I made a promise to my dog, Freckles, a few weeks before he passed, that I would return the favor and provide a foster home for other Cocker Spaniels in need. He had spent over 9 months in a foster home before he found his way to my home, his forever home.
I followed several Cocker Spaniel rescue groups for months and eventually reached out to Elizabeth Mazzetti at Second Chance Cocker Rescue (SCCR). I was impressed by the variety of dogs and the successful placement rates. When I met Elizabeth, I learned more about her experience and her philosophy on dog rescue. I let her know the type of home I could offer to a foster dog and some of my limitations.
Since meeting Elizabeth, I have fostered several dogs for SCCR. It has been a tremendously rewarding experience. The number one comment I hear from people is, “I couldn’t be a foster because I would be too attached and it would be too hard to let them go.” I had the same concern. It can be difficult, even heartbreaking, to let go of a dog that you have nursed back to health only to trust its life to a stranger. And yet, with each foster dog that finds a loving, adoptive home, I am learning and growing in my compassion towards all beings.
Initially, I got into dog rescue to help the dogs, as there are thousands of dogs who need homes. Now, I am beginning to see the joy these dogs bring to their adoptive people. We aren’t just saving the dogs’ lives we are improving people’s lives. For the older gentleman who just lost his beloved companion of many years, this foster dog will step right up and lovingly fill a void in his heart. For the woman who is an “empty nester” approaching retirement, this foster dog will be grateful for the care and attention and return the love tenfold. These dogs have so much love to give. It just seems right to put them in places where they can love and be loved.
Being a foster home allows me to be a champion for the dogs. They didn’t get to pick their prior homes, but with me they get an advocate. Someone who is willing to get to know them and what they need to be happy. With that perspective, I can help match the people with the dog. I often visualize the perfect home for my foster dogs. It helps me to know what to look for when speaking to potential adopters. Bringing together a perfect match makes for a successful adoption and a happy ending.
To be a successful foster home, it is important to feel that you have the support of a larger community. I have always felt that Elizabeth Mazzetti and the community that is SCCR would be there for me if I needed help. Elizabeth has tremendous experience with dogs and people. She cares deeply and yet is grounded enough to take on dogs that can be helped and not to take on so many that the viability of the organization is jeopardized. Fostering dogs isn’t always easy and it isn’t for everyone, but I have always felt supported by SCCR.
Is it tough to say goodbye to the dogs? You bet! But working with the dogs I have learned how rewarding it is to have an impact in the lives of these dogs and their new owners and to be part of something larger. Help us spread the love. Often, the thing these dogs need the most is to be part of a family and to feel loved. That will help set them on the path towards adoption.
If you can’t foster, can you donate? Thank you!