The Joy of Being a Dog's
One of the most satisfying
roles I've had as an animal activist is that of a foster parent for
dogs. Not all dogs surrendered to a shelter are instantly ready
for adoption. Some need to be socialized and learn
get along with children, or other dogs, and be taught just what life in
a home is like.
difficult economy has caused adoptions at the shelters to drop, while
the number of abandoned and surrendered pets has risen.
dogs can be an enjoyable way to help one shelter dog at a time while the
shelter, and you, attempt to find the animal a loving forever home.
While many foster parent claim they
do not get too attached, I know I always find that I end-up with a great
affection for the animals placed in my care. But, I do understand that
as much as I may adore an animal, the goal is to prepare the dog
Several years ago, I fostered and trained a Black Lab named Kaylee for
. She was one of their worst pets, so I fostered her and took
, just west of Fostoria, for obedience training.
Before the training was complete, the Director of People for Pets
called heartland kennels to see how it was going and when Suzie told
her that Kaylee was the best dog in the class, Director Donna pulled
her from training and foster care to send her up to Minneapolis, MN to
be immediately adopted. All my efforts with Kaylee paid off for both
of us, even if the work was sometimes exhausting, hard, frustrating,
or emotional, because my overall experience was gloriously rewarding.
Fostering a pet gives them a chance to find a happy, permanent home
when they otherwise might not have had that chance. Right now Phantom
is helping me with a German Shepherd named Gretchen that was
rescued from the ice on the river near Spencer. Donna, at
People for Pets thought Gretchen and Phantom might be very
compatible, and she was right! Gretchen was officially adopted
by Lee and his growing family of rescued dogs.
Lee Youde gives workshops all across Iowa on the "Joys of Being a
Dog Foster Parent" throughout the year. If you'd like to attend a
workshop or would like more information on his programs, click on the
link below to send him an email.