There is an overwhelming amount of jubilation felt when there are nine, five-month-old, puppies crawling on top of you. There is an even stronger sense of tranquility when those puppies settle down and fall asleep on your legs in one big massive pile. This experience is not common for most people, but it is one of life’s most rewarding ones.
Over the past year and a half, my family and I have been rewarded with this experience through fostering puppies. At the initial sound of it, fostering sounds like a blast. Who wouldn’t love constant puppies, right?
Fostering requires constant attention to the dogs. A large part of fostering is making sure they have food, cleaning up after them, and learning how to manage sharp puppy teeth puncturing your skin. You have to build their routines and teach them how to accept the crate training, which usually comes with much resistance.
The majority of dogs we foster come from overcrowded kill shelters, abandoned homes, or a place with no love. The puppies don’t understand what it’s like to live in a house or have to listen to humans. They don’t understand that their food will just be given to them. Often times these animals are sick and so skinny that there protruding ribcage and spines can be seen from across the yard.
Besides the obvious tasks of taking care of the physical needs of the puppies, there is a much larger and impactful aspect of fostering. Seeing the transformation of anxious and frail dogs to adorable lovable puppies is incredible, to say the least.
The connection you make with each and every dog that you care for is so unique and special. Each dog has it’s personality. Some of the are mellow and some of them sprint across the room to steal the socks off your feet. It makes saying goodbye hard but at the same time, all the worthwhile. As a foster, you know that you contributed to the dog’s happiness and, hopefully, to the happiness of its forever family.
I am a firm believer that fostering dogs is one of the most astonishing things one can do in their life. The amounts of patients, responsibility, and love it brings into a household is extremely overwhelming. For the past year and a half, we have fostered and saved over 25 dogs, all of which are now in a loving family. There is nothing like the energy a puppy brings into a household when it is playtime. There is nothing like the calmness of a household when the puppy falls asleep. There is truly nothing like fostering.