TRUST ME, YOU WON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH EVERY ANIMAL YOU FOSTER!!!

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of fostering animals…. which is when you temporarily house and socialize an animal until it finds its forever home!

In short, you’re a middleman/woman for an animal transitioning from a shelter to a future, loving home!

While snuggling with dogs or cats without having to make a full-time commitment may sound like a dream come true, fostering is a serious job and can mean the difference between life and death for millions of shelter animals!

Why? Because most potential adopters want to know what they’re signing up for when they decide to adopt … and when rescuing an animal straight from a shelter, that information isn’t usually available.

The shelter environment can be so stressful, that it literally changes an animal’s personality. I’ve witnessed animals go from adventurous to withdrawn, sweet and snuggly to fearful and aggressive or spunky and energetic to lethargic and hopeless.

So, it’s ONLY during that precious, precious time in a foster home, a newly released shelter pet can finally breathe a sigh of relief and decompress.

This decompression period is vital for us “rescue humans” to observe and learn what kind of personality lies beneath this broken soul, thus setting them up for the best forever home!

Being a foster parent and witnessing this transformation is truly magical. It’s a process that will light you up from the inside/out and show you the power of love.

It’s also the time when your parenting skills may be challenged (in the most comical way!) because you suddenly have a roommate that demands your attention…and is basically a stranger on four legs!

That means extra patience, pee pee pads and some good ole’ fashion surface cleaner should be within arm’s reach at all times!

Think of it like dating …. when you first meet a potential mate, it may take a few times before you start to “jive” with each other or learn the choreography of each other’s “dance” styles. It’s a process that can’t be rushed and must follow a natural timeline.

So, if fostering is SO fulfilling, why doesn’t everyone do it? Well that’s ALSO a great question that I’ve posed to many people, many times. While I totally understand that many people aren’t set up for fostering at the moment, the number one thing I hear is,” I wouldn’t be able to give the animal up.” And quite frankly, this answer breaks my heart.

I UNDERSTAND it and EMPATHIZE with it, but I can assure you fostering is not for YOU…it’s for THEM! You have to remove your “ego” goggles for a moment and remember that fostering is a CRUCIAL link to helping clear our shelters and save more animals in need.

So that brings me to why I’m writing this post! I want everyone out there to know that you won’t fall in love with every animal you foster!! You’ll care for them, help them grow, nurture them and teach them how to be a pet…but you won’t fall in LOVE.

I know it sounds harsh or cruel, but I promise you that I mean this in the most loving way…not every dog or cat will fit your lifestyle/family/dynamic. It doesn’t mean the animal is “bad” (because that doesn’t exist), it means there’s another perfect human in the universe who is making their way towards them and will give them the BEST LIFE EVER!

And even if you DO fall in love and feel a little heartbroken when they leave for their new home, I am here to share with you the absolute BEST news!!!

THERE’S MILLIONS MORE HOMELESS ANIMALS THAT NEED YOU….SO YOU HAVE MILLIONS MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO FALL IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN!

So basically…it’s a win win for everyone…so please go FOSTER TODAY!!!

My former foster dog, Lady!
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Levi the Blue Heeler in FL

The Importance of Walking Your Dog!

Who else has been in this situation???

You get home at the end of a long day, you’re completely spent and exhausted, you JUST want to plop down on the couch…but you HAVE to walk your dogs!

This is only made harder if you live in a house (like I do) and can just let your pups out in the backyard versus leashing up and going out!

Well this was me… so here’s my confession:

My name is Larissa and I’m a lazy dog walker (sometimes!)

While I didn’t think it was SUCH a big deal at first, I quickly learned it was! Slowly, as I became lazier, so did my pups! This meant they started forgetting their routine and rules….leaving me presents in the house in the form of poop nuggets =(

Why? because they were bored and weren’t getting enough mental and physical stimulation! If I wasn’t so in tune with dogs, I would see these little poop nuggets as something to get mad/angry/irritated about and I would blame THEM. But what I urge all pet parents to remember is that animals behavior is usually a result of something WE are (or are not) doing.

So the moral of this story is that even though it seems easier to just open the back door, remember that walking your dog is a very important activity. It exercises their body…their brain and reinforces the fact that YOU”RE the boss (in the nicest possible way!).

Lastly, with any unwanted behavior, stand back and really think about what your animal is trying to tell you. Animals don’t usually do anything to make you mad or upset…they are communicating SOMETHING and it’s your job to figure it out =) Sometimes that means turning to the Google, a trainer or an animal expert!

As always, email me at LarissaWohl@yahoo.com if there’s anything I can help you with! I can’t always respond for a while, but I try to get to all my messages as soon as I can!