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Thread: Fostering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    102

    Default Fostering

    As of February my partner and I are going to be fostering dogs (one at a time) waiting for their new home through Australian Working Dog Rescue

    Has anybody done this before?
    Any stories? Advice?

    I'm going to fall in love with each one and end up with twelve dogs aren't I...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    VIC
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    I have never done this before so i have no advice for you. But i just wanted to wish you good luck
    One day i'd love to be able to do that for some dogs in need, but with Koda its pretty impossible for me... one day i'll be in the position to be able to do it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
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    Default

    Good On You for taking on the responsibility of saving the lives of dogs in need. It is a very courageous thing you are doing.

    I know many people tell me they won't foster because it will be too hard/upsetting for them to let the dogs go when they find their forever home. To them (and those reading this with the same thoughts) I say isn't it MORE upsetting to let the dogs stay in a shelter and be euthanised because you didn't want to feel the loss of a loved pet?

    I personally don't see it that way. When I foster(ed), I see the dog as a "friends" dog I am looking after while they are away on holiday. Or I see it as a dog for me to practice my training skills on to make it the best dog possible to be rehomed. If you think about it that way from the start it may be easier to say good bye to them when they leave. Plus, if they are rehomed nearby then you can still visit so it's not that bad.

    I'm not sure what the process is through AWDR but the rescue I work with gives 99% control of the decision of where the dog is rehomed to the foster carer so they can feel comfortable about the home the dog is going to. Plus they will know the dog best.

    If you get upset when your first foster is heading to his.her new life, find happiness knowing you gave him that life. He would not have a life if it weren't for you and that is the best thing you can ever do AND because you helped find him a home, you get to save another life and do it all over again and repeat the love and happiness.
    foster dog.jpg

  4. #4

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    'rubberlegs' - just a few comments/questions !

    Make sure at all times that you, your family and own pup are safe. They are your primary concern and responsibility. Be certain that you are not bringing the likes of parvo onto your property.

    Ask heaps of questions. Be very sure of who pays for what. What are your responsibilities ? What training is needed/suggested for the fosters ?

    Is your yard able to be divided up to separate your dog and fosters ? A crate and childproof gates - I have found to be essential items to have.

    Heaps of Good Luck Wishes. Fostering is enjoyable - but can also be heart breaking.

    Something for you !

    A Foster Dog Poem .jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    Oh god that struck me and I haven't even started yet

    Thank you Riley I appreciate it!
    I don't have a separate yard for the foster/Gracie, no - did you always keep yours apart?
    That was my main concern is Gracie at home with the foster dog through the day but they won't set us up with a dog that doesn't gel with G
    The lady at AWDR assures me...
    Crate, check! Childproof gates, check!

    Somebody is coming around to 'approve' our yard on the weekend
    I have a TONNE of questions (the OH has made sure of that) and plan to sit down with them and hash it all out
    If we have any doubts we'll reconsider the decision to foster and maybe donate instead

  6. #6

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    Initially - I kept them apart - just to suss them all out first - my pups and the fosters. It allows the fosters time to settle in and not be totally overwhelmed with everything new and different.

    Introductions were always done on neutral territory.

    Keep a diary or notes - very helpful for the rescue organisation. Cute photos always a must - and useful for advertising the fosters.

    Maybe have a look and see whether you are able to set up an area in your yard so that you can separate them during the day when no-one is home. I was able to do that with my set up.

    I have a few sets of these which I find really useful:

    Compost Bin Storage Cage I/N 3160000 | Bunnings Warehouse

    or maybe look at things like these:

    Dog Pens Runs | eBay

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    That's a great idea actually. My backyard is basically n L shape so I could pretty easily fence off one section of the yard
    Who gets the big part though... !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
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    I am not able to separate our fosters from my dog because our yard is really tiny. I think I would feel better if I had the option, but so far it has worked out ok. I try to time the arrival of the foster at the start of a weekend or a few days off, so I can monitor the 2 dogs together before I have go go back to work. With the 2 fosters we've had, it was far from love at first sight for Banjo. But the pups reacted appropriately to her telling them off and I trusted it wouldn't escalate. I am quite certain Banjo behaves way more like a bitch when I'm around too. Not very flattering!

    This topic touches a nerve for me because we just rehomed our second foster and it was very emotional. I did get very attached to her. So I miss her and felt sad to leave her behind. But at the same time the joy of seeing her go to a great home is greater too!

    I agree with Pawfectionist's advice on treating it like you are minding a friend's dog. That's a good description. There were moments when I thought about adopting Dana but I quite easily convinced myself that that was not the best option for anyone. Adopting another dog for us would mean not being able to foster anymore. It kind of negates our reasons for fostering.

    This is what I posted on the rescue carers' FB page yesterday: I just called Dana's new owners to ask how she's settling in. He started with "She's having a rough time at it at the moment" and my heart sank. Turned out he was joking and she has adjusted very well and is living the dream. Plays with their other dogs, sleeps on the couch or in front of the aircon and charms the pants of everyone. I asked him to send a photo of her and her new pack. Then I hung up and burst into tears. Mostly from joy, with still a tiny bit of sadness. :-)

    I feel genuinely privileged to get to know these dogs and do something nice for them. And I like being part of the rescue community too. If your org doesn't yet have one, I can recommend having a closed discussion group on FB for carers. You learn who has who, learn what goes on on the front line, ask questions about the processes and paperwork etc and can share stories about your experiences and fosters that no one else would find interesting. It creates a real team spirit.

    Good luck with your first foster!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    That's awesome Beloz, thank you for sharing
    I do see myself getting attached but my being bummed out for a little while is worth an old farm dog getting a new home, surely!
    I'm sure I will harass you all with a thousand questions when the slightest thing goes wrong. And of course... pictures

    We found a Golden Retriever swimming in the reserve next to our house on the weekend (which is a whole other story... some owners, ergh!)
    We held her until her owner came to collect her which gave me a little insight as to what G would be like with another dog at home
    I feel as though she would be better off with an older dog rather two whippersnappers battling for supremacy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    They do take some time to adapt to the situation. Obviously the foster will not quite be themselves for a little while because they've just landed in this alien environment. They may take some time to bond to you (I sometimes wondered if our last foster was deaf because she tended to just ignore me at first) and to work out their environment, so you may get some toilet accidents and they may bark or whine more at first or be a bit skittish and restless. And the relationship between the 2 dogs will take time to develop too. Banjo is really bitchy to the new fosters the first week and after that she'll only tell them off when they get over the top (she tells them off if she senses I start getting annoyed with them too, which is kind of cute) and for the rest they play a lot.

    I don't think having 2 young-ish dogs together is necessarily more work. Yes, it may get rowdy at times, but they'll also wear eachother out. Most dogs will work out the pecking order quite quickly and after that it shouldn't really be an issue anymore. It may make more sense to get a dog that's younger and/or smaller than yours because it seems more logical for the resident dog to be the boss. But I'm sure it doesn't matter too much.

    I do have to warn you that it is a tad hard if the 2 dogs get on really well and play heaps when the foster leaves. I found that much harder than dealing with my own loss. But Banjo seems to be going ok. If she is sad, she doesn't show it much.

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