A Vounteer’s Fostering Experience

October 05, 2018

Do you see photos and videos shared by Beauties & Beasts and wonder what it's like to be a Beauties foster? I have fostered several dogs for Beauties and I would love to share my experience with you.

I was nervous about fostering. I figured that I would fall in love with each dog and end up with a dozen dogs. I decided to get my feet wet by taking in a temporary foster. Benson was scheduled to be euthanized at Wichita Animal Shelter. A Beauties follower from Nebraska wanted to adopt him, but had a medical situation which would keep her from taking him right away. I agreed to foster Benson for 7 days, which ended up being 10 days. I was right, I did fall in love with him. He was such a sweet guy who was happy to be out of the shelter. While it was difficult to say goodbye to him after those 10 days, I knew that I had helped to save his life. Without Beauties, his adopter and his fosters, he would have been euthanized the morning after I picked him up. I get updates from his adopter to see what a happy, spoiled boy he is now.

Shortly after Benson went to his forever home, a cute little black dog was ready to be sprung from the vet after beating the deadly Parvo virus. Her name was Sammy. I brought Sammy home and my Rottweiler, Lorelai, and I fell in love immediately. For real, she and Lorelai became best buds. She fit in perfectly. Because of this, I completely "foster failed." That's the term used when you foster a dog and end up adopting them. It's really not a failure at all! I renamed Sammy because my childhood cat was named Sammy. Sammy became Sookie (can you tell that I like Gilmore Girls?) and is a permanent member of our family!

Next up, I got a message asking me if I'd be willing to foster a dog who was terrified of people, but loved other dogs. He had been abandoned in a back yard with another male dog who may have been his father. When Bruno was separated from his father, he shut down. Beauties knew that I had 2 dog-friendly dogs, so that's why they contacted me. When I brought him home, he was so scared. He was never aggressive, but he didn't want to be anywhere near me. He absolutely loved Lorelai and Sookie though! It took about 2 weeks for Bruno to let me pet him. About 1 more week after that, he stood by the couch and looked at me for a bit, then he jumped up and cuddled by my legs. That was it! He trusted me! I was overjoyed! I had to be extremely patient to let him warm up in his own time even though I wanted to smother him with the love that he deserved. I have had Bruno for many months. He has made great strides, though he is still quite nervous with new people. He is kind, gentle and loving. He loves with his entire being when he loves you. After so many months with him, watching him grow, I couldn't imagine putting him through another re-homing, so -you may have guessed it already- I officially adopted him last week. Foster fail x2 right here! No shame in my dog-loving game.

Next, a sweet puppy named Vinny needed a temporary foster after beating that dreaded Parvo virus. Vinny was a huge boy with loads of energy! He had so much fun with my dogs. It was definitely crazy to have 4 young dogs (all under 2 years old), but it was a lot of fun to watch them together. When I met with Vinny's permanent fosters, I could see that they fell in love with him immediately. It was actually easier than I had expected to say goodbye to him because I knew he was going to a good home. Ps, I was proud of myself for not foster failing again! 😊

Candice Smythe: Now for the craziest foster experience that I've had: I decided to give a young mother and her 7 puppies a safe place to crash after the shelter/humane society was going to separate them. The puppies were 5-6 weeks old when I picked them up. This has been an insane, yet rewarding experience. I named them after another favorite TV show of mine, Firefly. I named mom Serenity because she was so gentle and patient with her puppies. The puppies are named Inara, Jayne, Kaylee, Malcolm, Nandi, River & Simon. After about 2 weeks, I found out that Serenity was not cat-friendly, so she had to find a new foster to live with. Yes, I'm also a crazy cat lady with 3 beautiful cats. Anyway, though it broke my heart, Serenity left and the puppies remained. Now I was the full-time mom of 7 puppies! They had already weaned from mom, but they still needed a lot of attention. They were also in the house at all times because they were not fully vaccinated. I made it my mission to make sure these 7 pups did not get Parvo. Thankfully, I had an empty spare bedroom, so that became the puppy room! I went through lots of Clorox wipes and puppy pads! Sweet Malcolm was adopted after second round of vaccinations. He is now named Cooper. It was hard to say goodbye to him, but his adopters are amazing and let me be Facebook friends with them (and have let me come over to visit) so I could keep up with him. After having the other 6 puppies for over 2 months, they started to show some pack mentality, so we all decided that they needed to be split up with new fosters. I won't sugarcoat it, I balled like a baby when I met the new fosters for Inara, River, Nandi, Kaylee and Simon. I had watched these little pups grow up and develop their own unique personalities. I also let all of the dogs sleep in bed with me. That's right, I had 10 dogs in bed with me. I had become quite attached to them and though I knew that they were going to fabulous new fosters, it was difficult. But again, I knew that I had made an impact on these lives. They weren't set to be euthanized, but they were going to be separated from their mother and their siblings before they were weaned. This was rewarding. Jayne has remained with me and the big dogs. That has helped my heart because it's a transition to being puppy-less. I'm also blessed to be able to puppy-sit Inara and Nandi for the weekend while their new foster momma is out of town.

This summarizes my 1 year of fostering for Beauties & Beasts. As I'm typing this, I have Nandi resting her head on my shoulder, Inara, Jayne & Sookie beside me and Lorelai & Bruno at my feet. Fostering has brought a lot of love into my life. I have been able to help save 12 lives in just about 12 months. I have been able to help ensure that they will find loving forever homes, thanks to the diligence of Beauties. I have found 2 family members that I never knew I needed. So what is it like to be a Beauties foster? It's a volunteer position to love animals. You help them learn what it's like to be loved. You provide them with a stable environment for a short period of their lives when they may have had nothing but neglect and abuse prior to you. You take them to vet appointments (which you don't pay for), you help them learn basics of training such as crate training, potty training, leash training and the usual sit, lay, shake, etc. You get to be a pit stop on their way to their forever homes.

Do you have a place to live and love in your heart? If so, you have what it takes to be a foster.