Fostering can be very rewarding, however, it can also be stressful, daunting, and upsetting, so how do you know if you are cut out for fostering? There are several key things that you need to consider before you agree to foster, or it could turn out badly for both you and the dog. You will also have the wrath of me, which is an even worse fate!
1. What happens if I want to keep the foster?
I'm not going to lie, most of my foster mums have been foster failures, they have kept at least one of the dogs, and in some cases, multiple dogs. I have no issue with you adopting, however, you need to think if you actually do want to adopt, or simply cannot say goodbye.
You have to think about how satisfying it will be to help a dog get into the best possible home, and that if you adopt, you may not be able to help anymore. You will feel the panic, as you walk away, and you will think shit have I done the right thing. However, these feelings pass as you prepare to help the next dog.
2. Dealing with poop, chewing, howling, and bad behavior
The first few days can be a nightmare, and you will think WTF have I got myself into, as the dog you are fostering may be going through a roller coaster of emotions. Trust me these will pass, and you are there to teach them right from wrong. You are helping them to go through the next stage of their journey.
3. Foster withdrawal- Keep in touch
We encourage you to keep in touch, to remain connected to your foster dogs for as long as you want. This could be as simple as messaging the new home, or even offering to dog sit if they go away. I want you to feel part of what we do, to be involved, and follow the dogs progress, it is worth it. Receiving messages and photos, will remind you why you do this.
4. Saying Goodbye
Dogs aren't stupid, they know when we are upset or anxious, this is why you need t make the transition from you to their home a happy, and stress free experience. Even if you cry all the way home in the car, don't show those emotions around the foster dog. As you walk away the dog will be confused, as they have been through a huge amount, in such a short space of time. You will be amazed though how they adapt, and will soon fall in love with their new owners.
5. Learning to be supportive
For the first few weeks you are likely to be messaged constantly, and you need to be supportive, and positive. You will know the dog, and have to help the new home to get over the initial problems that there are likely to be, Many new homes panic, and you must be there for them, we offer RBU, therefore, you must back up your decision.
I always think that foster mums are a different breed, they are unique, and in my team you have to be even more unique! Fostering isn't for everyone, however, if you start fostering you will soon discover that like a packet of crisps, you can never have just one!