Florence

Author Topic: Foster Carer Stories  (Read 8421 times)

Offline jellitot

  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 942
  • Gender: Female
Foster Carer Stories
« on: April 02, 2014, 12:19:38 PM »
I thought it would be good to get all your stories on your fostering experience in one place!
I think it will pose as a great way to entice more people into this wacky and amazing team  ;D We are all a friendly bunch, and we support each other as much as we can where possible.

All of us here at Four Paws are like family, and I'm sure those who fundraise and visit us at our shows etc (equally as important ;) ) would love to hear some of our funny fostering stories!

I shant take away the thunder from the rest of kempy12 posting, As I am still a part of the Kempy12 team!
We have seen over 50 pooches come through our doors since we started fostering in 2011 (with a rather gorgeous little bunch of puppies). We have cared for dogs of all shapes/sizes/ages since then! Considering we originally said we would only take smaller dogs...we ended up fostering a dalmation, a husky, a basset hound etc! I can honestly say I would have loved to have kept the majority of dogs we have looked after. Though can you imagine the squeeze in our house if we had kept all 50!?

It is all worth it when you meet their forever families, and even better when you get updates on their progress  ;D Mr Alvin the Basset hound (a personal fave of mine) Is a constant at our paws 4 tea events, and I LOVE seeing him everytime! I remember his whale like bark, that made Lowri jump out of her skin like it was yesterday  ;D

We have many funny stories...from sock stealers to escape artists! We wont be forgetting the time Bee tunneled herself into the next door neightbours garden, and jaser went along with her! It was the longest half hour of my life trying to get the pair back under the fence!  ::)

One of the best parts of fostering in our opinion, is updating everyone on their progress, showing people the dog they are becoming. It makes us proud to put into words just how a dog can change in our care. We and all wait on the edge of our seats to see if someone writes back to say how wonderful they are/are doing. (we already know this of course, but it is soo rewarding to see that others feel that way too)
Some of the dogs that have left this house, have broken my heart. But I would never change my time with them for the world  :-* You know there will be another needy soul, who needs that extra basket in your house. We need to teach them they can be loved again, we do it to unbreak their little hearts, and bring them out to be the dogs they were always ment to be  :)
That is how we keep going, they need us, they cant find their forever homes on their own!

I will stop now, but please do add to the thread  :)
Foster Team Deli! (Eli and Dean)

Faithful servants to Dexter dog and Bueno lady Hamster.

Offline Maggie

  • Fundraising
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 19,462
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 17:43:22 PM »
Well I'll try & keep it brief ;), I've just had my 7th Gotcha Day with Four Paws (& now they're stuck with me ;)), when I joined there were only 6 of us, I'm the Grandma of the rescue & it's my job to keep the "youngsters" in line ;), I've had 137 fosters but haven't rehomed all of them & only adopted 3, I've had 6 litters born here, a few who were very old/had health problems & some that were just temporary/emergency lodgers. Oldies are my favourite maybe because I have a bus pass too ;).
Four Paws are my "Day-day family" as my children have flown the nest, Kirsty & Colin are my sort of adopted daughter & son-in-law ;D, I help out at shows, "gather" things that can be used as raffle prizes.
I have found fostering soooo rewarding, some are very easy to look after but sadly some are very "damaged" in one way or another but to see them relax & blossom is a blessing to be part of.xxxx
Luv my 3 Yorkies Ruby, Ben & Alfie & JR X Chi Mad Mikey   & my beautiful Bridge babies Tom, Granny, Lucy, Oscar, Benjy & Pepsi.

Offline kempy12

  • Adoption Co-Ordinator
  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,500
  • Gender: Female
  • Lexie and Jasper ♥
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 17:40:31 PM »
Okay...time for the Kempy12 contribution!

We stumbled across Fourpaws when looking for a dog ourselves in 2009. We registered our interest in a few, and went to see three! We went to see a pair of pooches in kennels....called Cava and Jacob. They were terriers and believed to be brother and sister. Thats when we fell for her, Cava became ours and she is now called Lexie! (Jacob was adopted soon after)



