere to go, so they came to stay with us for awhile. That was over a year ago. Along the way, we joined a club known as foster failures. Charlie, Bernardo and Tiger became part of our family – or more accurately, we became part of theirs.
I don’t have a favorite. These three have such unique personalities and quirks. Tiger, though, is the little guy, a Chihuahua-Dachsund mix. He more than holds his own with his bigger brothers. He can be a bit of a curmudgeon; he’s also the biggest cuddler among them. And he successfully negotiated permanent sleeps-in-the-bed status – no small compensation for the fact that he’s the only one of us who cannot get up on the bed without an assist. (We just lucked out at the other two love their crates.) Most mornings, I open my eyes and see Tiger’s head resting on the corner of Thom’s pillow.
Sure, they’re spoiled. But only a little bit. We don’t know much about what life was like for them before they were rescued, but we know it wasn’t ideal. So if we can give them great, then we all win.
Here’s to Tiger. Our little man with a big heart.
Day 004 of #100happydays