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I’ve adopted three dogs and each one has changed my life. The first helped mold me into the person I am. The second taught me not to judge a book by its cover and showed me that my capacity to love was way larger than I thought. And the third has really tested my patience and adaptability. I still love her though.
Having my own pups, and volunteering at shelters, has really made me want to bring in more animals. Of course, I don’t own my own house and two dogs that don’t like each other is a special kind of challenge. But being a dog foster has been on my bucket list for years. Which, I shared a few blogs back. You can see the whole list here.
Zach and I have actually taken in two dogs, both for short periods of time…and countless more strays that we’ve housed for a night or two. As a foster mom for a short period of time, I will say that it’s definitely a rewarding experience, but man, it can be hard.
Our first real foster was a pit bull named Jones, who I like to call Jonesy Bonesy. He was about 60 pounds and a year old so he had ALL the energy. I’ve never had a big dog, so it was a little tougher than I had anticipated. But, we made it work.
He was such a cutie and so funny. I’d sit with him at night and get him to settle down. He’d just lie next to me and chew on his bone. After a week, Jones definitely thought he was mine—and I got a little attached. I mean, how could you not?
It wasn’t long until a family put in an application to adopt Bonesy. We corresponded via email so that I could get a sense of what they wanted from a pet and feel out if their lifestyle and home situation were compatible.
Then they came to my house to meet him and hung out for about an hour. I could tell they were serious and had really done research before picking a dog. They didn’t want just any dog; they wanted Jones.
That is one thing that worries me about the next time we foster, way down the road (probably when Timmy passes). That I won’t pick up on something and help place a dog in a bad environment. Thankfully that wasn’t the case with Jonesy.
He had a playdate with the family’s other pibble and they got along swimmingly. I follow them on Instagram and get to see videos of them playing and being the best of buds.
But man, it was hard letting that guy go. And I didn’t even have him for that long, nor was he the perfect fit for me. But he relied on me to take care of him for a while and we bonded.
I can definitely see why people fail at fostering. That’s another one of my life goals though—to be a foster failure. AKA adopt the dog I am supposed to be temporarily taking care of.
A Girl Named Doodle
The other foster dog we had was an 8-pound terrier mix we named Doodle. I found her in a parking lot and somehow got her in my car. It was probably because she was very tired and I had cheese.
This girl was covered in fleas, had worms, a huge burr on her butthole and was dirty AF. Of course she wasn’t chipped and had no collar on. So we brought her in, cleaned her up, and let her nap her face off the first night.
Neither Zach or I are small dog people, but Doodle was cool. She was super weird, which we love, and small dogs can get away with having a shit ton of energy because you can just pick them up and move them.
I posted photos and videos of the Doods on social media and had a lot of people interested in adopting her. I took her to Bradshaw Animal Shelter to get vaccinated and ultimately spayed so that she could be adopted through the facility. But since we had the space for a small dog, we were able to host her so she didn’t have to be in the shelter.
But, she didn’t last long. As soon as she was able to be adopted, Tom from the morning show swooped her up. I am still waiting for him to bring her in so that we can chill. I just hope she remembers me.
All in all, fostering an animal is hard work. It can be frustrating, it can be time consuming, and you might not bond with the animal. But it is SO worth it. If you have the space, I recommend doing it at least once.