A man and his duckling

Rescue, Foster and Adoption

I told my husband, last night, about the shelter class this coming Saturday. I told him that, as a dog blogger, I actually have to do dog things, especially rescue things, since that’s where my dog heart beat is. I have to stop just making crap up.

He laughed and laughed.

A man and his duckling
Hunny loves this little duck. I spend a lot of time laughing at him and Petey.

How many of you dog bloggers make crap up? I don’t mean facts and figures – that’s not right at all. I mean, just winging it every day? I’ve been loping along, trying to find my dog voice, if there is such a thing, playing with ideas. Some days staring at a blank screen, then flipping back over to FaceCrack.

*sigh*

Reading your blogs has been very helpful. Even though I’ve had dogs my entire 45 years of life, I’ve never really thought about dog issues. I deal with stuff as it comes up, as a rule. But this whole dog adoption/rescue/shelter thing really resonates with me. We have two rescue dogs, yes. I’ve never been a big fan of pedigreed pups, having seen first hand, over and over, the health issues so many purebred dogs live with. And most of my dogs have been mixes and rescues, which binds me to the issue.

Soaking up rays
See this little guy? I already have to watch him like a hawk with the dogs I know and trust.

But reading so many of your blogs, seeing the photos of dogs in need of homes, reading the stories of your rescue pups who are thriving – touches my heart. Not that I’m against purebreds or breeders, mind you. Some of my good friends breed dogs, or own “real” dogs (how offensive is that? Gah!). So many purebreds are gorgeous. And I’ll be the first to tell you that I’d dearly love my next pup to be a Great Pyrenees. A rescue.

There’s a twist here, see, and one which causes me no small amount of angst. I attend a large church here in Tulsa (the land of a million churches), and their heartbeat is adoption. Adoption and foster care. It seems like half the people I know at church have either adopted kids or are fostering one or more. It’s a beautiful thing, really, to be part of. Myself, I’m a care taker for a friend’s special needs foster child. It’s a tiny role, babysitting for her occasionally, but it’s something.

And now with the dog blogging, my heart is tugged to foster or adopt pups. We can’t foster or adopt any kids – we have three teens and their multitude of friends who practically live here – and it’s probably not a good idea to take on more dogs, either short or long term.

Are any of you in the same boat? What do you do with that?

This is a large part of why I’ll be taking the orientation class at the shelter this weekend. If I can’t have dogs come to me, I’ll go to them. And I’ll probably make at least one teenager come with me when I help.

If you haven’t already, look up your local shelters. Find out what they need. Find out how you can volunteer. If your heartbeat isn’t animals, call your local children’s shelter. Find out how you can take in a kid for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Give a child a real holiday with a real family. Do something. You’ll thank me.

Until I write again …

Flea

10 thoughts on “Rescue, Foster and Adoption

      • I heard a lot of bad things about my local humane society, and so I avoided it for a while.

        But then I went.. and there was a lot I wished was different, but I didn’t want to invest myself there emotionally.
        Ha.
        10 months later and I’ve helped change a lot of what I wanted to be different… I run their foster program, run their petfinder page so the photos are happy and current, and I helped start a shelter dog training program so we can train while they wait to be adopted.

        I don’t overlook sadness and needless euthanasia, I wish I could. I wish I could ignore awful employees and laziness. But little by little, change is being made and my hands are helping. It’s more than I thought I’d be doing there, but I’m so glad it worked out this way.
        jen recently posted..silly biddiesMy Profile

  1. I’ve considered fostering but it seems I always have a dog that doesn’t like other dogs. For ten years, that had been Sephi. She passed in November 2011. But then I rescued my dog Pierson in January 2012 and he also doesn’t like other dogs. I did volunteer for a while at our local humane society, but when it changed management their volunteer program became very strict. I can’t be a volunteer because health issues prevent me from being able to commit to their required weekly hours. So the only thing I can do to help is donate money or products. I also talk about certain issues with dogs on my blogs, such as “adopt don’t shop”, but seldom have the opportunity to feature particular rescue groups or other pet welfare organizations.

  2. I have volunteered for a couple of rescues. Even if you cannot foster – there are always other things you can help out with: attend rescue events, transporting dogs, doing home visits, helping with their websites or upkeep of other adoption sites they use such as Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet, plus a bunch of other things I can’t think of right now. I have also volunteered at the local pound. That was really hard and I burned out fast in about 6 months. It was really difficult for me because I could not deal with seeing the same dogs every weekend and then they were gone and I would go through the paperwork (also part of my job was filing so it wasn’t like I was snooping) and find that most of them had been put to sleep. You may find yourself skipping around until you find something you really enjoy doing to help. Don’t feel bad about that. We’ve all been there – the rescues and shelters are used to that. And you’ll also find that not all rescues or shelters are created equally. Some of the smaller ones may actually be better organized and the larger ones less so. Some rescues do bend the truth in order to get their dogs adopted and if you are like me, that won’t sit well with you and you’ll find yourself leaving. Don’t feel bad about that. I feel integrity within a rescue is very important to me as it is in my own personal life. I also like the current rescue I am with because of their honesty and also their organization. I’m pretty anal when it comes to that so to be part of an organization that isn’t, well, organized – is a deal breaker for me. Especially if they are so disorganized they refuse help to get organized!

    As far as blogging about Blueberry – I find that material just sort of presents itself. I even find that I will do extra things with her because I know I need material for the blog and will drive her that extra distance to a new place to keep my blog fresh. She benefits from it and it opens up our world a little more. To be honest – I almost started a blog two years ago and it just never seemed like I had much to say so I never published any of my posts. So, for some of us, it takes time. No shame in that. You’ll find your groove. You are quite articulate and fun and I do enjoy reading your blog posts whether or not they contain dog rescue stories!

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