14 Feb Fostering: an unconventional love
Written by: Jill Monahan
Assistant Director, Board of Directors, foster mom
Last Hope K9 Rescue
I am lucky enough to fall in love and get my heart broken dozens of times a year; I am a foster mom to homeless dogs through Last Hope K9 Rescue.
Having these rescue dogs in my life brings indescribable joy. I get to watch them come off transport as insecure, timid animals and slowly blossom into happy, playful dogs. This transformation can take minutes, weeks, even months, but the happiness we feel as rescuers when a foster dog finally plays with a toy or takes that deep, relaxed sigh for the first time is one of the best feelings. For many dogs, we are the first people to show them the world outside of the chain they were kept on or the kennel of which they were rarely allowed out.
Whether I provided a home for a few days or a few months, I have loved all of my foster dogs and learned something from each one. I have learned that I’m not much of a puppy person, that Pit Bulls are my weakness (despite the unfair reputation they receive), and have grown in my dog handling skills. I’d be lying if I said saying goodbye to these dogs wasn’t excruciating at times, but at the end of the day, I remind myself that they are going to make another person or family whole and that I have more dogs to save.
I still do not have a dog of my own and love that fostering gives me the flexibility to enjoy the love and loyalty of having a pet without committing fully to the time and financial needs. My long-term goal is to adopt a Pit Bull I can train to be a therapy dog, one that will be able to help me breakdown the stereotype while also bringing joy to those who need it most. Until then, I will keep falling in love just to get my heart broken.