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I haven't been working in rescue very long. It's been just over a
year since I've moved to Florida and met my Rescue Director. But I
wanted to share some of my thoughts with you on how it has affected
me over the last year.

It takes a lot of guts to foster. I know how sad, frustrated, happy
and emotionally drained a person can get over a dog. Since I've moved
here a year ago I have fostered over 40 dogs. Each one has different
needs and a different circumstance. Each one comes with their own set
of baggage and it's up to me to find out what their needs are and
fulfill that portion of their lives that is lacking. All the while
attending to their sick or broken bodies. The stench of rotting
teeth, infectious sores and explosive diarrhea from these poor souls
can be overwhelming. But the love in their eyes for a kind hand and a
soft voice can overcome all of the unpleasantness.

Even the old ones. The ones that only want a quiet place in the
corner of the room to live out their lives with dignity and to have
someone there to pat them on the head and tell them that the world is
a good place steal my heart.

I won't deny that a piece of my heart goes with each foster I turn
over to a new owner but I do it with the knowledge that not only is
the new owner getting a good dog, they are getting one of MY dogs!
One that I have helped shape and given new life to. One that I have
prepared especially for them...

Yes I cry, and I miss them when they go but I'm also very happy for
them knowing that as I let one go from the safety of my home to live a new and happy life in their forever home there are two more waiting for me to accept them with open arms and I start all over again......

It is truly a labor of love.


 

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Bless you Judy for what you give to those poor forgotten souls. I have always wanted to foster, and may still yet when I have a place Im not renting and more room. I used helped out with a rescue adoption program and they asked me to foster a dog so he could get over kennel cough. Very bad kennel cough that when into to pneumonia. I named him Emmitt. Well, we had him for almost three weeks and he finally got over it. When it was time to go back to the rescue, my hubby took him and he called latter that day to say that the dog got adopted. I was saddend but happy. When I got home there he was in all of his Emmitt Glory! My hubby could not let him go. I was shocked since Im the one who usually brings home strays!
My hubby loves him but ironically though, he's a mama's boy!!
 

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I wanted to rescue a dog before I got my Doberman, but my mom didn't want a "mutt". Although I love my Dobe to death, I still wish I could've rescued.
I actually just rescued a cat that I found near death in the field behind my house. Now she's in our garage; Fat and warm.
 

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That's great that you resuced your cat Ruby. So many stray cats never get homes. Bless you for opening your home to her. At least you got one hungry little mouth off the street even if it wasn't a pooch!:)
 

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My wife and I love all animals and had considreed fostering ferrets for awhile. We ended moving into a place that it wouldn't work in so we had to put that idea away. My biggest concern, wether ferrets or dogs...especially dogs for me as they are my all time favorite is that I would not be able to let them go.

My wife can attest to how attached I get to our critters, as can my mom..being the one who had to pick the lock on the bathroom door when I was a kid to get the dog that my parents had decidded was to hyper for our home.

Anyway...I comend all who can do it...I don't know if I would be able to let go.

God Bless
Adrian
 

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I foster dogs for local rescues and also adopt some myself. I don't have any kind of kennel, so could never do 40 dogs a year. I have 5 of my own dogs -- one being a dog I adopted last June when none of the rescue groups would take him. His reclusive owner was in an accident and would never be coming home :(. My own dogs have to be my priority. All rescues and adoptees are in our house and integrated into my pack from day one. That has brought use some contagious health problems. It can be a real hardship and is not all happy all the time!

We do get attached to the dogs we foster or adopt - they all come with some issues and/or health problems. We make them members of our family, help them heal, train them to be responsible and well-behaved, and make sure the ones who move on find a good match with their new familes. It is very hard.

Now there is a 10-11 yr old dog in need - his owner has dimensia and is in a nursing home. The rescue leader wants me to foster him, but the truth is he will probably stay with us until he dies. No one wants to adopt a dog that old. I'm not sure if we will end up with him -- fostering dogs can be a bittersweet road. You are better off if you have a kennel and can separate yourself from them somewhat. Having them all as members of the family can be rewarding but other times heartbreaking.
 

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That was very nice to read. I just started to foster a week ago, my very first foster dog. She is a handful, as she is 4 months old and as hyper as can be. I tell people she is like a ball of sharp little teeth that won't stop rolling. She is from a Doberman rescue group. She is the reason I joined this forum because I have so many questions!! To be honest 75% of the time my nerves feel frayed, she is certainly a diamond in the rough! She is smart though, even at four months. Getting bigger and stronger every day too. I have a rescued Doberman myself, and he is my main man (besides my husband, although that is up for question at times ;-) Anyway, I would be a totally different person if it were not for my dog, and if it weren't for a foster I wouldn't have him. I honestly don't know where he would be if it weren't for a foster, and I thank God he was saved. I never realized how much work it is to foster until this past week, but it really changes lives of not only the fostered animals but the people who adopt them as well. I hope to continue doing this in the future.
 

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I am waiting on a phone call to see if I get my first foster. I have a rescued 6 year old Sheltie and I'm not sure how he's going to take to another dog in "his" home. We've had him nearly a year now.

Anyone have any tips on how to introduce the foster to my Sheltie so he doesn't get aggressive?

He's never been aggressive but for one time when he went after the neighbor's dog at the end of our driveway.

