I am going to start out by venting…but stick with me, I promise I won’t be whining the whole time!
I work from home, so generally I am with the dogs all day long, other than running an errand here and there. Last night I had an educational seminar to go to though. I was gone maybe 3.5 hours. When I came home, I walked in the door to smell that wonderful pungent smell. That one that all of us dog owners know. It was clear, one of the dogs had some sort of bathroom issue.
Now, to take you back a day or two…Oscar has not been feeling well lately. He was pretty much behaving normal, eating fine, etc. But all of a sudden, he was having diarrhea. Because I know that fosters in the past have gotten intestinal parasites from my yard, and knowing how easily contracted they can be, I called the vet to see if I could drop off a fecal sample. I did…they tested it…and yup, Oscar has hook worms. Ugh! He pretty much made it outside every time, but has had an accident or two in the house.
Moving on to the next dog…Shiloh is a nervous pee-er. If I go to put her leash on, she pees. When I bend down to open her crate, she pees. Seriously, she pees all the time. Now, this is a habit that she will grow out of as she matures. But I won’t have her when she matures…I have her now. And I am cleaning up pee. all. the. time. Shiloh’s next issue: she had her spay surgery yesterday. She seemed a little loopy when I first picked her up, but was quickly feeling better by the evening. She took her pain meds fine, and was wiggly and happy as ever. Then came the diarrhea.
Yup….two dogs, one house, lots of poop. (Oh, and now Lucy has soft stools…say a prayer for me…)
So back to last night’s lovely smell…I figured it was Shiloh, since Oscar was feeling better. And, I was right. Shiloh is pretty much potty trained, and she is 100% crate trained..any idea where I am going with this?? Being the good, smart girl that she is, she didn’t want to go potty in her crate. No, of course not! So where did she go? She apparently positioned herself, so that she went outside of the crate…on my carpet…and walls…and baseboards.
I wasn’t mad of course. She can’t help that she isn’t feeling well, and neither can Oscar. But as I sat there cleaning the crate, and my room, my sweet boy Oscar sat there with me..staring. (I wish I had my phone, because he was so cute!) Usually he’d be trying to get into the crate, or he’d be crawling in my lap, licking my face, etc. But he quietly just sat there, with this strange look, waiting for me to be done. He was sharing in my misery. Misery loves company, right? While having this pity party, I thought to myself: Seriously. Can’t I catch a break here. I signed up to do this crap (haha) for my dogs. For better or for worse, I am committed to MY dogs. I will do whatever I can to care for them. But why I am doing this for, essentially, someone else’s dog? Why am I doing the hard part, when someone else will then get to adopt the perfectly precious, potty & crate trained, (mostly) well behaved dog? Why am I on my hands and knees, cleaning yet another potty accident, that is from a dog that is not mine? I don’t get paid for this shit (again, haha). I don’t get a doggie lifetime of love from this particular dog, so…why am I doing this exactly?
And then, I looked over at my Oscar again, and I chuckled to myself…if I weren’t fostering, I would never have come across this adorable, sweet, bratty, loving, sneaky, goofy pocket pit bull. While I can’t know for SURE, I am pretty certain he would no longer be alive, if it weren’t for me (and Last Hope Rescue, of course). We asked, and no one had even inquired about pulling him.
So, I ended my pity party and I got over myself. Fostering saves lives. It is a fact. Oscar…Shiloh…Wickett…Chelsea…Sassy…Lola…Toby…Petey. All of these sweet pups are alive because of a rescue group, and because of a foster home. And there are SO many other lives that have been saved, all because someone was willing to open their home to a dog that did not belong to them. A dog that was bound to have some sort of issue. A dog that they would eventually have to say goodbye to.
Fostering is not easy. You may have a dog that has an issue, and is high maintenance. Or you may have a dog that is laid back, and easy. You may fall in love, and then you are heart broken to say good bye. You will have to rearrange your personal schedule to make trips to the vet, and for meet and greets. You will have to screen potential adopters. You may even have to clean up poop, and wash sheets and towels a million times. It’s never simple. But, you have just changed the whole world for that dog. And, for that new family too. You have saved a life of a loyal, loving, forgiving, sweet dog. A dog that will remember you forever, and will show it every time she sees you in the future. A dog that will now get to live a full and happy life with a wonderful family….And THAT makes it all worth it.