How it all Started

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.”

The dog that started it all.

The dog that started it all.

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19 thoughts on “How it all Started

  1. Well written. Did not know Nelly was the original foster. We love Border Collie Rescue of Northern California! Like you we have fostered many from there. P.S. Tweed is doing great but can’t wait to see you!

  2. Agree that at least 1 good picture is necessary to “sell” the dog, especially if the potential adopter is scrolling through pages of adoptable dogs. Our adopted dog looked pretty ugly on the shelter website :P, our friends and family agreed when they saw the picture. We didn’t consider her at all and wouldn’t have adopted her if we hadn’t visited the shelter where the person in charge actively highlighted all her good points to us.

    Keep it up, I hope your fosters find their forever homes 🙂

    • Usually(but not always) a dog that is with the rescue for a long time has bad pictures. People hate to admit it, but I think everyone is at least a little bit shallow. Nobody wants a dog that is ugly! The dog can be gorgeous, but if it’s pictures don’t show it in an attractive light, very few people are going to be interested.

  3. Thanks for popping over to The Ark’s spot.
    I never heard of Animal Fostering until a fellow blogger, Chris, mentioned he was fostering a dog.
    He hasn’t blogged for a while, unfortunately. Another of my visitors, John Zande
    http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/about/ also looks after animals.

    I have three dogs and 11 cats, so fostering is a bit difficult. I think what you do is very noble, and hats off to you.

      • Funny enough, no hateful comments at all. Some readers accuse me of hating God or Christianity or religion or I must have been abused by a Priest, to which I always reply.
        Er…none of the above. Hate is a waste of emotion.
        If anything, those die hard Crispyuns tend to want to try to convert me in their own way and then seem to always revert to polemic as if trying to convince themselves. Most odd.
        I really only care about this nonsense being preached to kids. Otherwise, the religious can go pray til their brains run out of their ears for all I care, or Jesus returns on the Millennium Falcon.

  4. I love the work that you do. Nelly is so gorgeous & you are so lucky to have gotten her. So is Tweed. I’m a huge fan of yours, Youre are actually the inspiration for me to be blogging. I constantly check your pages for new updates and posted. Id love if you could check out my blog and tell me what you think? 🙂 Keep up the great work.

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