I first became a foster mom for the Oconee Regional Humane Society approximately 11 years ago. I had moved here but my husband needed to finish up work so I needed something to occupy my evenings. Someone mentioned being a foster mom for ORHS and in two days I had a puppy to take care of (that was back in the days when we had no shelter so it was fostering or not rescuing). What a blessing for me. Over the next four years I had many puppies and dogs--one puppy grabbed my heart and I adopted her. My daughter, who lost her dog because of old age, adopted a puppy I was fostering. I even made a puppy tree with a picture of each dog and to this day, I can tell you a story of each on. They became part of my family and they tug on my heart every time I think of them. So why do I do it?
The other day I met a family who drove an hour to meet one of the puppies I had. They wanted to adopt him. This was a puppy that I had already fallen in love with. As I drove over to ORHS to meet the family, I was a bit sad thinking that I would lose this beautiful, loving dog. After meeting the mom and the four children, I knew that puppy will be loved forever and ever and I felt like a mom who knew it was time their child was growing up and needed to be with his forever home. Perhaps I played a small part in socializing that puppy so his new family would see his best qualities. People will say to me, 'How can you give them up after having them and loving them?' Sure it's hard, I'm only human, and sometimes shed a tear or two. But knowing it is a happy ending makes me feel like I did something to make a difference--and there is always another one needing love.
As the years passed, my love for the animals has stayed the same. I don't foster as much now. I have joined the Board of the Humane Society and when there is an urgent need for fosters, I am glad to volunteer. Being a foster doesn't mean you have to spend every minute with the pet. If a puppy is at your home in a pen all day long--it's okay because it is better than being on the streets. ORHS gives you everything you need--food, crates, pens, etc. All you do is provide love. You won't always have a foster--and if you are busy or traveling--just tell ORHS you aren't available.
Please consider being a foster--ORHS does such great things with limited space--they really need you!!!