We started fostering in May/June 2011. For months we had been toying with the idea of getting Lexie a companion. When we stumbled across the fostering page on the fourpaws website. We all had a chat and decided we wanted to give it a go. We had a homecheck (which was very straightforward, and not as interegatory as you would imagine) and we passed! We went to collect our first fosters around a week later...In the form of 2 little hound/collie cross puppies. They were delicious! Lexie was excited to have little freinds in the house, though at first she was a little bewildered  ;)
From that moment we were hooked. We took in the needy souls from the pound, nurturing them and turning their little lives around. We did originally say we would only take littlies and we were well known for our love of terrier types! But looking back now we have had a right mixed bag of pooches, crossbreed, pedigree, shape and size! A few of which have challenged us, and a few that will never ever leave our thoughts.
Christmas 2011 we took in a collie cross and a tiny terrier puppy from the pound. We named the teeny baby Tommy Thumb. He was with us only few days, he was far to young to be away from his mum, and passed away in our care. It absolutely broke our hearts,  :'( but we knew he would be ours forever, and in his last few days were filled with love and fun. Our other foster (who we named lupin) licked away our tears. Him and lexie raised our spirits and got us through it! We came back more determind than ever to save these souls.
We have seen over 50 dogs come through our house, and as Elinor said above we could have kept a fair few...then Jasper came along and we knew we couldnt let him go! It is an occupational hazard that comes with fostering, but when you know, you know!  :P Jasper is the craziest and most neurotic pomeranian. Dunno what did it but we fell for the most mischievious fosters we had! Lexie is the happiest she has been now she has a permanent freind!



We still foster, though only one at a time! We enjoy the updating, the picture taking, the events!  (Its brilliant meeting fellow foster carers/supporters at the events too  :)) We all do our best to support each other, draw on each others experiences etc. If ever you are struggling, all you need do is ask  ;D
We are thankful everyday for our two permanent trouble makers, and for sharing moments in our lives with all our fosters. Each has a little space our hearts that they may live in forever.  :-*

Will stop waffling now....  ;)
2011 - 2015  We re-homed 68 dogs!  05/03/2016  Teddy 21/08/2016 Pumba

♥Sleep tight; Pursil Cat 03|12|12 - Simpkin cat 31|10|12 - Tommy Thumb 13|12|11

Offline Dizzy

  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 972
  • Gender: Female
  • Dizzy Rascal x
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 15:45:40 PM »
I've been fostering for Four Paws for two years now, along with my partner Matt & our Four Paws forever baby Dizzy the Cavalier, who we fell in love with when he was in foster with our friends Leane & Kaz, before we decided to start fostering ourselves. We've had 22 four legged visitors in that time! Of those 22, 17 are now very happily homed through Four Paws, 3 moved on to other (larger) rescues where they could get all the help they needed and have a much better chance of finding a home, 1 is curled up on the sofa next to me, patiently waiting for her forever family to find her and 1 has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

Ben was our first foster, who was coming back into the care of Four Paws after the wonderful owner the charity found for him five years earlier had very sadly passed away. Ben was a very handsome, but very sad 16 year old Collie & it was decided after a few weeks that he should stay with us as a long term foster dog for the rest of his life. We where very lucky to be able to enjoy him for a further four months before it became time to help him on his way. Giving Ben a loving home to live out the rest of his days before helping him back to his beloved owner is without a doubt the most rewarding & fulfilling thing I have ever done.

Since our lovely Ben, we have fostered everything from a gorgeous American Bull puppy named Benson (now Jenson) to a lovely oldie Labrador, Ozzy & loads more in between. There are always some that tug at your heart strings more than others & some are incredibly hard to let go. But seeing your fosters safe, loved & adored by amazing families far out ways the heartache. Just yesterday one of my "wish-he-could-have-stayed-forevers' came along to a Paws 4 Tea event looking happier & healthier than I could have imagined with a family who can offer him more than we ever could. Seeing him so loved washes away any doubt I could ever have had!

I definitely think the oldies are my favourites, there's something very special about helping an older dog find that second chance they so deserve at a happy life. I can't imagine my life with out fostering or Four Paws in it & that's fine by me!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 10:00:32 AM by Dizzy »
“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”

Offline MegTom

  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 534
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm a wife a mam & I foster dogs I'm totally mad!
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 09:04:16 AM »
My name is joy and I've been fostering for 16months and I have to say its one of the best things I've ever done it's been very hard sometimes but extremely rewarding. My story starts with my first 2 foster pups named Dorris & robin they were 10 weeks old, omg they were so gorgus I feel in love, I adopted Robin I couldn't keep Dorris as you can't adopt siblings together but she went to a lovely home. Over the past year I've fallen in love with all of the 16 dogs I've helped rehome it broke my heart to let them go to their new homes but they all go to fab homes we do make sure of that, & I keep intouch with most of the families they went to, I have lots of photos and updates which I cherish. I absolutely love doing this and I would recommend it to anyone who has time, patience and most of all love to give any animal in need.  :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 11:39:30 AM by MegTom »
I thrive on stress me thinks! Lol

Offline DizzyDogs

  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,524
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 11:39:41 AM »
 My story

I’ve always considered myself an animal lover. I don’t remember not having animals around as I was growing up, especially dogs.  I helped care for my mother and we had lost our beloved cocker spanirl Dusty but did not want another dog as we had  taken on my mothers 2 dogs.  We were at the Vale show and noticed the Four Paws stall and brought home a leaflet as we had always been interested in rescue animals.  I thought it was something I could do that would fit into my life, which was rewarding and help the poor animals from their lives of hell.  Went on to the website and thought we might be suitable filled in the form and got accepted.

