I consider my decision to become a foster "parent" to dogs as part of the Tailwaggers 911 program one meant to enrich the lives of many.
For starters, the fact that I am able to open my home on a temporary basis to this animal on Saturday will save the life of a 3-month-old labrador retriever mix otherwise fated to be put down because of a lack of space at the high-kill shelter it's currently housed in in Georgia.
Secondly, Mara, my 1-1/2 year-old Vizsla dog — who has now finally given way to a nap out of sheer boredom after staring at me and whining to play for much of the afternoon — will greatly enjoy the ability to expend some energy with another four-legged critter while I Patch away.
Third, the family who ultimately adopts little Morla — and any puppy or dog that I foster in the future — will have a life companion and a new family member in part thanks to my choice to bring it into my home.
Lastly, it's a decision that should bring enrichment to my own life. While it may be hard to let go of some of the dogs that get a temporary stay under the same roof as I — I strongly believe it will be heartwarming to see each new face that is saved as time moves forward. While it may be work to care for puppy after puppy who isn't house trained, or add another dog that we know nothing about in our house — it's a chore that sounds more like a reward than one that requires payment.
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I've been longing to foster for Tailwaggers since I lived in my Port Washington apartment. Then I — and wanted to become a part of the program any more.
Now that I'm a homeowner — and no longer require landlord permission — the idea is seeing fruition.
Tailwaggers 911 operates without a shelter to provide homes for misplaced and abused animals. The program works strictly with an animal shelter in Haberscham County, GA, for all of its animal transfers, and pays for all medical expenses the foster dog incurs, as well as provides food while the dog is in the volunteers' care.
Photos of dogs will appear on the Tailwaggers website with a "Foster Me!" disclaimer, letting volunteers know it's time to choose a dog to stay with them until an adopter comes around.
The program also offers a foster-to-adopt program, which allows adopters to choose a dog from the website before a transport and "foster" the animal for five days before deciding whether or not to keep the animal.
If anyone you know is ever looking for a puppy or dog, I strongly encourage you to check those available through Tailwaggers on top of your visits to the traditional animal shelters in the area. Who knows, the website could have a better fit for your family — and it's another life saved, another life enriched.