Have you ever given it a thought? Welcoming a little furkid that needs so much of your love and care is the most rewarding experience that an animal lover could ever live. Montreal has so many rescues that work with foster families. This shows that Montreal has a caring community. It shows that we live in a community that thrives on becoming a kind society towards animals. I am amazed to see all the caring people that give their time and love for an animal in need.Fostering is an introduction to an abandoned and abused animal of what life should actually be. It is an animal’s first experience belonging to a home and finding out that humans are not all bad. At the moment, I am using the “slogan” of animal fostering during the holidays, but fostering could be a great experience any time of the year. Take the example of one of Montreal Dog Blog’s readers and friend, Nat Gabriela. She just went through the experience of fostering for the first time.
I could continue sharing on why to foster an animal from a shelter, but I think everyone should read about Nat Gabriela’s first experience fostering. So, without further ado… Here is Nat’s letter:
There’s a First for Everything
I have always been an animal lover. Especially a dog lover. I grew up with my grandfather’s dogs – they were my playmates and my babysitters. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I decided to adopt my own dog without telling my mom. Jadey was a Lhasa Apso and was with us for 15 years until she succumbed to cancer. A year later, after moving into my own home with my husband, we got our second dog, Lola, a bulldog hybrid. Three years after Lola I had my daughter and started thinking about a second dog simply because I had such great experiences with dogs when I was a wee little one. My husband was on the fence about this because it was already overwhelming having a baby around so I put it off for a while.
Fast forward 4 years (since my daughter was born). Lola is almost 7 and my daughter is in pre-K full time. I’m bored and need something to do. I see a picture of Angie, a special needs Weimaraner, on the SPCA E-Shelter page and I am immediately drawn to her. I post that I am willing to foster her providing Lola gets along with her, my hubby agrees, and Angie gets along with Emma. It was a match made in heaven….
On November 27th Angie came home with us. I was beyond nervous because Lola had never had another dog stay with us long-term. Lola isn’t particularly dog aggressive but she is a picky one and she is very low key. She’s not particularly playful and loves to sleep on the couch all day. I was worried that Angie would be too high energy for her but decided I was up for the challenge. It turned out that Angie and Lola together weren’t much of a challenge after all. Angie was as much a couch potato as Lola was. They would both take up an entire couch. There were a couple of times when Angie got too excited and Lola would growl but that was NOT the norm while Angie was in the house. She loved to sleep next to Lola and would try to squeeze into Lola’s bed either during the night or early in the morning. I would know because Lola would give a low growl. I would simply get up, move Angie to the bed next to Lola and all would be fine.
Angie’s stay with us was short-lived. She was with us for one week when I got the call that an amazing home was found for her. I was initially protective of her and resistant BUT after getting to know the two people directly involved in placing her I felt more than comfortable that she did indeed find a great forever home.
Angie was my first foster. I kind of jumped into the decision but it was one of the best impulse decisions I’ve ever made. It was a little bit more work than having just one dog and my days were full but it was an amazing experience, to say the least. The love and trust that Angie gave us was unbelievable, even though she didn’t really know us. She was my shadow and would follow me all over the place – upstairs, downstairs, into the bathroom, into the kitchen…she was there looking up at me or just resting at my feet. When I would wake up my daughter in the mornings, Angie would come into the room with me and gently nuzzle my little one then walk off back into our bedroom and try to cuddle with Lola. My daughter L.O.V.E.D. her! Angie was sweet and gentle with everything and everyone. I will miss her and she will always have a place in our hearts, yes, even my “on the fence” hubby.
Giving Angie a home, albeit for a short time, was empowering and humbling at the same. To be able to help an animal was empowering. To have an animal trust you and give you unconditional love regardless of their past was humbling. It was a learning, loving, trusting experience for all of us, Angie and Lola included. Our daughter has already asked us when we can save another dog. That may be sooner than expected. I just got a call telling me that there’s a perfect foster dog for us. I am waiting to set up an appointment to meet Reuben…..[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAjw9AT7DCg[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDWZXDKvc5E[/youtube]