If you’ve been tuned in to the ‘what’s happenings’ at Camp Canine, then you will most likely have heard the word ‘foster’ more than once. Fostering an animal is when you provide a temporary home for them during the time when their rescue is searching for their “forever home.” This is so crucial because it exposes the dog to love, people and domestic life; it also saves them from spending weeks (or more) in a cage. Here at Camp Canine, we foster 1-8 dogs at all times. If we have the space to provide a caring and comfortable temporary home for otherwise homeless dogs, then of course we’re going to do it! But not only that – we’re also connected to a network of 15+ ‘foster parents’ who agree to bring these less-than-fortunate pups into their own home in this interim period. Our foster parents fall in love with these sweet pups (we do have a few ‘foster fail’ stories, in fact!) and they provide them with comfort and love, while those at the rescue work tirelessly to find them a match. We’re thankful for these men and women who have made the commitment to care for these souls that cannot care for themselves. And we’re proud to share with you the ways that our foster parents’ lives have been enriched through the experience of fostering.
Below you will find the first in an ongoing series of posts about rescue, fosters and fostering. We’re starting with a diary of a foster dog experiencing a week in his foster mom’s home…
If you have any interest in becoming a foster parent, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zorro’s Diary: Life in a Foster Home
Today I woke up just before 8am, went for a walk and did all of my business! My foster mommy and I ate breakfast and walked a little longer afterward. Then we played a bit, and watched Sunday Morning together. I had the run of the kitchen while my foster mom showered. I did bark my disapproval a couple of times, but decided my energy was best spent on finishing my kibble. We had another walk, and then foster mom showed me to my condo while she left for about 3 hours. I napped. When she came home, we played and then took a medium sized walk. There was water coming from the sky; foster mommy said this was “drizzling,” but I didn’t know what to think about it.
We went home to dry off and snuggle. I ate some lunch. Around dinnertime, more humans came into our house. Foster mommy calls them “guests.” I played with guests for a little bit, but after I realized they were there to spend time with foster mommy, I went to relax in my condo instead. Foster mommy called me a “perfect gentleman.” Guests stayed until the sun went down and it was bedtime for all.
Foster mommy woke me up at 7:15am to go on our walk and do my business. I was still tired after my walk, so I went right back to my condo after getting home. An hour later, it was breakfast time. I didn’t show any interest in my kibble, so foster mommy got out the delicious tube of peanut butter. I ate up after that! I ate about 3/4ths of breakfast.
After this, we went on a 30 minute walk. What a busy morning! Foster Mommy started working when we got home, and I went to sleep on the sofa. I drank water at lunchtime and had a quick walk, but that “drizzling” thing was happening again, so I didn’t enjoy my walk as much as I usually do.
We played a little after our afternoon walk! I love it was Foster Mommy gets down on the rug with me and I chase her fingers!
A little later, I started running back and forth from the front door. Foster Mommy got the hint – I wanted to go out! We went on a walk, after dinner together, then I fell asleep on a towel that Foster Mommy had put in the kitchen for me. I slept there tonight, rather than in my condo.
I woke up and Foster Mommy took us on our morning walk! I got back, took another quick snooze, then I ate breakfast around 10am.
At 5pm, foster mommy got me dinner. I didn’t really feel like eating, but she sat with me and cheered me on, so I ate a little. Then another walk about 30 minutes later. I love walks! Foster mommy had guests – other humans – over for their dinner. I scavenged for food, but I was perfect with the humans. I like humans. Once “guests” left, we took one last walk and then I went to bed; boy was I tired!
I stayed in my comfy condo until 8am. We went about our morning routine – quick walk, doing my business, cuddling on the couch with foster mommy. Then foster mommy had “a call” where she talked loudly into a glowing “phone” rectangle. This is when I decided that it was time for breakfast, so I ate all by myself! Foster mommy didn’t have to coax me this time! After her “call,” we had more cuddles, then another walk. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing my business almost exactly a block away from foster mommy’s house. We do this, then we go to Riverside Park and around the monument. The day went by this way – cuddles, walks, cuddles, food. Great day. I was exhausted by bedtime and excited to climb back into my condo!
I woke up at 7:30am today – I was getting used to our mornings! Again, I did my business, came home for a nap, then ate breakfast around 10am. For lunch, I was feeling quite full from my hearty breakfast, so I refreshed myself with some water, then we went on a walk! At 4pm, Foster Mommy took me to a “play date.” I was overjoyed to find out that a playdate meant spending time with a new friend, a cockapoo named Scoop. Scoop and I played and we walked together. It was a wonderful time! The rest of the evening included dinner, two walks, and bedtime at 11pm.
I was rearing to go this morning, and I woke up at 6:30am! Foster Mommy didn’t mind; she took me out for my quick walk, and then napped I in the sofa. I ate breakfast at 9:15am, but was thankful that Foster Mommy sat with me and handfed me, because I didn’t have a lot of interest in breakfast at first. Afterward, I took another nap. But for this one, I insisted that I had to be in Foster Mommy’s lap! She didn’t mind. I wake up, and she takes me on a walk. The rest of the day consisted of walks, dinner and bedtime. A great day!
It’s moving day. Foster Mommy told me all about my furever home, and I am bursting with excitement. I thank Foster Mommy as best as I can – with cuddles and kisses – and I remember all of the walks and all of the times she handfed me and took me on playdates. I know that I will miss her, but I can’t wait to have a family that is all mine.
Zorro now lives with his furever mommy and daddy in Yonkers. He’s already made friends with Buttercup, his neighbor and another Animal Lighthouse Alumni. He loves car rides, snuggles, and having a furever family.
Now let’s here it from the foster parents:
“Fostering has enriched my life in countless ways. I didn’t grow up with dogs (but always wanted one), so it allowed me to have that experience and eventually led to adopting! I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself (as a “parent”), animals, and my neighborhood; I spend more time outside, get more exercise, go on more hikes. And there is nothing quite like having a loving animal greet you at the door when you get home from a long day of work, or wake you up in the morning! It changes the dynamic of the household for sure. Over 30 dogs and cats later and after adopting one of each, I couldn’t imagine not having these incredible animals in my life. Each has left their own mark, and I look forward to many more to come!” – Ryan
“I love looking through our vacation photo albums and seeing the dog we were fostering at that time! For us, every foster has left a unique imprint on our lives and it’s clear how very different but equally lovable they all can be.” – Ava