Why I foster……by Kelly Hare

 I’m looking around at all these dogs and they’re all snoring or stretching or sleeping peacefully and I see pics in my head of them back ‘there’. Back when they were when we first learnt about them and before we offered to help them. There’s not a single dog here that doesn’t have a remarkable story, that hasn’t been through some ordeal or lots of ordeals.

A long time ago I came to terms with the fact that not everyone likes me and not everybody agrees with what I do and I’m really ok with it because I KNOW that what I do is right and is worthwhile and i believe that everyone should fight their hardest for what they believe in. At almost every adoption I am asked how I do it and told that it must be heart breaking to let them go…… maybe I’m a robot because I do it with ease and it doesn’t break my heart to let any go. It does break my heart that there are dogs in their millions all around the world suffering and dying because there’s nobody to reach them and nobody to save them.

The dog in the pictures is Steve. We caught him on our trip. Tanya won his trust enough to approach her for food, Dalila drugged the food and then we followed his stumbling little body around a car park until we could corner and catch him. From that moment he was safe and he’d never been safe before even for a single second of his life. His mother was dumped in this car park with all her young pups. They were all scared of humans because probably none had ever been kind to them. We looked for others but they were well hidden from us and we left only with Steve. Since then his mother has been seen and one of his sisters was found dead on the road, the rest most probably perished on the fields or are still out there maybe old enough to procreate pups of their own and so the cruel cycle of life and death goes on and on…….. but not for Steve.

Steve’s just had a bath. His white fur is no longer grey with dust. He’s not had to go looking for food or go hungry since that day back in early April. He’s asleep on my lap wrapped in a towel. Every now and then he will look up at me, lick my arm and then go back to sleep. It’s a lovely moment, a lovely experience but I will have no problem passing the lovely boy over to a lovely new home. I won’t cry for him or miss him I will go back into my house after making sure he’s safely in their car and I’ll go and look after all the other Steve’s.

Fostering isn’t about the goodbye. Fostering is about the dog hiding under a crate in the shelter because if he comes out the other dogs will kill him. It’s about the puppy in a field that has only a short life of hardship ahead before he starves to death or gets killed by a car. It is about the terrified dog that is swinging on the end of the dog catchers pole that will be dumped injured into the public shelter where it will be lucky, or perhaps unlucky, to survive. It is about the dog that’s old now but has lived all its life on a short chain and is about to be killed cos it’s now too old to be a guard dog, and it’s about the dog that will then replace him on the end of that chain. Those are the dogs I will cry for and those are the dogs that our rescue and others will fight for no matter what the opposition because it’s the right thing to do.

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