Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fostering

When my kids both moved out, even with the amazing luxury of extra time with The Attorney, I found myself floundering a little.  It definitely was not that I was lost without them, but I missed the time suck rewarding activities that parenting teenagers brings.  For years, I have volunteered and sat on the board of Hope House and have really enjoyed it.  This June ended my tenure as Board President.  So I went looking for other things to do.  I am now on the board of Literacy Mid-South and Memphis Heritage.  I am also VP of my neighborhood association, where I have met several busy-bodies and complainers wonderful neighbors.  But the volunteering I do now that is by far the most difficult and the most gratifying is working at our city animal depository shelter.   Every year, over 15,000 cats,dogs, and other stray animals are dumped lovingly surrendered at our intake counter.  The Attorney is violently allergic to cats, so I cannot do much with them, but I play with, clean, walk, cuddle, train, talk to, and most importantly: foster dogs.  It started out innocently enough.  Our Younger Daughter found a puppy running on a busy street a couple of years ago.  Knowing that we are  suckers compassionate dog-lovers, she wagged that puppy home.  The sweet little doggie was about 8 weeks old.  We found her a home, and she moved along just in time to be a Christmas present for 4 sweet young boys whose mother works with me.  In the 3 weeks that we had her, she was house-trained, and knew "go to bed," "sit," and "stay."  Very smart dog.  And I loved fostering.  We got to have the fun of another thankless creature  canine companion to add to the 3 we already have, and we didn't have to keep her. 
Shortly after I started at the shelter, an outbreak of kennel cough required them to get several dogs out before they infected other dogs.  The shelter would have to euthanize them.  So I ran over and got a pair of litter-mates, Marley and Joy.  We nursed them back to health, and returned them to the shelter, from where they were subsequently adopted by 2 great families.  Within a couple of weeks, another plea went out.  Back I trotted, and got Abby.  Same story-back to health, back to the shelter, happily adopted.  And so on.  We are now up to our fifth dog.  I don't have still shots of all of them, but here are Abby, Buster, and Rusty.  Plus a video of Marley and Joy.   And I feel sure there will be more.
Abby

Buddy Hiding At The Shelter

Buddy, One Day Later At Home

Was Punkin, Then Rusty, Now Poncho
video

4 comments:

KathyF said...

I love what you're doing! I wish I could foster again, and maybe I will some day. But right now Sparky has made it clear he doesn't want any more dogs in this house. Plus I'm a known foster failure. But I love to hear about people who can do it successfully. More power to ya!

Yankee, Transferred said...

Kathy, if we didn't already have three dogs, I would be a total foster failure, but three is really, really the limit.

KathyF said...

Yeah, I think part of the reason we failed so spectacularly is that we had no dog in the house, and it drove us crazy. Having a dog or two here would make fostering easier, yet at the same time harder...

kathy a. said...

such sweet pups!