MamaKat's prompt this week was to talk about five dogs in my lifetime and why they were memorable. Well, having fostered MANY, MANY dogs over the course of a few years I have plenty to choose from! All in all, there were 97 dogs that passed through our door; some stayed for mere hours while they were waiting for other placement, some stayed for as long as eight months. We fostered beagles and retrievers of all kinds.
1. Bruce: This wasn't a foster dog; he was our family pet from as far back as I can remember. One day when I was in high school I came home from work to find my mom laying on the porch with our big golden retriever. He couldn't get up, and we all knew it was time to say goodbye. He had been having some trouble for awhile, and the next day my parents took him to send him off humanly. He was no longer in pain. This is the first time, and one of the VERY few, that I can remember both of my parents being so emotional it hurt. Bruce was a good dog and a great friend to us all.
2. Rusty: Having grown up around golden retrievers all my life, I knew I wanted one the minute I was old enough to have my own place. Being young and stupid, not knowing what I do now, I went to the pet store and paid $2000 for my very own pet. When the boyfriend I was living with and I broke up, Rusty and I went to live with my parents. In what is definitely NOT a common example for golden retrievers, Rusty turned aggressive. So aggressive that one day he backed my dad down the hallway, growling and snarling the whole way. Unfortunately we had to put that dog down because he was going to hurt someone. It wasn't a matter of if, but WHEN. I have since learned why people shouldn't buy from pet stores.
3. Cody: When I volunteered for Arizona Retriever Rescue we lived in a beautiful house with a fenced yard, and I was a stay-at-home mom. My family rarely went out for too long, and we never ventured far from home. I was the perfect foster mom for this dog who was terrified of thunder storms and couldn't be crated because he was so afraid of enclosed spaces. He had been known to jump over walls and had entered a neighbor's dog door to find people. His family was moving to China and they couldn't bring Cody, so they surrendered him to the rescue group. Cody quickly became part of our family, and he stayed with us for eight months. Oh, how I wanted to adopt that boy! Unfortunately his fear of thunderstorms, fireworks, and loud noises was extreme. Many nights during monsoon season I would lay with him on the floor while he shook and shook. As the girls grew older I realized that I couldn't be with a dog 24/7.
4. Lexie: Arizona Golden Retriever Connection called to tell us they had a foster placement they were sure wouldn't last long. She needed to get her foot fixed up, then she would be on her way to a new family. We had Cody at the time, and the two of them became great friends. For some reason, be it her foot issue or the fact that she was an older female, Lexie was also with us for eight months. Saying goodbye to her was TOUGH! We knew we were moving into a small townhouse, and we just didn't feel right bringing her into such an environment.
5. I'm going to take the easy way out here and lump all the rest of the fosters together. There were some who stood out more than others, but all of them were special in some way. Volunteering for rescue groups was one of the most rewarding and fun experiences, and I'm glad I got that opportunity. Fostering dogs was great fun for the whole family. Unfortunately we are at a time in our lives where having people and pets in and out of our home is just not a realistic goal. One day we will get there again, but for now I would like to encourage you to get involved if your heart says fostering is right for your family.