By Bridget Clough
We started our commitment to fostering in the summer of 2020. It all began with us asking ourselves what we could do with our time that would have a positive impact, and the answer we came up with was fostering. The first time we signed up to foster puppies, thinking that it might be a good way to test the waters and see if our tween/teen kids were ready for a dog. The joy these puppies brought to our lives was amazing and taking care of them became the best distraction from world events. There is literally no better way to deal with stress than to play with puppies! When it was time to transition them to their next homes we were sad about it and thought we would take a little break before we did it again. That break lasted a few hours because there were more puppies in need. To date we have fostered seven puppies and adopted two.
The most recent two puppies we fostered are sisters who came from Taiwan, both three-legged as a result of dog traps. When the foster request was sent out their faces in the picture tugged at my heart. They had seen so much trauma and it was apparent. We brought them home and took them to our backyard, giving them time to adjust before introducing our puppy, just two months older than them, to the girls. They sniffed around curiously but didn’t really know what to do. When our puppy Otis saw there were dogs in our backyard he was overjoyed. Once we made introductions the sisters came alive, running around the backyard playing, chasing, and being puppies together. The sisters are no longer identifiable from the two puppies in that picture. They make eye contact, understand commands, connect with the people in our house and cautiously welcome outsiders.
Each new fostering story fuels a desire to foster again. Each comes with its own adventure. We learn the personalities, oddities and preferences of each new puppy. One puppy we fostered wanted to be a lap dog despite the fact that we knew her eventual size may not make that possible, and she took great pleasure in sitting on our laps while swatting at her much bigger brother. One puppy loved all dog clothes. She beamed when trying on a new harness, collar, or scars, and would happily show it off to everyone. In some ways watching how they grow feels very much like tending a garden. You get to plant the seed and see its potential as it starts to poke through the earth. You may see the starts of color, the way it curves one way or another, and may even get an idea of what its ultimate size will be. You then get to share that excitement with others who will take over the care of that seed, nurturing it with the same love and care. There really is nothing like it.
If you’re interested in saving lives and make a positive impact, please consider fostering!
Go to: https://ofosa.org/become-an-ofosa-foster/ for more information and an online application!