The Winding Path to Dog Ownership, Part II: The Decision to Foster

After foster kitties Scraps and Matilda left, the house felt empty and sad. For the longest time I couldn’t bear to go in the garage and see the leftover litter, their little dishes, and the toys my kids had made. Eventually, I emptied the garage and swept away all traces, crying as litter dust flew.

In our search for a rescue group to take in the girls, I connected with Marisa, who heads up a group called Paws for Life. Marisa has two main sources of foster dogs: puppy mills and seven-day “shelters,” where dogs have one week to be adopted or they’re euthanised. These shelters have the nerve to charge Marisa to save these dogs; each rescue costs her about $40.00, and she also pays for neutering, shots, and other medical needs the animal has. She gets some donations, but is not a charitable organization and can’t issue tax-deductible receipts. She recoups her expenditures through adoption fees that just cover her costs.

Much as I wanted to save the life of some poor puppy on death row, The Spouse and I were hesitant. Fostering means getting attached to a pet, then giving it up. At the time, our children were 10, 8, and 5. I didn’t need to traumatise them– or me!– with revolving pets. The Eldest and I had cried all the way home after leaving Scraps and Matilda at the rescue.

The children, however, badly wanted a pet, so we did something we do very infrequently in our family– we had a meeting. We emphasised to the kids that we would not be keeping these dogs: we travel too much, we don’t have the money for expensive vet bills (one friend has spent $3,600 curing her dog’s urinary tract infection), no one was home all day, etc. etc. The kids didn’t care. They promised there wouldn’t be tantrums and tears. They wanted a pet in the house, and they loved the idea of saving a life in the process. So, a little nervous and wondering what I was getting into, I e-mailed Marisa and told her find us a new friend.


About one person's view

I'm the mother of three girls, three cats, and a dog. All need constant attention, but only the dog likes to go for long walks!
This entry was posted in animal rescue, Dogs, fostering, pet ownership. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Winding Path to Dog Ownership, Part II: The Decision to Foster

  1. Pingback: The Winding Path to Dog Ownership, Part VI(b): Our Best Friend and the Trainer | The Dog Park

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