Last Sunday, we completed the whole cycle of fostering a dog. For exactly 30 days, we opened our home to Brie until she was ready to be with her forever family. It was quite an experience, and I decided that I'd like to share it.
We started to think about fostering a dog at the beginning of this year, as we were spending MUCH MORE time at home with quarantine. The same thing that happened with many others in Ireland. We were just able to make it happen when we met Louise
and Dogs Angels Ireland (the name speaks for itself): They are real angels on earth saving and helping poor unwanted dogs.
When the time came, we were very excited for our first foster. We were waiting for Brie for a couple of weeks until all the bureaucratic work happened and on September 25th she arrived.
I won't lie, I've never had a pit bull in my house before, even though I had close contact with bully breeds in my previous role, it would be a completely new experience for me. She was terrified on the first day, totally confused about where she was, who we were, exactly like any other dog would be in her situation. I want to say that it took time, patience and loads of love to make her feel at home, but honestly, she is a fantastic dog, she improved so much day by day that I can barely say that it was our work.
Of course, we did our best and treated her as part of our own family. And what a surprise: Pit bulls are just like any other dog (maybe with more energy though)! With love and care, she got comfortable at the house, with people that used to come to visit her (our friends were coming to see her!) and she was a big spoilt dog! Yes, a dog that size used to cry when she wanted to go for walkies! She used to sleep with her legs up in the air, super comfortable and we always got a good laugh with her!
We spent a couple of nights continually waking up because she couldn't sleep properly with the cone after her spaying surgery. She used to get afraid of the fireworks and sometimes jumped over our bed to hide under the duvet and get all the cuddles.
And when she recovered from the surgery, a couple came to meet her! I had a good feeling before meeting them and turns out; they looked to be friendly people. They brought treats and toys for her, played with her and we felt that she could be happy with them. They visited a couple of times, and she was thrilled to meet them at the front door. So it was time to let her go and live the rest of her happy life!
She was our dog for a month. When you're fostering, you're just a chapter in a dog's life, only part of her journey to be with the people in her main happy story. It's a great chapter, though. The chapter when the life of the dog changes and goes from a terrible situation, gets happier and ends up in a warm and caring home. I'm super grateful to have been part of this chapter and hope to be in many other dog's stories.
Between it all, I don't have words to say how impressed I'm with Dogs Angels work. They have a fantastic team, super responsible and caring for the dogs that they rescue. It's not just about knowing that the dog can be recovered and saved; it's about all the assistance they give and how they care.
Seeing all the brilliant work from Dogs Angels and how a rescued dog can recover and improve after passing through so much, I can only ask you all: Adopt, don't shop.
The adoption process requires patience; it is not fast and easy. It's a work of fitting the right dog with the right people; it can take a while for you to be the right person for your dog. But when you match, oh, you'll have a furry friend for life, extremely grateful for the second chance you're giving to him/her. So, whenever you apply for adopting a dog, know that it can take a while, but it will be worth it.
I hope this post can give you an idea of how it's to foster a dog; and if you already did, I hope you have felt and learned as much as I did this last month. Sometimes we have to let them go, but it doesn't mean that we didn't love and gave them the love that they need.