Thursday, September 22, 2011

My other hobby

So, besides quilting, I foster dogs.  The group I foster for and volunteer with is Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue.  They/we bring puppies in from areas of Kansas and New Mexico where there are fewer people likely to adopt, and the dogs are at a high risk of euthanasia.  Right now I have four fosters.  One five month old shepherd puppy, and three 8 week old furry things, two of whom look like shiba inus, the other looks like a little chow.  

This is the shepherd mix, Mesa.  She was found wandering the streets of Taos, NM with her mom and two sibs at about 4 months old.  Now she's 5 months old, and hopefully living with us for a while gets her over her fear of people and unknown things.  She has good reason to be scared, and it's our job to help her get ready for a home of her own.  She's already getting more confident, which in her case means acting more like a typical, destructive, happy go lucky, puppy.

This is Bloom, the chow looking girl.  Her sisters are Bella and Bliss, and they have an upper respiratory infection, so they are separated from everyone else.  It isn't easy on us or them to essentially have 3 sets of puppies plus our own two dogs and three cats, but we do it because it gives us great satisfaction and it's a way to give back to these guys who give us so much.

If you love animals, you should consider doing this.  So many people say "It would be too hard, I'd fall in love with all of them," "I wouldn't be able to give them up," etc.  When people do keep their fosters, we call it a foster failure, and it does happen.  But usually, these are people who have the room, time, money and love for another pet, and fostering just helped them find the right one.  We have been fostering for 3 years, and have no foster failures.  In fact, neither of our dogs came from the rescue we work with.  One came from Idaho, one from Kansas.  That's not to say we haven't fallen in love, its just that we feel good about giving these animals a stopping point on their way, and we work with a rescue which lets us help choose the eventual permanent home of the dog, so we can feel confident they are going to a great forever home.  So, my house isn't spotless, it's full of exercise pens, I could vacuum twice a day and I am constantly doing some dog chore, but to me, it is totally worth it.

OK, off my soap box.  I'll tell you more soon about our guys, and how we train them, exercise them, feed them, and generally make sure they have great lives.

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