The priceless value of foster carers

Our Foster Care Program is an essential part of caring for our dogs. It’s critical for dogs needing extra medical care or attention, for young puppies or for dogs not coping in a kennel environment. On so many levels our Foster Carers have a massive impact on the welfare, happiness, and adoptability of our dogs.

We are incredibly grateful for every single foster carer in our network. Recently we sat down with foster carer Eva and her family to chat about their foster caring experiences. Since joining our foster care community in February 2018 Eva and her family have fostered over 35 dogs.

Tell us what you and your family love about being a foster dog family?

The thing we all love the most about being a foster family, isn’t just the fact we get to give that dog a chance to be away from the shelter in a more relaxed environment (even though our house sometimes isn’t the quietest one!!)

It’s the chance each dog gives us to help them prepare them for their future home. They learn from us, but I think we learn from them even more.

We love seeing them come out of their shell too. Within 3 days or so they become a different dog, more playful, calmer, trusting and more relaxed. Oh, and not to mention experiencing their fun side. The excitement of a seeing their true character and personality shine through fills us with happiness.

Till this day, my mother back in Spain reminds me that my first word was “Perro”, the Spanish word for Dog. 

Why did you choose the Dogs’ Home to foster care for?

We never “planned” to become foster carers; we didn’t really know that it existed. We had lost our own dog at the beginning of 2018 and missed having him around. However, the idea of getting another dog so soon didn’t seem right. Even so, I would often check out the Dogs’ Homes website, and found myself reading about each of the dogs.

One day whilst on their site I noticed the  “become a foster carer” page. A month later I was filling out the foster care form and almost 4 years later, here we are!

Describe a typical day as a foster care family

During the school days, our foster dogs help me to wake up and get the girls Samara and Amaya, out of the beds! We go into their bedrooms; we give them a lot of kisses (myself and the dogs!) then it’s off to school for the kids. The dogs and I then go for a walk around Huonville and Ranelagh.

By 3pm, the dogs and I wait for the girls at the bus stop to arrive from school, and the fun time of the day begins! Some days, when the girls have sports in the afternoon, we head down to the dog beach area while we wait for them to finish. But it does depends on each dog and how they are coping.

On the weekends it is often more adventures and trips to the beach with the whole family.

Is it hard to let each foster dog go?

Just a little, it is not as hard as it used to be. In those early days we didn’t want to see any of them leaving. But that is soon replaced with the excitement of knowing another dog will be coming soon

Does a favourite come to mind, is that even allowed LOL?

Mmmm…where to start. I don’t think we can only mention one favourite there were so many. There’s cute George our first foster puppy; also Phil a most timid staffy X whippet. Then there was Edgar the biggest smoocher with profound eyes; Gracey a 8yrs old mastiff cross that wouldn’t eat for few days cause she was only used to spaghetti bolognese for dinner and biscuit with milk for brekky. Oh, and there was Leaf, our first blind dog. But for me Lacey, our first ever foster dog, it was difficult but lots of lessons learned.

What first hand advice would you give someone interested in becoming a foster carer?

Just give it a try! Anyone who’s loves dogs, has room in their home and a little extra time to spare can do it. Patience and understanding comes in handy too.

Do you have your own family dog? 

Yes, we do! I think people call it a “foster failure”, but we like to call it a “foster treasure”. Dusty was foster dog number nine. He was gorgeous and we couldn’t understand why it was taking so long to find him a home.

Little did we know then, that Dusty was meant to be our own “fur-ever”. In fact, the family secretly adopted him on my birthday. His official certificate of adoption came my birthday present. Of course I was delighted!

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