I Could Never Foster – I Love Dogs Too Much!

I Could Never Foster – I Love Dogs Too Much!

It was 118 degrees outside and she was the very last one off the bus. I almost thought she wasn't on there at all. Dog after dog came around the corner and down the steps of this small, run-down looking bus.

These dogs were bussed from a New Mexico high kill shelter to Arizona for a last chance at another shelter getting them adopted. The barking was so loud it hurt your ears. The faces of each dog looked sad and desperate for someone to just see them – you know REALLY just see them. 

As the dogs were herded into their prospective vehicles for yet another transport, Randi came around the corner. She was the last one to walk down those lonely steps. If fear, heartbreak, sickness and despair had a face, it was hers. I knelt down, quietly called her to me and her little tail gave the faintest of wags like maybe someone would finally help her. 

She had my heart right then and there. We fled from that smelly old bus as quicky as we could. The pavement was like running on fire in this Arizona heat so we went from grass patch to grass patch until we reached my car. I loaded her up in the back seat and cranked up the air conditioning and Randi and I headed out for our 45-minute drive back to my house. 

She still had that look of fear in her eyes – a look I will never forget. I talked to her the whole drive home. She didn't fully relax on that drive though. Once we reached home, I helped her tired body out of the car.  She was moving slowly, maybe because of fear, maybe because of sickness – I wasn't sure. We walked around the yard together for a while and then we settled inside. 

After a while, she ate some dinner and then found the fluffiest,  coziest dog bed she could find and fell into the deepest sleep I think I have ever seen a dog in. This girl had been exhausted and had lost all hope. When she was in the quiet of our home, she felt safe enough to find that rest she had long been missing. 

Randi wasn't our first foster but she will always hold a very special place in my heart. We will never know the sordid details of her past. We can only imagine that people were likely not kind to her and had let her down. 

In time we learned she was infested with heart worms and was in a great deal of pain. She got the veterinarian care she needed and ultimately made a full recovery. Took nearly a year to get her healthy again.

She learned to trust and to play and enjoy all the comforts she never had before. We assured her she would never find herself homeless, scared and on her own again. When the time came to place Randi in her forever home, she got the best home possible. My mom adopted her! I was so grateful that Randi was staying in our family and I would get to see the rest of her life.

Fostering dogs that are homeless is a part of who we are. If it weren't for fosters, these lost and broken dogs would never find a home. Fosters are critical in helping a dog restore their health, learn to trust again and have that person REALLY see them. The foster is the one who will be able to get them that perfect home to call their own.

People tell me regularly "I could never foster a dog – I would get too attached and want to keep them all."  I understand that feeling. But if we didn't have fosters at all – these lost souls would not stand a chance. I would suffer a million heart breaks if it means the dog that trusted us to help will ultimately have the most amazing life with a family of their very own. 

There are plenty of stories like Randi's that have happy endings. I would urge you to consider helping a dog that is in desperate need. Yes, even if it hurts when you have to place that dog with that ever capable and loving home someday.

Trust me, it's worth the pain.


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