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I'd like a little info/advice about fostering. My husband and I know that sometime next year we would like another GSD. I love the idea of another fur ball puppy, but lets be honest...they stay that way for 2 seconds and then it's months of puppy ****- teething, etc. I'm not up for that again...yet. :whistle:

Anyways- We decided we want to adopt/rescue our next GSD. Problem is- I want to save them all and thankfully 99% of the ones that are posted on here are very far away. So, I've come to the conclusion that we should give fostering a try- that way we can help lots of dogs one at a time.

So, for any of you that currently foster or have in the past: pros/cons, did you enjoy it? Was it hard to say goodbye to your foster when they found a home? That's the only part I worry about- sending them to their new forever home. Any advice/info would be great, as this is something that we just decided to begin looking into as an alternative to adopting.
 

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I'd like a little info/advice about fostering. My husband and I know that sometime next year we would like another GSD. I love the idea of another fur ball puppy, but lets be honest...they stay that way for 2 seconds and then it's months of puppy ****- teething, etc. I'm not up for that again...yet. :whistle:

Anyways- We decided we want to adopt/rescue our next GSD. Problem is- I want to save them all and thankfully 99% of the ones that are posted on here are very far away. So, I've come to the conclusion that we should give fostering a try- that way we can help lots of dogs one at a time.

So, for any of you that currently foster or have in the past: pros/cons, did you enjoy it? Was it hard to say goodbye to your foster when they found a home? That's the only part I worry about- sending them to their new forever home. Any advice/info would be great, as this is something that we just decided to begin looking into as an alternative to adopting.
You should speak to GSDRaven, she will help you out. :)
 

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I've fostered and I'm very bad at it. I get too attached and it kills me when the dog finds a home. (I'm thrilled for the dog, sad for me) :(
 

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I fostered for many years and I can tell you that it is very rewarding but can be stressfull some times. I've for the most part have had good foster dogs, but out of the 40+ dogs I've fostered, 2 had bad separation anxiety and both destroyed my basement while I was gone. There were fosters that I could not wait to place in a new home and fosters that I cried and didn't want to let go. And of course there will be one that you just will REFUSE to give up and keep...My Sam. :D
 

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So, for any of you that currently foster or have in the past: pros/cons, did you enjoy it? Was it hard to say goodbye to your foster when they found a home? That's the only part I worry about- sending them to their new forever home. Any advice/info would be great, as this is something that we just decided to begin looking into as an alternative to adopting.
Fostering is very rewarding but can also be challenging depending on the issues that the dog has. I always evaluate my fosters myself before bringing them home and they meet Raven first. What I like about it is that I have had the opportunity to experience a lot of different personalities in a short time which also helps me to figure out which kind of dog I like.

What I tell people all the time is to remember that the personality you see in the shelter is not necessarily the personality you will see 2 days later, 2 weeks later or if you keep them this long 2 months later. Fosters always go on NILIF right away and must earn privileges slowly.

Many people are "foster failures" on their first try :) I should have been but I refused to "fail". My first foster was an amazing dog but he is truly loved in his home and I am now good friends with his owners. I also used to dog sit him a few times a year but they recently had a baby and don't travel as much.

The way I keep going is by reminding myself that if I give this dog up then I can help another one find a home. My measure for a home is that they must be able to provide as good or better a home as I can. I am also very lucky that my rescue allows me to screen potentials homes and choose the one that is right for my foster - after all I know him best.

It is hard to say goodbye but many adopters keep in touch with updates. You'll cry like a baby the first and tenth time you do it. Some are easier to let go than others.

My advice is to find a reputable organization and ask to speak to one of their foster families about what it's like being a foster for that group. Each rescue has different policies.
 

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I'm a foster with Austin German Shepherd Rescue (which I would highly recommend if you do decide to foster). As others have said, it can be highly rewarding and it can be a huge pain. Sometimes the dogs have issues that don't show up until you get them home. Sometimes you fall in love and end up adopting them.

Rescues vary widely by how much support they give their fosters. Before you take the plunge, make sure you find out up front how much support you get. What if you have to go out of town? What do you do with your foster? What if he/she turns out to be more than you can handle? What are you expected to provide (food, toys, etc) and what does the rescue provide?
 