I like fostering because it is so rewarding and heart breaking at the same time. We have fostered a number of dogs over the last 4 years, which have come to us in various states, needing various levels of care.  To have a dog from the pound that is scared, thin and bedraggled and slowly seeing them gain confidence and learning life is a good place, is extremely rewarding. I feel as though we are playing an active role in improving dogs’ lives before they go off to new loving families.  I feel very privileged in seeing a dog settle and make them selves at home to love and trust us. Then the perfect match comes along and you are so happy that their lives are going to change and be adored and loved.
I do get a bit upset when they leave for there forever home, but we know they are going to a loving family who can offer them the happy life they deserve.

Some of my little angels and Nikki who mothers them all


My Ellie who is 14 this year a matriarch and a rock to all the dogs we have.



I would recommend fostering to anyone who loves dogs and wants to help out with the rehoming process. If you’re prepared to make vets visits, sacrifice that extra weekend away and feel happy in the knowledge you’ve made a difference to a dog’s life.  Have fun making new friends who are all animal mad, and help out at fund raising events.  Come and join us and open your heart to a poor lost soul.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 11:41:55 AM by DizzyDogs »
Mad about dogs

Offline jellitot

  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 942
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 19:45:48 PM »
The wonderful Chris and John (CandJ) have sent me their foster carer story, and a link to a documentary that John has starred in about Four Paws! Its a great watch, obviously John was made to be on film! Thankyou guys  :)

People often ask us "how many dogs have you had?" our reply to that is we don't know but far too many and nowhere near enough.  For every dog that has stayed here, even for a few days, we grieve for the ones we haven't been able to help.

Fostering starts with that trembling little bundle, followed two days later, sitting with your head in your hands saying what on earth are we doing this for? But when they go it's hard to stop the tears.  Ungrateful little sods never even look back when they drive away.  But when you get that email or text with a photograph that's what makes it all worth while.  Out of all the dogs we have rehomed only one we have never heard from since, but have been told by other Four Paws people that she has been seen and is OK. 

Do we think anybody can do it? No but are lots of people who could if you could only reach them.

Soppy sods us. We even have an album with the pictures of the dogs in.

As part of their second year assessment three students from Uni of South Wales had to produce a film.  in their wisdom they wanted to produce a film showing rescue dogs.  Don't ask how, cause we don't know, but somehow or other John ended up staring in this film and it can be seen on youtube following the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqCZC0QNT9k
Foster Team Deli! (Eli and Dean)

Faithful servants to Dexter dog and Bueno lady Hamster.

Offline NotScoobyDoo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 633
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 20:32:12 PM »
I have fostered only once so far - but I certainly want to do it again!
I never thought I would be any good at fostering: you meet those failed fosters (people who cannot part with their foster dogs and then keep them) and since I am having my third rescue dog now (one after the other over the last 25 years), I believed this would be my fate, too.
But when you give it some thought you'll find that by fostering you can do more than adopting one rescue dog: you give perpetual help to dogs who need a second chance. You can help many many needy dogs if you keep doing it.
So I signed up.
My foster dog was a 10 month old hand-in, who "didn't do well in the kennels". I never asked what this means, but I can guess because the little bundle of dog arrived at my house in the most sorry state you can image: scared, confused, heart-broken, skinny and sick! I took to her instantly (who wouldn't) and she took instantly to my dog, which, given her recent experience with people, was the sensible thing to do.
It wasn't all easy: the girl had a bad belly and was a little sick and had a few accidents in the house. She couldn't settle in the night at first so she kept waking us up. I couldn't let her off the leash even thought she very much wanted (and needed) to, so she was unhappy with that. Then she needed to be spayed and we had to deal with the aftermath of an operation. It all sounds pretty challenging, but when you are on it you just deal with it one day (or night) at the time. After all, fostering means helping. So, you help.
And then slowly and steadily, you see the foster dog relaxing, eventually coming out of herself, settling in, trusting, playing and being happy.
My own dog was helping a lot - he was her role model and companion, playmate and friend. They became very good friends and I spent hours just standing about fields and watching them race each other and play and chase around after balls or sticks or out of sheer joy.



