Friday, July 27, 2012

10 Reason to be a Foster

Welcome to the July edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Pets and children.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing their thoughts and experiences with pets and children! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."- Immanuel Kant

Still kind of off the bloggy bandwagon these days but when I saw what the topic was for this months Carnival of Authentic Parenting I was inspired to join in.  You see, recently we became foster parents to the most adorable group of doggies ever (and I am not at all biased!).  It's not something we set out to do, we sort of stumbled into it but it has been an amazing experience.  It's something I would encourage everyone out there to give a shot, at least once.  Rescue groups are always in need of amazing foster homes for unwanted pets to live in until their forever homes can be found. 

I know it sounds hard.  You are worried you will get attached and yes we are attached and will be sad to see them go BUT, had we not stepped up they would not be here at all.  They were literally less than an hour away from being put to sleep, mama and baby's, when I said we could take them.  Now they have been here a week and they have already made out lives so much fuller.

So here is my top 10 reasons why you should consider being a foster home for a pet in need:

1. How can you say no to those faces:

2. It's a great lesson in compassion and empathy for your children.  The older they are the more they will understand the gift you are giving.  Our kids get that we saved them but only Teddy understands what we saved them from and even then he does not fully understand what "put to sleep" means.

3. If your on the fence about if you want to take the plunge into pet ownership becoming a Foster first is a great way to test it out without making that life long commitment.

4. You may just become a "Foster Failure" but those are the best foster homes possible, that means you fall so totally head over heels in love you adopt the pet yourself. Rescue groups love Foster Failures.

5. They will improve your health.  People who own pets are happier and live longer, it's a scientific fact.  So even if you feel like you do not have 100% to give to a pet full time, opening your home (and heart) to a pet in need temporarily is the next best thing.

6.  You will get to post adorable pics like this on you FB wall:

7.  Rescue groups are always in need, they can only save so many dogs and once they are full there is nothing they can do.  Opening a spot in your home for a pet or 2 (you don't have to be crazy like me and take on a mom with a liter haha) means that's 1 more that can be saved.

8.  You get to see your kids doing cute things like this:

and this:

and this:

9.  Because once you foster, you will want to do it again and again and again.

10. You will save a life, and that's the greatest reason of all!

Even if fostering is not for you Rescue groups are always in need of people willing to help with time or money to drive pets to the vet, help cover costs, donate food/toys/blankets/towels, and even just the simple act of cross posting pets available for adoption in your area on social media.

Sadly there is a major pet over population problem and they cannot all be saved, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.  Consider adoption before buying, the puppy in the pet store window is "cute" but the odds are strong that it came from a puppy mill where its parents were mistreated and forced to breed over and over again. Besides, there are plenty of purebreds abandoned and looking for forever homes too.

Be forewarned, if you are crazy enough to take on a mama and pups be prepared to make the "hard choices" of who gets to stay permanently.  We went into this with the intention of adopting 1 of them, but only ONE!  We already have a dog and do not want more than 2 (especially so we can possibly foster again in the future).  I wanted to adopt Mama Dog, or Mama Daisy as we call her, because I know everyone wants a puppy so the puppies will have no problem finding homes.
my girl Mama Daisy- so good with her baby's and mine!  I have
seen my kids try to ride her, literally take food out of her mouth,
poke her, pull her tail, sit on her, etc and she doesn't even flinch. 
She just takes it with a lick and a tail wag.

Ted fell in love with 1 puppy who is in love with him as well, we have nicknamed her "Daddy's Girl" and she follows him everywhere.
Ted with "Daddy's Girl"

Teddy is head over heels in love with the runt, Bitty Bit as we call him:
Teddy with Bitty Bit,  our newest family member

Since it was supposed to be a dog for Teddy he pretty much wins, but its still hard.  Its comforting to know we can be as involved in the adoption process as we want so that we know they are going to good homes.

If you are still not sure, I will leave you with this for a little inspiration:

Do I Go Home Today?

My family brought me home cradled in their arms. They cuddled me and smiled at me, and said I was full of charm.

They played with me and laughed with me, they showered me with toys. I sure do love my family especially the girls and boys.

The children loved to feed me, they gave me special treats. They even let me sleep with them all snuggled in the sheets.

I used to go for walks, often several times a day. They even fought to hold my leash, I'm very proud to say.

These are things I'll never forget a cherished memory. I now live in a shelter without my family.

They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe. But I didn't know the difference between the old ones and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rag for hours we would tug. So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bathroom rug.

They said that I was out of control, and would have to live outside. This I did not understand although I tried and tried.

The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn't time. I wish that I could change things, I wish I knew my crime.

My life became so lonely, in the back yard on a chain. I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane.  

So they brought me to the shelter but were embarrassed to say why. They said I caused an allergy, and then, kissed me goodbye.

If I'd only had some classes, as a little pup I wouldn't have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.

"You only have one day left," I heard the worker say. Does this mean a second chance? Do I go home today?

this doggy foster mama,

P.S. If you live in the KC Metro area and are interested in adopting one of these cuties contact Reno Ranch.

APBC - Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic ParentingVisit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • A Pet's Role in the Home School — If a house isn't a home without a pet, how can you imagine homeschooling without one? Erica at ChildOrganics discusses the many benefits of home schooling with pets. .
  • Toddlers and Whiskers, Co-existing as One — Mama Duck at Quacks and Waddles explains how to introduce new pets to toddlers and babies
  • Children and the Death of a Pet — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama offers suggestions on how to help children work through the loss of a pet. She includes a variety of books to support both parents and children during this tender time.
  • 10 Reasons to Be a Foster Family for a Pet in Need — Christy from Adventures in Mommyhood: Mommy Outnumbered gives her top 10 reasons to consider fostering a pet until a forever home can be found.
  • Preparing Dogs for New Baby — Jennifer from Mother of the Pack gives advice to new parents for preparing their dog(s) for a baby
  • Children, Pets and Death — Lauren at Hobo Mama has walked with her son through the untimely death of their cat, a fascinating and troubling journey.
  • The Health Benefits of Having Pets — Laura from Authentic Parenting tells us exactly why having pets is beneficial to your child's health. 
  • Romeo, My Healing Dog —  Bianca at the Pierogie Mama writes about her loveable old dog, Romeo, who at one point she had to give away but a few years later he was placed back in her life when she least expected it.


  1. So many sweet pictures! Our dogs come from a rescue and a shelter and we have fostered in the past, it's such a great experience!!

  2. What a wonderful post to add to this carnival..I submitted my post too ( in which I also put my dog up for fostering during a time of change in my life.. and I eventually got him back! It's families like yours who are willing to loan your hearts to pets that really make a difference for others. Thank you for writing about this little known topic, and hopefully you've inspired others to do the same.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story of fostering and your adorable pictures, too cute!!

  4. such sweet photos, and such a poignant message, thanks for sharing your views and experiences of foster caring for dogs. There is a real need for more people like you who are able to take on this valuable role. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. A real inspiration, as well as great for your kids too.


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