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How I wish I could foster, I'm way too far away from every dog I see in the urgent section. :(

All of you who do it are amazing! Wow, GSDBEST, 40+ dogs!
 

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How I wish I could foster, I'm way too far away from every dog I see in the urgent section. :(

All of you who do it are amazing! Wow, GSDBEST, 40+ dogs!
Where are you located Ruth? There may be a rescue organization near you. Just because there are no dogs in your area posted here doesn't mean there aren't dogs in need.

Dogs from my area aren't posted here often but we certainly aren't in short supply of ones needing help.

If there isn't a GSD specific rescue near you, you could always volunteer for an all breed rescue and be their GSD expert.
 

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Hi, I've been a foster for many years. First...you need to join a reputable rescue. Look into their policies. You want to see that they do hv's, address medical and temperment issues, spay/neuter and completely vet, have solid contracts, take their animals back if need be.

A reputable rescue is going to match you to the appropriate dog to foster. State your needs, strengths, weaknesses. (i.e....you need a dog good with cats, kids, etc) A reputable rescue temperment tests and places dogs in fosters and forever homes that best suite them. They pay for vetting. Most rescues will offer a food stipend...but I usually don't take it...as it's my little donation. But it's nice to know it's there should an emergency arise where I could no longer provide that. A reputable rescue will offer you support with any questions or issues that arise. A reputable rescue will want your imput and opinion on the potential adopter.

Yes...it's hard sometimes to give up that foster. (and sometimes it's a little easier...lol) But...I always remind myself...if I had not done this....this dog would not have been saved and on to a wonderful life. Without fosters...dogs can't be saved. While it's hard to give a dog up sometimes...it's harder to think that dog would have died. What really helps is that many adopters keep in touch. I still get updates on a puppy that I fostered 3 years ago...it warms our heart!

Right now...I'm doing something I never would have thought I could do if you had asked me. I am fostering a hospice girl. She gives back to me more than I could ever give her. The joy at seeing her so happy...is priceless. The shelter thought she should be euthanized...the vet thought she should be euthanized...and the rescue gave her a chance...a chance to know love. I am so grateful to them...I am so grateful we have the opportunity to give her that. It is now one year...and she is still going strong...still enjoying life...and she shows her gratitude and love to us every min. of every day. We treasure every min. with her and are so blessed to be on this journey with her.

You will never regret fostering. :)
 

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I fostered for many years and I can tell you that it is very rewarding but can be stressfull some times. I've for the most part have had good foster dogs, but out of the 40+ dogs I've fostered, 2 had bad separation anxiety and both destroyed my basement while I was gone. There were fosters that I could not wait to place in a new home and fosters that I cried and didn't want to let go. And of course there will be one that you just will REFUSE to give up and keep...My Sam. :D
Couldn't have said it better myself.

We have been doing moms with litters and a couple of litters w/out moms for the past year, and TONS of dogs of various backgrounds for more than a decade. It's easier for us because as cute as puppies are, we don't get as attached to them. Puppies are basically all the same at that age (birth to 8 wks). They eat, drink, play, poop, sleep. Adults have much more of a personality and are MUCH easier to get attached to because with them comes much more interaction, training, walks, etc.

Some dogs can be very stressful and a lot of work. Others mesh right into your routine from day one and it's as though they were there forever. It's hard not to get attached. Others you are eager to hold the door out when they leave with their new family!!

Audrey is my foster failure, and my mother adopted another foster GSD I had. Foster failures happen. If you find yourself falling in love with a foster, ask yourself what your limit is and if you are already at your limit, ask yourself if you're willing to give up fostering in order to keep that one. It's easy to find yourself saying "what's one more" but one more is more food, more time, more training, more vet bills, more toys, space for another crate, more wear and tear on the house, yard, etc. I try to remember each and every time that it's my job to help them find their forever home, which is more important than keeping them all. You have to believe that other people can do just as well as you at caring for and loving them, otherwise you'll want to keep them all.

