I was 15 years old when I fostered my first dog.
I wanted a dog so bad, but my mom was against the idea – she didn’t really like dogs. It took a while, but I finally convinced her to let me try fostering a dog. We could take a dog into our home, and if it didn’t work out, fine. No problem. We went to the local SPCA, did the new foster parent orientation, and walked through the sick bay. Saw the dogs available for fostering at that time. After we left the sick bay, the lady asked if we wanted to take home a foster dog that day. I gave my mom my best “pretty please” face, and she said yes. I asked the lady to please just bring out the biggest dog they had, as I prefer larger dogs. After a couple minutes, she came out with a brown and white Border Collie named Nelly. I remembered seeing her when we walked through – she had been quietly standing up against the bars of the kennel, grabbing the railing with her claws, and was probably the only dog that wasn’t barking.
Needless to say, I fell head over heels in love with her. As did my mom. She agreed to let me keep her, and the journey began…I fostered two more dogs for the SPCA – those times, it was with the intent of just fostering, not adopting. After that, I started to (and still do) work with Border Collie Rescue. Including Nelly, I have fostered 22 dogs. Many of my dogs have had behavior issues, which has made me learn a lot in the way of dog training and behavior. It can be difficult and sometimes frustrating to work with and train “problem” dogs, but it’s always worth it in the end.
Of course, dogs need pictures, right? Good pictures are a big part of attracting potential adopters. I started using my mom’s Nikon D50, and photography soon turned into a hobby(or should I say obsession?) My mom eventually bought a new, simple camera for herself, because I was constantly using hers. She never used it that much, anyways. It usually just sat on a shelf somewhere. I have only really been into photography since September of 2012 – go easy on me! I mainly photograph rescue dogs – my foster dogs, and dogs that are with other foster parents for the rescue I work with – but I am starting to branch out.
A quote, author unknown, “When people say ‘I couldn’t foster because it would be too hard to give a dog up’ We say, ‘How can it be harder than knowing a dog died because nobody stepped up to foster it?’ And that is why we do it time and time again.”