After five weeks she had her forever home: these lucky people found their perfect dog and she has now a wonderful life with her new family and I am assured they are all very happy together. Because they are such nice people and a great match, I didn't found it too hard to let go. Honestly, I am still glowing with the pride and joy of having turned this sad little dog around into a happy, confident and healthy young dog who is a wonderful addition to her family now.
Sure I'll do it again!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 16:54:17 PM by NotScoobyDoo »

Offline Jennah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,518
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 07:00:29 AM »
I started fostering about 4 years ago and so far we have had almost 100 fosters. We have had a handful of adult dogs but we mainly foster puppies which can be challenging but also great fun. It has also given my son a great understanding of what is needed to look after animals and be a responsible animal lover.  He is now animal crazy and we already have a number of pets.
The best part of fostering for me is seeing the difference that we make to the pups. Many of them come in dirty/ flea ridden/ under weight/ scared or unsocialised. While they're with us they grow in confidence,  learn how to socialise with people and animals and they experience many different situations which will help then grown into well rounded, happy adults.  When they leave for their forever home it's obvious how happy they are and their new owners are thrilled to have a wonderful new addition to their family.
I also love it when we receive pictures and messages from our old fosters showing how well they're doing in their new homes-that's when you realise that you've changed the lives of not only the pups,  but also the owners.
We can't foster as often any more as my working hours have changed so we now only have emergency fosters and we keep them until another,  more suitable foster home becomes available. 
Four Paws is an amazing charity filled with amazing people who do incredible things for the dogs that we come in contact with.  Fostering is great and so rewarding.  I definitely recommend it :)

Offline Judy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 21:24:07 PM »
I love reading all your stories, you are all amazing people x
Beautiful, barmy Betsy, always full of fun!
Poppy cat & Tilly cat, living the dream :)
Maddy, always loved, never forgotten x

Offline kempy12

  • Adoption Co-Ordinator
  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,500
  • Gender: Female
  • Lexie and Jasper ♥
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 14:46:22 PM »
Elinor spent this morning reminiscing... and she made this lovely video featuring all our fosters, from the puppies that got us hooked...to our lovely poodle pair we are currently fostering.
It brought us to tears seeing the faces of those pooches whose lives have changed for the better because of fostering...especially knowing it is only a little portion of those saved by four paws altogether.

Take a look...

Watch "Why fostering Rocks..." on YouTube
Why fostering Rocks...: http://youtu.be/kjngqyl095M
2011 - 2015  We re-homed 68 dogs!  05/03/2016  Teddy 21/08/2016 Pumba

♥Sleep tight; Pursil Cat 03|12|12 - Simpkin cat 31|10|12 - Tommy Thumb 13|12|11

Offline Dianne

  • Neutering Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,897
  • Gender: Female
  • Pip and Maggie May
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 15:13:58 PM »
Great memories, thanks for sharing xx
"Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole"

Offline Maggie

  • Fundraising
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 19,462
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2014, 17:47:37 PM »
 :) It's great to look back at our "Guests", each one different & very special, I'd need a farm if I kept each one I fell in love with but when you see the fabulous homes & families their going to it makes it that much easier to let them go :-*
Luv my 3 Yorkies Ruby, Ben & Alfie & JR X Chi Mad Mikey   & my beautiful Bridge babies Tom, Granny, Lucy, Oscar, Benjy & Pepsi.

Offline Marina

  • Fundraising
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,995
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2014, 19:26:51 PM »
Loved watching the video, well done Kempys....
"Generally, or at least very often, people with a deep interest in animals are the best people around."  -- Roger Caras

Offline jellitot

  • Fosterers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 942
  • Gender: Female
Re: Foster Carer Stories
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 12:28:12 PM »
*Bump*

I'm sure some of you "newer" foster carers would love to add some stories and how you find fostering to this thread.

Me and my Boyfreind have both recently become foster carers in our own right. I have officially broken away from team kempy12! And now i'm told my fostering score goes back to zero  :o lol It all started when we looked after Julies foster pups Archer and Kiki for a week...yet again drawn in with puppies! haha! Actually the most well behaved puppies probably in the world!

Then we took on Nymeria the horribly skinny GSD lady who needed some tlc. We gave her a week and a half of our undivided love, attention and plenty of food! Unfortunately some behavioural traits came to light that we weren't 100% confident in dealing with. We felt truly awful for her, but the best place for her to get help was back in kennels. Apparently she is doing well there at the moment, and a favourite with the kennel staff, one of which is an experienced police dog handler. I'm certain the perfect breed experienced home out there for her. Until then she is continuing to chunk up and get back to the weight she is supposed to be.

We then took on a terrible terrier cross who we named "Pickle" I say terrible...but he was absolutely perfect in every way! Clean from day one..extremely well behaved! Needless to say this bundle of fun and gorgeousness didn't hang around too long, and got his forever home with ex four paws Pooch Posy JRT.

I'm currently waiting for my next foster guest....I wonder who that could be!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 12:44:23 PM by jellitot »
Foster Team Deli! (Eli and Dean)

Faithful servants to Dexter dog and Bueno lady Hamster.