Fostering During Quarantine
Everyone is home almost all day long. There are so many animals right now that need a place to call home for the time being. With animal shelters staff being limited, some animals are not getting the attention they want. Even if you can not afford to adopt an animal, there is always fostering. I have been lucky enough to get a dog to foster until we find her forever home during quarantine.
My family was able to find an eight-month-old, seventeen-pound dachshund beagle mix named Iris. The week of April 12th, Iris was being transported from a shelter down in Texas. She was traveling to Connecticut where she thought her forever family would meet her. Last Saturday, she was headed to Derry, New Hampshire. But the family quickly learned their grandson was highly allergic to her. So they needed to find a foster family as soon as possible. April 22, my family was lucky enough to be that foster family for this little bundle of joy.
The first couple of days were definitely a big adjustment for Iris. She was adjusting to yet another home within a matter of a week. While she is still a puppy, we thought there would be lots of house training problems. But we quickly learned it was not like that at all. While she is very energetic at times, she is always down to just sit and cuddle. We are still in the process of teaching her how to go outside and not in the house (there have been a few incidents). After she started getting comfortable in the house, she started teething. Trying to bite our hands, even my lip at one point. She loves biting her leash when we are out for walks. In her other house, she was allowed to sleep in the bed with her owners, as here she is not but after only being here for a few days, she has learned that very quickly. We must take her on three walks a day easily. While at a park, there had been another puppy there, just a little bit smaller than her, she was having the time of her life playing with this puppy. But while going on a walk earlier in my neighborhood, a dog a bit bigger than her, started barking when she saw us and Iris tucked her tail between her legs and hid between mine. So we are also trying to introduce her to other animals incase her forever family already has furry friends. By far one of the funniest things about her is she is scared of her own reflection. She will be looking into the sliding doors, she backs away slowly and she’ll start barking. She will run into the room and there is a piece of furniture blocking the other side so she can not see the other ‘dog”, and will be doing this for a good 15 minutes.
Being a foster parent is not easy at all. There is some training involved based on how old the dog is and how much previous training is done. But if you are not doing a foster to adopt, you are in charge of finding their forever home. Which is currently what we are working on. Within 24 hours, there had already been four applications put in to adopt her (because come on, who would want this adorable girl). Knowing that any day, we might pick some lucky people to be her forever family breaks my heart (I have already cried a few times). But knowing that we were able to give her a loving and safe home until we think we have found the perfect home for her, warms my heart. Getting
to see her tail wag when we are playing fetch with her toys or when we go for walks and getting to sit there and relax while she falls asleep, makes everything worth it.
Fostering is not always about keeping the animal safe and loved. But also training, caring, and picking their forever home. When I first signed up to become a foster parent, I had no idea what was going to be involved. I thought it was just going to be us having fun with a dog and give us something to help keep us occupied. Within just a few hours, Iris had stolen the hearts of my mother, my sister, and myself. She felt like she was part of the family. And in that moment I knew that fostering this dog was going to be more than just having fun with a dog and something to keep us occupied.
During these unfortunate and unforeseen times we are living in, helping an animal that did not have a home, it warms your heart and gives a little light in your life. While Iris was not in our lives for very long, she put a light in our lives during these dark times and I would not trade any of these days with her for anything in the world.