My family was not specifically looking to foster but we had the time and a love for animals so we filled out and submitted our foster application and let Tuff Start know that we were available . This was one of the best decisions we have made.
Our foster dog Duke had an amazing positive effect on our family, our pets included. We gave Duke our love and a temporary home and he returned that love twofold. He gave our current dog a new buddy to play with and our daughter another animal to love on. When Duke's furever family found him and met him, we knew he had found the perfect home. We were sad to let him go, so grateful for our time with him, and so excited for him and his new family.
Since fostering Duke, we have fostered several cats and adopted one of our own. There is no experience quite like fostering an animal. They can fill a hole in your heart you didn’t even know was there.
I love personally finding the shy ones and get them home and show them love and getting them to trust people again. I have bonded greatly with 2 shy little fosters already and can't wait to find Miss Jordi a home so that we can work some magic love with the next one. The first cat I fostered for Tuff Start ended up having cancer and he was spoiled from the moment we found it and got to live the last of his short life with lots of love and affection in a home and not in a cage at the clinic. He was with us for 8 months. He knew love and that people were great scratches. Little Jordi came in as a feral and Dr. Nicole didn't think that she was ready for a home. We started in the bathroom and she started to trust me and the kids as well. She is the loudest purring cat that I have ever heard. She purr's the second she is around you, you don't even have to touch her. It's great to be able to teach them proper habits and show them that people are not bad. Heck she even is best friends with the 95 lb lab in our house now too. She will make some family a great little cat when she finds the right home.
Fostering is always something I admired and knew I wanted a part in. But with a young, busy family I knew it would be difficult. But it actually turned out to be just the opposite.
We have been drawn to senior dogs and they are incredible souls. They have taught me and my family so much! We have had both a "foster failure" and successes. I feel so blessed to love on these seniors and give them a comfy place to rest. It is an amazing feeling and experience to find them their perfect home! And it's a priceless gift I am able to share with my three young children and those around me.
I have fostered for Tuff Start for 2 years now and it has changed my life for the better. Getting to meet all the kitties and getting to know all their little purrsonalities is my favorite part. They all have unique little souls and it is so fun getting to know them and helping them overcome their fears be it of people, noises, dogs etc. Many people worry about letting them go when they get adopted and honestly it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. There are always many tears and a few days of depression but when you get an update and see them with their new family, making someone else happy and seeing them happy themselves , you come to realize the pain was so worth it. And in letting that cat go you get to help another which helps fill that empty spot in your heart.
We had always fostered dogs through other rescues. Without the Internet. It had been years since we had our last one. I blindly joined MNDID. The first post I saw was of a senior yellow lab who had been abandoned at a house. Her face broke my heart and I wanted to save her. This dog needed a rescue commitment before anyone could save her. Dr Nicole offered to take her into rescue if we fostered. We jumped on it. Nicole had never met us, she didn't know who we were or anything. She blindly trusted us as well in order to save that dog. We had that sweet old yellow lab for six months until it came to a point where there was too much commotion for her at our home and it took a serious toll on her health. We loved that dog more than anything and at first intended to adopt her. We still miss her and think about her every single day. That dog was China. Who we literally wept for in happiness and gratitude when she finally found her place just recently. THAT'S What fostering does to a human soul. It makes you weep when they finally find their place.
Since then we have had Sadie, Vinnie D, Chance and Sweetie girl. Three of which were adopted and we cried every time they went with their new families. Especially little Vinnie D. He was scared to death of men, tragically underweight and not house broke. My husband spent hours, days and weeks loving, nurturing and training that dog to make him adoptable and less afraid of men. That grown man cried when little Diesel left us.
I wish we could have done more for Sweetie. But with fostering comes the obligation to be honest with your rescue when things are not going ok. Our naughty lab pup (also a rescue) would've eaten her.
Fostering touches families in ways nothing else can. Our children slept with our fosters night after night and learned to appreciate the life of an animal. Thank you Dr. Nicole for everything you do and for all of the countless lives you have saved. Xoxoxo