Any tips appreciated.
 

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Sheltiemama,
First, I just hope it's ok if I answer this question under this thread, I know it might be a bit of topic from the orginal subject so I hope it's ok.

I had the same worry when I brought my foster home. My dog has slight dog aggression so I was obviously concerned. Anyway, what I did was when I went to pick the foster dog up I brought Rusty (my dog) with me. I spoke to the lady who had Gypsy (foster) beforehand to let her know I was concerned how Rusty would react, and told her I would like them to meet through a fence first, just in case someone had an 'outburst', no one would get hurt.

Luckily the first meeting worked out fine. When I brought Gypsy home, I kept them seperated for a few days (buying a pet or baby gate if you don't already have one is a good investment). When I was there and able to watch over them, I let Gypsy and Rusty see each other through the gate. Otherwise I kept Gypsy crated. The first day Rusty barked at her like 'what are you doing here?!", but if that happens just keep calm - if you get upset they know, and it's likely to escalate the situation and make it worse. I just lead Rusty away to diffuse the problem.

I let Rusty and Gypsy out for potty breaks seperate as well. It is a lot of work, but it's a good idea for the first few days. As soon as Rusty was done potty, I brought him in, closed him in a room, then let Gypsy out.

I also fed them seperate too (and still do).

Also I was like you on the idea that this was "Rusty's House" but, for me the better way to look at it is that it's my house, you are the boss so if you want this other dog living there, your dog will have to just get over it. Dogs really can pick up on how you feel, so acting that way may help diffuse any aggression over territory.

When I saw Rusty was showing no sign of aggression to Gypsy, I let them in the same room together (my husband helped with this part). I kept them on a leash. It's a good idea to not have any toys out when you do this, IMO, because they might fight over it.

Now they play very nice together in the yard. It's nice to watch them together. I still give Rusty frequent breaks from Gypsy as she is young and hyper, and he's really layed back;) I still keep my eye on them when they are together.

Hope that helped a little. Goodluck!
 

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That is great advise Luv4Rusty. The only thing I might add is that meeting on neutral territory is always a good plan. I've helped with rescues and that is the first thing we would tell people when they were going to introduce the dogs. Go to a place of neutral territory. See how they like eachother, take a nice walk and let them get to know eachother in a controlled situation.
We had a few not work out, but almost all did. BTW, I ended up with one of those that did not work out! He was my seventh dog!
 

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Thank you both so much for the replies. It turned out that I didn't get this one. But I'm on the list so will get one eventually.

I appreciate you taking the time to give me some direction. This is going to be new ground for me and I sure don't want a dog fight!
 

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Ok, so he's not going to be a foster. He's mine. He licked my nose when I got him into the van the first time. It was all over right then. :) :)
 

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Good luck with your new little man! Your rescue group may be sorry to hear you are adopting the first one if it takes you out of their foster program, but it happens a lot :).

Luv4Rusty gave some good advice. It is important to be calm and not anticipate problems and also to remember that it is YOUR house, not your dogs'. I have never had the opportunity to introduce my dogs to the new ones in neutral territory. They have all either been dropped off at my house or I met a transport on some highway and brought the new dog home. I do usually start them with a fence between so I can monitor and control their reactions, but I have been very pleased with how accepting the dogs are and how quickly I can get the new ones integrated into my pack. I think Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) has a lot of good advice for people involved in rescue.

I did end up with the old boy I mentioned in my other post. He is a 10 1/2 year old intact male with bad arthritis, some dominance issues and is extremely overweight. He is on a diet, will finally get neutered this week (can't come too soon for me ;)) and is learning the rules. He has been here for 10 days and is improving and adapting very quickly. Everybody send him good thoughts for the faint hope that there is someone out there willing to adopt an old man!
 

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Good luck to you and the Old Man! I hope that all goes well with his neuter and that he can find his person....if he hasn't already! lol!
 

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Goodluck and congrats on your new puppy! I still have my foster dog, I def. can't adopt her since my husband is in the military and Dobermans have recently been banned on all Army posts (don't even get me started on that!!!) Anyway, since he will be in for at least 10 more years the decision is easy.

Hope you have fun with your new puppy:):) He sounds like he is getting a good home!
 

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I just rescued a young Jack russel who runs up to my flat on the top floor 12 storey. He was so lost and was so happy to run into my maid who is attending to our plants. My maid call out for me and I was shocked to this is pretty girl who was busy licking over my face.
Looking at her well kept body, I realised it must have run out of her owner;s house unnoticed.. As a dog lover and we have 3 dogs the remaining one is a 14yr x maltese.. My husband and myself went to every level of the building in our flat asking our neighbours if anyone has lost a dog. No body responded.
Finally I took my camera and took a picture of the dog. We pasted the poster in several blocks around our estate,
Thank God, within 30min, I received a call from the owner and he told me his dog must have slipped out of the gate when he open the door unnoticed...
The lost dog is happily reunited with the owner and we are able to sleep peacefully for the night

Anna
Singapore
 

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Did my first rescue transport last night. Met a volunteer coming from the southern part of the state and picked up an owner surrendered Sheltie. We then took him up the road to meet his foster mom. He's going to make someone a very nice furbaby. It's probably a good thing the trip wasn't longer. My husband was quite taken with him. :)

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