Why I Foster…a volunteer’s story

When I decided to become a foster for PUP, I did so for all the usual reasons. I have always loved dogs and I wanted to save the lives of these homeless pets and help them find their way to loving families. However, in the two-plus years that I have been involved, fostering has become so much more.

One of my greatest joys comes from watching these dogs emerge from being frightened, confused and untrained creatures to being happier, healthier, and more secure dogs again. There is nothing better than watching a shy, reserved dog release his ‘inner puppy’ and run around the yard at full speed, just for the sheer fun of it!

Working with PUP has given me many opportunities to learn, and with increased confidence and skills, I can be much more effective when working with my foster dogs. Each pup comes with his own personality and ‘issues’, and some have been quite challenging! However, the knowledge I’ve gained can be put to good use as I tackle the canine challenges presented to me.

As I’ve worked with foster dogs, I have been absolutely amazed at what can be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. The dogs come to us with so much potential! Because of my fostering experience, I have stopped feeling sorry for these dogs and have come to expect nothing but great things from them. If I provide them with leadership, structure, and affection, they will reward me with good behavior, increased confidence and enough tail wags and sloppy kisses to last a lifetime.

Fostering has also given me the opportunity to work alongside so many wonderful volunteers who also share my passion. We come from all walks of life, bring an assortment of skills, and take our mission seriously but we have so much fun doing it! As we work together, I feel privileged to be able to celebrate the successes and mourn the occasional heartaches with them.

Frustration, fatigue, and sadness are part of the fostering experience but the deep satisfaction of saving a life and bringing joy to new families make it all worthwhile. As my foster dogs watch me walk away after an adoption, they must wonder why I am leaving them and it breaks my heart; I wish they could know that I will always remember them. However, I need to move on to the next deserving dog, of which there is never a shortage.

By Sue, thank you for fostering and all that you do!

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