(Susan and her foster dog, Levi.)
Name: Susan B
Real Job: Registered Veterinary Technician (equivalent to an RN in human medicine)
Volunteer Position(s): Foster Mom Extraordinaire
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A FOSTER?
I’ve been fostering for four years. I started doing it to “brush up” on my dog skills when I went to school to be an Registered Veterinary Technician. We had four cats, but no dogs and I wanted to reacquaint myself with dog behavior, etc and thought I would do one or two and then quit, but after the first one I was hooked on fostering! And then it was kitten season and the SOS went out and I thought “How hard could that be??” Now, I tend to specialize in the animals needing some medical care like post-surgery nursing, bottle babies, or the inevitable ringworm kittens, but I will take in anything that needs me.
TELL US YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT TO DATE AS A FOSTER?
Having had almost two hundred foster animals in our home in four years, they have all been special but two stand out: Our first was Max, painfully shy and afraid of everything and everyone. It broke my heart when people would overlook him for the more outgoing dogs and I feared he wouldn’t find his forever home. But one day a couple saw past Max’s fears and trembling and recognized that he was special. We still get to babysit for him when they go out of town and he has blossomed and is incredibly loved which makes me incredibly happy. And the other special dog was our most recent foster, Levi, who we had for over a year. Levi was seventy pounds of heart but too boisterous for many and he didn’t like many other dogs so it was hard to find his match. Thanks to training, he learned to control his exuberance and just found his new home with a young woman who adores him.
WHAT SAGE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME A FOSTER?
My advice to anyone considering fostering is that it will change you as much as you change that animal’s life and any doubts or fears you have are easily overcome with the help of the staff and fellow fosters – so just give it a try! You will become a passionate advocate for animals and you get to make a huge impact on an animal’s life, maybe even saving their life….. and it doesn’t get any better than that!