Friday, November 6, 2009

Foster Parents Deserve a Parade

I have the greatest admiration for foster parents. I can only imagine how difficult it is to send a dog you’ve cared for and nurtured off to a new home.

We are pathetic marshmallows. Sweet little Leo, the 13-year-old basenji BRAT found in a kill shelter, was supposed to stay in our house overnight on his way to a foster home. He stayed with us until his death, eight short months later, and he still hasn’t left our hearts. Thank heavens there are BRAT folks made of sterner stuff who can actually look ahead and see that sending fosters off to forever homes frees up space for still more troubled little curly tails in need of a second chance.

I think foster parents deserve a parade, because it takes enormous amounts of patience, determination, wisdom, perseverance, and courage to nurture sad and frightened little dogs, prepare them for their forever homes, and then say goodbye. When these little guys arrive at their foster homes they are often confused, worried, fearful, and dragging along more baggage than one small dog should have to carry. By the time they leave their foster homes, they have unloaded a lot of this baggage and blossomed under the TLC administered by their foster parents. They’ve benefited from a predictable routine and reassuring humans who helped them get rid of some bad habits and acquire some positive new ones.

We will always be grateful to Ivan and Dasa’s foster parents for taking such good care of our babies and then carefully handing them over to us. Aunt Joan and Uncle Ken, Ivan’s foster parents, and Aunt Dana, Dasa’s foster mom, are revered in our house because they gave us our precious munchkins. We so admire them for being able to give up Ivan and Dasa, and we do our best to live up to their trust in us. They get updates, photos, Christmas cards, and Valentines, none of which can ever convey how appreciative we are, how much we love our babies, and how much richer our lives are because we share them with Ivan and Dasa.

From the bottom of my joy-filled, doting mommy heart, thank you to all the foster parents who help these little dogs along to their forever homes.


  1. I echo this sentiment wholeheartedly. We would not have our Bella if not for her foster parents. If not for them she may not even be alive this day having been abandoned as a small puppy with a badly broken life. That is no way for a puppy to begin her life. Thanks to BRAT she is able to run the Basenji 500 with no signs of the pin that holds her leg. Thanks to her foster parents she is a happy healthy ready to meet each new day part of our family.

  2. Thank you. Your post made me cry. Every time I let a foster go, I cry. You never know what's going to happen to them after they leave your protective care. The best thing you can do for a foster home if you've receive one of their pups is follow up. Send the cards, emails with photos, updates, etc. I LOVE seeing how happy they are. It helps recharge my battery by reminding me why I do it. Sometimes I forget when my leather sofa gets chewed on, peed on or I'm cleaning up poo for the 4th time that day. Then those little brown eyes look up at me and the curly tail flaps side-to-side. Poop? What poop?

    Tonya Christiansen
    Grand Haven, MI

  3. I loved this post. I cried too! Fosters do need a parade. They are the unsung heroes that get a bit lost in the shuffle. I hope I always show any fosters I work with how much I truly appreciate their help. Heck, any volunteer's help is so appreciated. I think of Hunter's fosters often and occassionally send updates on him to them too. Twister's foster family is always in my heart as well. BRAT helped to complete our family in ways that they'll never know. THANK YOU to all those who foster all around the world. You are heroes not only to those dogs and cats you help, but to me too!

    Suzanne Sarlls-Hartwell
    Pampered Pooch Resort
    Sherwood, MI