Adventures in Fostering

Day 3: Luna




The most common question that I get about fostering is

“Don’t you want to keep them all? I could never foster because I wouldn’t be able to let them go.”

Yes, and no.

I do dream of having a huge house, acres of fenced in area with a pond, a regular cleaning service, and endless cash to care for dogs (Mega Millions, anyone?). But the reality is that I have a moderately sized home, with a few acres that are not fenced in, a more than full-time job, and a budget that is often squeezed, so keeping them all is not a choice for me. Fostering allows me to love them, get to know them, help figure out what will be best for them, and then find them the best home. It is REALLY rewarding! I compare it to reading a great book that you don’t know the ending to!

A very wise woman, who has fostered more than 50 dogs for GLWR, told me think about it as “providing a soft spot for them to land.” I come back to that phrase a lot when I am overwhelmed, frustrated, or feeling clingy.

With every single foster dog there comes a moment where I think, “This dog has come so far, I should adopt him” or “This dog is amazing, I should adopt her” or “I can’t believe someone gave this dog up, I should keep him” or “This dog is so attached to me, I should adopt her”. Often this comes once the harder work is done, and an adoptive family is nearing an appointment to meet the dog.

It happened today with Luna. I caught myself thinking “She and my boys get along so well, and she is so happy here, I should just adopt her.”

The reality is, I already have two amazing GLWR dogs that need a lot of attention. I also spend time every day looking at a spreadsheet that lists the dogs we have in rescue, and those that are likely to come in soon. GLWR currently has 18 dogs that could potentially be placed in foster homes.

While working with Luna is amazing, I already know that there is a wonderful pup named Boomer who is waiting for foster with me, so when I get asked “Don’t you want to keep them all?” the answer is “Yes, I do, but it’s more rewarding to see them go to a family that needs them and be able to make room for the next foster.”

It’s no coincidence that I had my first bout of thinking I should keep Luna on the same day I had a hour long conversation with a wonderful family that has been on our waiting list for months about her. It’s not a sure thing at this time (we need to get her vetted and spayed), but I do know she won’t be with me for long! And that’s OK, the time we have will be precious and I’ll look forward to updates from her new family. My boyfriend says often that my face lights up the brightest when I get an update on a former foster.

A 5-year-old friend who helps exercise and socialize my dogs with his mom said

“Our friend Rachel helps them feel safe and loved so they can find a new Mom or Dad. We help by giving them extra love because everyone needs extra love.”

This makes me weepy every time I read it, and just reinforces how it helps to have a village when you are fostering.

If you have any extra love, we have dogs that need love! If you’re interested in fostering, please visit the website for more information.