Being a Fur-Foster Mom

A little over a year ago, my boyfriend was trying to get his work to engage in some sort of volunteering activity. He wanted everyone to get set up with walking dogs at the local shelter. It’s the best shelter to support here because it is the only non-single breed, no-kill shelter in this area.

Before he could even get his colleagues psyched on it, on September 8th, 2016, I sent him a Facebook video I saw on my feed from this specific shelter asking for help. They were going to gut and re-build a whole room of dog apartments, but they needed about 18 fosters to help and temporarily foster these dogs who were getting new apartments.

He seemed very intrigued by it and we briefly talked about maybe helping out. I was at work that night until 8 P.M. and received a text at 7 that said “I got a dog!” with a picture of a pup sitting in the back seat of his car. I was confused and a little annoyed that I didn’t get to be a part of the choosing process of the dog we were going to foster, since we briefly talked about going together over the weekend. I rushed to the loft after I got off work and got to meet the new pup. He was about 3 years old with a brindle pattern. He had no interest in me, but followed my boyfriend around everywhere and loved the sound of his voice.

The explanation on choosing this specific dog is that other dogs were offered to him, but he knew if they were the first picks, they were probably the easiest and would get adopted soon anyways. He wanted a dog that had been in the shelter for a longer period of time and had very little chances of adoption. A caretaker walking by muttered under his breath, “Well you could show him Ozlo…” and so he met him. They said this dog was too high energy and had weird quirks and basically only two people were allowed to walk him. So my boyfriend said, “Great! I’ll take him!”

Ozlo slept for the next 3 days, winding down from the shelter. This was his first few days out of the shelter in a few years and could sleep and hang out without a hundred other dogs barking like crazy all day. He did have quirky behaviors and pulled on the leash a lot, but he was even more just a huge cuddle bug looking for love and a quiet home.

He has come a long way in the year since we’ve had him. He is still socially awkward around new people and other dogs, but has made two good dog friends and is learning how to make others. We’ve had a few people put in applications to adopt him, and we’ve done a couple meet and greets but none of them have been successful. I think he’ll end up being our furever foster.

Fostering has been a great experience for us and our goal is to help get as many dogs out of the shelter and into furever homes as possible. Though we probably have Oz for the long run, I think when we are able to get a house with a big yard, we would definitely get a second one in hopes to help Oz socially and be able to get them adopted.

Rescues are just the sweetest most loving cuddlers, who are looking for a second chance at life and love. Their sad past doesn’t define who they really are and who they can become. It’s hard not to just go and adopt them all right now, but I know that helping one dog, is still making a difference. It’s changed his world and I’m grateful to be a part of his.

Adopt. Don’t Shop.