We are at that tipping point in winter. Will last year’s history repeat itself? Was this week’s blizzard a stand alone event or the shape of things to come? Who knows!
Yet we are eternal optimists, grasping at any straws that could herald an early spring. Is March 27th an early enough Easter to be significant? Did Shubenacadie Sam get everyone’s hopes stirred up? Who really knows about that either, eh?
No matter what the weatherman dishes up for us, this is a very special weekend in this house. Eight years ago tomorrow, ARC emailed to ask if I would be interested in a dog that had just come into the Colchester pound. She was everything that I had asked them to find for me. Lab sized. Female. Adult.
They were also quick to point out that she was severely emaciated and that it would take time for her to become healthy enough to be adopted. After a lengthy phone chat, pictures were promised .. if possible .. the following day.
The short version is .. as most of you well know … that she could have been as ugly as a toad and I would have loved her dearly. Even as my heart was breaking for how desperately thin she was, it was clear from those clever eyes that she was going to be a smarty pants.
It was a month and more before she was well enough to come here. How did ARC manage to do that? Did they not have other dogs waiting in the wings to save? Of course they did! But as a reputable rescue, once they commit to an animal in need, they do not hurry them out the door without being properly assessed and treated.
In other words, the reason they were able to take Miss Ruby .. and every other hard case they have had before and since … is that there was a foster available. In Miss Ruby’s case, she was their first foster actually. Did they do a good job? You bet! I will be forever grateful to them for providing a safe space for Miss Ruby to heal.
All the cliches really are true, you know. Fosters are that life saving bridge between pets in need and their happy new homes. All the fundraising in the world would be of no avail without foster homes for adoptable pets. Straight, sweet and simple.
This is especially true for reputable rescues that take on the hard cases that will not be quickly adopted. Lets face it, the need for medical attention is one of the primary reasons pets are surrendered. When owners are unwilling or unable to pay for surgeries or treatments needed, rescues have to make sure that they have a foster home free to take in the pet for a while.
Is it hard to foster a pet …. to love them and nurture them .. and then let them go? Sure it is. It does help if one fosters for a reputable rescue. Why? Because of course that the fosters can be confident that the adopters will be well screened and well suited to their new pal.
And …. think of the alternative, eh?
Fostering is one of the few times in life where ‘all you need is love”. Reputable rescues buy all the food and supplies. They take care of all the veterinary bills. Even the toys and beds are donated or bought. All the fosters have to add is love and patience. In return, fosters have the solid satisfaction of knowing that they have both saved lives and brought joy to the world for the kind hearts who adopt! To borrow a phrase from WordPress, kind of like real life Happiness Engineers!
Valentines is a time for sentimental things .. and one of my favourite bits is a poem by Diane Morgan.
What time is it? It is always time to remember these wise words:
Love is the answer and you know that for sure. John Lennon