Both of the foster failures I mentioned above were the ones worst off when they came to me. Audrey was emaciated, completely infested with worms, had mange so bad she was nearly bald, and was very skittish and horribly shy and scared. The one my mother ended up adopting from me came to me heartworm positive, minor ACL tear, wormy, and kennel cough with a URI to top it all off.

I don't think I've had a foster yet that was spayed/neutered and who knows about vaccines, so I start them all from scratch. Both Audrey and the other one (Bailey) were out of pocket fosters. I pulled them privately, vetted, and so forth. I've done many like this, but right now am working with a local shelter fostering moms w/pups, orphaned pups, sick litters, or the occasional "break" for me when I take one that's not too young, not too old, just needs some weight, training, get fixed, and find a home for.

I would STRONGLY encourage you to not get into the habit of doing back to back fosters if you have other pets. Give yourself and your pets a break if it seems like you need it. There are times we adopt one out and go get a new foster that same day, and there are other times where it's 3 months before we take a new one on. It just depends on what's going on in our lives. I took a long break from fostering awhile back because I just flat out got burned out.
 

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Where are you located Ruth? There may be a rescue organization near you. Just because there are no dogs in your area posted here doesn't mean there aren't dogs in need.

Dogs from my area aren't posted here often but we certainly aren't in short supply of ones needing help.

If there isn't a GSD specific rescue near you, you could always volunteer for an all breed rescue and be their GSD expert.
North of Mexico.

The thing is there are absolutely no rescues at all near me, they're in bigger cities.

I'm all for helping dogs in need, but I can't and it makes me feel so powerless. :(

At least I have "rescued" 2 strays around here. One of them was a GSD that I don't know how came right into my house! My father thought it was one of mine and he yelled that Negra had gotten out, and when I ran to see it was a skinny little guy, of course half the size of Negra.

I kept him for a day then a friend kept him for me while I called vet clinics to see if any had a report about a lost pet, and nothing.
But I knew my vet was looking for a GSD so I told her about it and she ended up taking him. :)
I think he ended up being rehomed because of some other issues like they didn't have time to exercise him or something, but at least he was off the streets! Poor thing.
 

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Make sure you take plenty of photos of your fosters. When another one goes home, it helps to be able to look back through your foster photos and remember each dog and know you helped them on their path to a new and better life.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Emoore- The Austin rescue page is very well put together- seems like a great organization. I didn't realize they would send fosters up to North TX. There is a Plano GSD rescue- Good Shepherd Rescue. I of course know nothing about them, but they are based out of Plano, which is where I live. I'll start contacting a few different places and checking out my options.

Rerun- LOVE the idea of a scrapbook for fosters!
 

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Yay Katie! I was going to sugggest Austin as well but must admit I was unaware Plano had one. YOu might talk to Alicia about it also, she has done her fair share of rescues.
 

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GSDBEST, I just read all the stories, some are very sad but most are very heartwarming.
You did a great recording those! And of course with fostering them too.
 

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Good suggestion Carla- I'll get with her also! :)
 

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Big heart - big tears

Cliff notes version: it's the most heartbreaking and rewarding experience.

You get attached, you love them, bring them back to life, and then they go lead a happy life with someone else.

But then, what you have done is a little miracle: you have saved a dog, watched him come out of his shell, and learn how to be a dog with a good life. You've brought that dog back to a loving life.

And then, if you're like me, you'll be the fostering family from '****': looking through the application, drilling the people who want to adopt the dog on everything you can, trying to find why they shouldn't have this wonderful dog....but when you realize that this is a perfect home, you'll be thrilled and find yourselves in tears. And you'll keep following up on the dog with the family over the years. You may even make new friends along the way.

There are a few fosters I couldn't wait to get out of my pack of GS, it's true. But 99% of them were fantastic foster dogs! I've loved them all, and have fallen in love with a few of them. I still see them every so often, and am happy I contributed to their good life.

And then, it will make room for another dog who needs to be saved. The first few are tough, tough, tough on the heart. Then it gets easier as you process the fact that you are saving more and more dogs from a bad life, or a kennel.

To the ones who say 'I can't foster because it's too hard when they leave', I will respond 'it's too bad: your emotions are causing more dogs to stay in kennels or be put to sleep. Think about that: what's more important: your heart, or the life of a wonderful GS?'
 
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