Today’s post is written by Sarah Oren Brasky who is the brains behind Foster Dogs NYC, an organization that connects people with pups in need. All pics below are of foster parents and pups who have gone through the Foster Dogs NYC program. <3
Over the years, I’ve heard many people wonder aloud about the following idea – a dog rental service. It would seek to fill the void for dog lovers who can’t (for whatever reason) commit to adopting but long for the companionship of human’s best friend. Well, America, it already exists! It is in cities – both large and small – all across the nation. It goes by the name of fostering!
While fostering a shelter dog has a longer “check-out” period than a rental car or a UHaul, the commitment comes with the ultimate reward. A car can get you to the airport and a UHaul can move the contents of your apartment, but a dog completes your life.
Bringing home a shelter dog can certainly have difficult moments. There might be accidents on the carpet, favorite shoes chewed to bits, howling at 3 a.m. or frayed Wi-Fi cables.
But these minor hassles are quickly outweighed by one simple truth – you are making a profound difference in an animal’s life. They need you. And, over time as a foster parent, you come to realize, you truly need them, too.
Five years ago, I moved to NYC after college. I desperately missed my childhood dog and wanted to bring him to the city to live with me. As my parents wisely pointed out, with three acres to explore and several couches to lounge on, my dog was beyond content living in rural Connecticut. It would have been unfair to drag him in his old age to my lonely, small studio apartment. I knew he had a wonderful home. Still, all of these logical reasons didn’t change the fact that I missed my dog.
As I faced this fact, I knew I had to find a way to have a dog in my daily life. I didn’t have the time or the money to adopt a new dog. I considered volunteering as a dog walker at local shelters, but my true desire was to bring a dog into my home. I began researching fostering and after several weeks of orientation, I was a foster mom!
I fostered an elderly, blind and deaf Chihuahua whose home burned down. He needed a month-long placement while his mom got back on her feet. I fostered a young “death-row” pit bull who was abandoned on the streets after giving birth to too many litters for such a young dog. She was minutes from euthanasia; by taking her into my home, I saved her life.
These first two foster experience represent a larger lesson. Each dog possesses a beautiful uniqueness that causes us to evaluate ourselves and our relationship with these wonderful animals. While I loved my little old man Chihuahua, I missed long walks and dog park visits. I adored my foster pittie, but knew that adopting wasn’t right for me at the moment. I found it incredibly rewarding to see her placed in the perfect forever home.
FosterDogsNYC.com was born when I saw a gap in the rescue system. There was a dire need for a centralized place with resources on fostering. Many shelters and rescue organizations around the nation have foster programs and need people (just like me!) who want to bring a temporary dog into their home. Unfortunately, many people don’t know such a program exists. Ultimately, FosterDogsNYC seeks to connect rescuers (and their pups, of course) with foster parents who are ready and willing to help a pup in need.
Like what Foster Dogs NYC is doing? If you use the code FDNYBBX1 when you buy a BarkBox you’ll get $5 off and Foster Dogs NYC will receive a $15 donation!
Featured image via Hilary Benas Photography.