my fostering story


first days with us
first days with us
hiding in the bushes
hiding in the bushes
in my laundry basket!
in my laundry basket!
happy
happy
playing
playing
sweet girl
sweet girl
I want that ball!
I want that ball!
tug of war
tug of war

IMG_2065

chew treat
chew treat
ball destroyer
ball destroyer
hyde ring chew
hyde ring chew
zoomies
zoomies
waiting for a treat
waiting for a treat
chilling with her batfink ears
chilling with her batfink ears
Tanya when I first got her
Tanya when I first got her
Tanya with her stick
Tanya with her stick
beautiful Tanya R.I.P
beautiful Tanya R.I.P

My fostering story began with losing my beautiful staffy/lab cross Tanya in July 2011 and I couldn’t bear not having a dog in the house, as I live by myself. So a month later I adopted Coal from the Dog’s Trust ( a lot sooner than I ever thought I would). Then after having Coal for a few months, I took him to the Dog’s Trust fun day, where Staffordshire Rescue Scotland had a stand. I spoke to them for ages and they told me the story of Coal. Staffordshire Rescue Scotlnd had received a call about Coal as he was blind in both eyes, but as they met him they realised that he wasn’t a pure Staffy but had a bit of Patterdale Terrier in him, so they couldn’t take him. So they took him to the Dog’s Trust, and saved him from being PTS,who in turn gave him 2 cataract operations which gave him his full sight. Whilst talking to SRS at the fun day, we discussed fostering , as I had already filled out a fostering application with the Dog’s Trust but hadn’t heard back from them. So when I got home I filled out an online fostering application on the SRS website. I wanted to foster to see 1. if Coal would benefit from another dog and 2. whether he was willing to share his home with another dog before committing to adoption, as I didn’t want hi to feel pushed out. Also I had always wanted to help homeless and mistreated dogs, but with money being tight I couldn’t afford to donate regularly and when I did donate , it never felt like I was doing enough to help.
After completing the online fostering application, I was contacted a few days later to arrange a suitable time for them to visit me in my home for a chat. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous when they arrived, but they quickly put me at ease and we had an informal chat about where the foster dog would sleep, the help and support the rescue would give me with training, vetinary fees and food. As they had a dog needing fostered at the time, we arranged a time for Coal to meet the foster dog to make sure that they got on which was the most important thing. When Christine arrived with Tess, the foster dog, Tess was curled up, cowering and shaking on my doorstep. She soon came out of her shell in the house and got on very well with Coal. She arrived with a lead, collar, bowl, crate, blankets and food. Although Tess was 10 months old, she wasn’t toilet trained and had never been a walk so was unsure at first. She didn’t know to do the toilet outside and the first walk I took her, she didn’t toilet once in 2 hours, and as soon as we got home she did the toilet in the house. She picked up toilet training very quickly after a few minor accidents which was to be expected.
I included Tess in Coal’s training (10 minutes, 2-3 times a day) and took them 2 walks per day. Tess quickly built up her muscles and looked like a different dog to the one that had arrived a couple of weeks prior. It was difficult not to fall in love with her! Then she went into season, which made Coal very scatty, even though he was neutered. After discussing this with SRS, Tess got neutered by keyhole surgery as the vet can do this whilst they are in season rather than waiting until it has finished, this also had the added benefit of recuperating on a couple of days, rather than weeks, so she could get back to playing with Coal. Christine came and picked up Tes, took her to the vet and brought her back afterwards. Coal missed her when she was gone and kept waiting at the door for her. A few weeks later, I thought it would be beneficial for Tess to stay a weekend at my parent house as they have 2 cats, that have been brought up with dogs, to see how Tess got on with them, in case a potential home became available that had cats. Unfortunately Tess wanted to chase the cats to play, but cats don’t like this! However the other thing that stood out was how much Tess and Coal missed each other. Neither would eat or go walks, they just sat at the door whining, so Tess returned the next day and they ran to greet each other, then me! A couple of nights later, I was training them to being left alone in the house, so I put Tess in her crate as I was unsure of how she’d react, then went to the shop across the road. When I returned home, I opened the door to both Tess and Coal sitting waiting for me in the hal! Coal must have opened the crate door and let her out! It was at that moment I knew Tess was already in her forever home, so I adopted her and became a ‘failed fosterer’ which is the best failure ever! They are inseparable and have a typical sibling relationship – Coal looks out for her, barks at her if she’s up to mischief and Tess steals Coal’s toys and jumps on top of him when he’s sleeping just like an annoying little sister and the over protective big brother. There is on;y a year between them, and both missed out on their puppyhood, Coal with being blind and Tess being stuck in a crate all day for the first 10 months of her life so they both regressed into puppiness! They love zooming around, playing and snuggling with each other. If you offer a treat to Coal, he waits to make sure that Tess is getting one as well. They are so sweet together and always make me smile no matter how bad life jus at that moment. This is my first time owning 2 dogs at the same time and honestly I have found it to be easier than 1 as they keep each other entertained. When it was just Coal out a walk, he would stay beside me when off lead but with Tess they run around together so are getting more exercise.
Once someone said to me that fostering is great but you have to be coldhearted not to fall in love with the dog. When I started fostering Tess for the first few days, I tried very hard not to fall for her charms and cuteness, but then found it was impossible and realised that you have to love them, so they know what it feels like to be loved as they give love so easily but being loved iOS different to giving love. You just have to steel yourself for the time that you will pass them on to a loving forever home, which is for their benefit. So I can honestly say that you don’t need to be cold hearted to foster, you have to have a bigger heart that is not selfish to do the best for the dog, not yourself. Fostering Tess was one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I certainly would foster again in a heartbeat!

Advertisements

Your 2 pence is welcome here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s