Random Musings on Dogs, Photography, and the Vagaries of Life

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Faces of Fostering

As a writer and photographer, I employ both words and images to communicate. For this post—in honor, appropriately, of the dog days of summer—I’ve chosen to rely primarily on images…of some of the wonderful dogs my husband and I have fostered over the years while they waited for their forever homes.

Most of these temporary canine companions arrived in good health; others had health or medical issues, such as demodectic mange or injured limbs that required surgery or even amputation. Some were outgoing; others, more cautious. Some shared our home for mere weeks, others several months. But no matter how short or long their time with us, each and every one of these dogs—from Lab mix pup Cooper, our very first foster, to rat terrier mix Taz to Plott hound mix Darla—found their way into our hearts and left us with wonderful memories.

People sometimes say to me, "Oh, I could never foster a dog; I'd want to keep them all," and ask, "Don't you feel sad when they leave?"

I always explain that we take in foster pups knowing that their stay will be limited and that having our own dogs makes their departure easier. And, yes, I feel a bit sad initially. But on the advice of a wise friend who has fostered many more dogs than I have, I treat myself to a glass wine once they're safe and sound in their new home and toast them and their new families in their futures together.

At the moment, my husband and I have no foster dogs. We're still enjoying the arrival of a new permanent canine family member. But I'm sure the day will come when we decide to once again become a "way station" on the way to a new life for another homeless dog.

Because, seriously, just look at these faces. How could we not?


Fostering saves lives and brings great joy! I encourage you to share in this joy by contacting your local shelter or rescue organization and asking how you can become a dog or cat foster parent.

1 comment:

  1. I should have realized that I'd see Annie's photo in this array, but when I scrolled down to it, I was struck with sadness about the way her brief time with us ended. Nearly five years have passed and there's no closure. Ironically, we are about to depart this morning on a short trip with a new RV, the second replacement for the one that was wrecked when Annie was lost to us.

    Bailey, who was also on that trip, got his first introduction to the new camper yesterday, and he is very excited to go for a ride. Somehow, I think he knows that you don't go the the vet's in a motor home.

    To segue back to your original subject, we haven't found it difficult to part company with the dogs we've fostered, because we know it will be a happy journey for them. When our first foster dog was adopted a mere ten days after returning to the SPCA's care, we felt like proud parents watching a child graduate from college.