When you foster a dog in need, every minute you spend offering kindness, guidance and a safe haven paves the way for that dog to find lifelong security and love. You’ll provide this one special dog a unique opportunity between abandonment and adoption – to transition into knowing what being in a good home feels like.
Your time and effort will allow your foster dog to feel safe, secure and to heal his or her wounded heart. He or she will learn to trust your touch, your guaranteed return from work each day, a steady feeding schedule, and how to be alone and remain stress-free. Many of these things can’t be taught in a kennel situation.
The intimate knowledge you gain about your foster dog, from favorite toys, treats or places to explore, to things that create discomfort – be it cats, other dogs, or children – will help situate him or her within the perfect family situation.
Explore the Possibilities
Whatever your foster dog’s unique situation calls for, thanks to you, he or she will have the best chance possible at settling into a new life without reason for return.
You’ll work toward helping your foster dog understand what will be expected by his forever family, such as how to respect furniture and kitchen counters, how to toilet in the appropriate place, and how to mouth only designated chew toys. You might teach good manners by rewarding important commands like sit, stay and come. You may show him or her how to take treats gently from your hand. You’ll play chauffeur to healthy pet appointments, adoption clinics, and home visits. And you’ll want to keep your foster dog well socialized with other dogs and people.
Ultimately, your foster dog’s background and skillset will guide your path, and he or she will often be eager to please that one steady person who rewards learning with kindness – YOU.
Right out of the crate from a 12 hour rescue transport, these two mill rescue puppies had to learn to climb up and down the stairs from where they’d sleep and eat to where they’d relieve themselves going forward.
This video is such a metaphor for what we’ve experienced fostering these sweet souls in their first week of freedom… one step forward, two steps back, some hesitation, mostly charging forward fearlessly, and a strengthening of trust. Sometimes, there are sweet surprises that come from those first steps and, at the end of every attempt and triumph, the joy, pride and love is enormous.
– Kim Clune, President, Dog House Adoptions
How Dog House Adoptions Fosters Your Best Experience Possible
Working together every step of the way, we do our best to match your needs with a Dog House Adoptions dog who best fits your lifestyle and home. Whether you have other pets, require crating during the day, or have space issues to preclude larger dogs, you can share any concerns when you submit your application.
In return, we ask that you please understand that we won’t know everything about your particular foster dog, nor have we seen his or her behavior in every situation. Much of what is discovered, from adorable behaviors to things that will need work, will be discovered by you. This is exactly why fostering is so important..
Help Is Always at Hand
Situations may arise where you find yourself with no experience to address your foster dog’s behavior. That’s okay. Help is always here.
Marlene Wagner, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer from Nassau Veterinary Clinic, volunteers through Dog House Adoptions. She can often answer your question by email or phone and, if your need requires an in-home visit, we can arrange that too.
Because Marlene highly values keeping dogs in a home – even if a temporary home, she offers free classes to our foster families teaching ways to encourage your foster dog’s best behavior. If you have a specific topic that you’d like addressed, we can pool a group together for such a class.
The Letting Go
Letting go of your foster dog is often an emotional blend of sadness and joy. Sadness stems from the sudden hole left by the departing dog who you’ve showered with love. At the same time, intense joy overflows as you watch your foster dog affectionately kissing his or her way into a new family with a full-time future.
Once you find your way past the first few days of separation, joy supersedes all else. You’ll take enormous pride in how far your foster dog has come and in yourself for helping that deserving dog reach a loving life of permanence.
In the early days, when the joy doesn’t make the sadness sting less, we will be there to remind you that you have just accomplished the most selfless act on behalf of your foster dog, that you are a hero for caring enough to make a difference. Comfort comes when we push through together, celebrating your foster dog’s beautiful brand new life.
There are No Foster Failures
If you become a “foster failure,” meaning you can’t let go before a new family takes interest, that’s okay. Sometimes that one special dog grabs your heart, rendering you a pile of mush.
While good foster homes are hard to come by and there are never enough of them for our unending supply of dogs in need, we’re pretty sure there can never be enough love in this world either. There are no foster failures in our book. No matter what, we’ll always be grateful that our rescued dog has found so much love in you, in whatever way that manifests. Love is always success.
Take Your First Step…
To begin what could prove to be your most amazing journey, learn the tenets of Dog House Adoptions Foster Program. Once you understand how the practical side of dog fostering will impact your life, we encourage you to fill out our dog foster application. We’ll visit your home to discuss ways to ease you and your foster dog into your specific space. This is for your benefit as much as for our dog’s. If all looks positive, we’ll send a congratulatory letter of approval and begin finding a wonderful foster dog for you!
Dog House Adoptions serves New York’s Capital Region.