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Foster Success Stories

Foster Success Stories (4)

It was February I picked up Boaz (then named Shania) from the vet. He did not seem like he had any issues and his history paper work did not show anything to be concerned about physically or mentally. However, it does insinuate that Boaz has been in numerous homes in the past. Despite that, this Shiz Tsu was quite friendly, did not seem to have that much fear in him. His first night was not stressful apart from some coughing. 

 

IMG 1083

Days turned into weeks and after about a month, an adoption application came through. I was happy for him. 

A couple weeks later, turns out the family could not keep him and back in my living room he is:) 

One day I was trying to take off some dried gook (that a word?) from his chin with scissors and what I saw was a different dog! He started barking agressively, nipped at my hand. It was a shocker! Took him a few minutes to calm down and I did not let it get to me for too long. 

There was another scenario when he got cherry eye that was growing bigger so I took him to the vet and he gave him eye drops and suggested I give it to him every day for a week. (you can imagine)

I attempted to slowly put the eyedrop container closer to his eye, knowing what kind of reaction I'm going to get, and next thing you know, the fear-based aggression came out again! It took my friend and I to lure him into the bathroom and closed the door until he calmed down. 

As much as I love Boaz, I was afraid that this trait may hinder his adoption. I tried to work with him for his fear and slowly there was small improvements. Long story short, 4 months passed and the rescue organization was considering he may not have a chance at adoption and that I would have to be prepared that he'll have to be put down. I was devastated. 

I posted on my social media accounts for help, just praying his ideal forever parent can come through. I reached out to animal communicator to help me understand anything, anything about him. I was blown away by Claudia Hehr. The mystery of Boaz's history came together. The questions that kept me away was finally answered. 

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I was considering keeping him should no one reach out but in the knick of time, a got a post from Google Plus by a woman name Lori. Turns out she was looking for a rescue after a year of her last rescue passing away. On the phone, she sounded like a wonderful lady....who happened to live within 25 minutes away!

Within the next couple days, I was on my way to visit her. That was the beginning of Boaz's happy story and this experience was meant-to-be in the stars in more ways than one. One, Lori finds a son! and Boaz gets a second chance of living life the way happy dogs should. Two, it made me realize I need to contribute to helping dogs. 

That's when SaveAPooch.com was born in my heart:) 

 

Monday, 16 February 2015 17:49

Rusty Rises To Companion Dog From A Stray Dog

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Being a stray dog must have been a tragic episode where the callous weather in a park or roadside will be the worst enemy. Meanings of love and adoption would seem to be residing in the unknown dwells far away in 2008 where Rusty was found as stray dog by Toulon Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Toulon, Ill. Chocolate Lab of 8 years once found in the backyard of Sue VanDeRostyne, the sister of the center's administrator has transformed to the message of unplumbed love and loyalty. Residents of the nursing home know him now as an inevitable part of them, the most effective medicine. Power of love is the biggest healer, profound affection and the most prevailing physician. 

Rusty plays a vital role in the nursing home when they visit for medication. "He'll go over to them; he'll come and walk right over tothe wheelchair and will stay until they're done petting him," says VanDeRostyne. 'His instinct to know when residents may be needing some extra cheering-up is amazing too," Michelle Spears, community relations coordinator for the center told. Thus he is on the most important duty of treating the patients other than medication and prescriptions by the medical staff. The wonderful medicine of love distributed at no cost to the patients and utmost care with no words spoken! Who needs words then if acts start speaking? 

http://www.dogsdata.com/rusty-rises-to-companion-dog-from-a-stray-dog.html

Monday, 16 February 2015 17:30

Preparing To Be A Foster Parent

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If you’re thinking of being a foster, it is an awesome experience. Especially if you sincerely want to work with dogs but cannot have a permanent dog of your own for whatever reason. But please know fostering is more than just wanting a dog to cuddle with. Sure, they can give you that but as the front line of helping a dog rehabilitate, there’s a bit more work involved. Rescue organizations don’t require you to put in that extra work but let’s face it, most fosters are not vets, practitioners or trainers. We have to do due diligence with what we can. Love is a great foundation (some trainers will argue with that) but it has to be in addition to understanding your foster dog’s triggers and helping them with certain obstacles.

Training is not the end all be all, there’s still the emotional aspect of that dog to address that conventional training may not be able to reach. Animal communicators can tell you all about it. There are things ‘outside of the box’ that is worth considering. I’m all about weighing all the options instead of being told this is the only option. Drugs are not the only option, euthanasia as the first solution to aggression is not the only option. Whether it be looking at a human or dog, a holistic approach is best to suit that particular person or dog. One size does not fit all. Human or dog, we all do not have the same fears, or same stress factors or triggers.

20140315 172435

 

Personally, when I foster, I observe their behavior, their patterns, their likes, dislikes etc. Based on that, I take the time to research professionals who can give me some tips. I look for certain foods (I don’t necessarily feed them with the bag the rescue gives. If it’s low quality food, I won’t really use it) Food can greatly improve their state of mind. If your going to put junk or chemicals in them, their health can only go so far. Same with us. I also look for natural supplements and remedies at health food stores. Trust me, this alone can help with transition. I have a few favourites but that’s for another blog.

All in all, it is extra effort that is not paid. It can be a hit in the pocket that’s for sure. But at the end of the day, if the foster day can get a head start with me, typically the person that adopts them will continue what you started. To me, that small legacy is worth it. It is my wish to be able to scale this kind of effort.

So let’s get back to fostering.

Here are a few basic things to consider before you fill in that foster volunteer form.

1) Research a responsible rescue organization in your area. They are not all created equal and it is hard to spot the good ones from the shady ones. No offense to anyone running a rescue but it is what it is. There are no governing bodies in this area. So you have to do due diligence, ask them a lot of questions, research reviews, if you can try to connect with their fosters to get feedback that would be good also. I wont get into what are some of things that can go wrong because I’m not here to negate rescue organizations, I’m in support of them, just get in touch with the ones that will support you as a foster volunteer. If they have a stringent procedure in accepting fosters, that’s a good sign.

2) Prepare your living environment so it can be a positive experience for the rescue dog. The last thing they need is to be rescued from a not so good place to go into another not so good place. For eg, don’t have rowdy children around a lot, many foster dogs find it stressful. Have them stay in an area where there’s natural light, maybe put some lavender essential oil drops on their bed, it helps with relaxation (hint).

 

3) Have all the necessary accessories. Mind you, the rescue organization usually provides leashes, basic food items, sometimes even clothing. I find I always buy harnesses when I foster because I find it easier to walk them, and I also buy specific foods that are on the healthier side to start boosting their nutrition intake. Ok and other things that would take another blog to write about.

4) Research dog professionals in your area that would be willing to help you. Its not a requirement but I just like to take that extra step. I found a daycare that didn’t charge me to bring him there so I can see if his socialization skills with other dogs can be improved. Also a groomer helped me out because she had experience in aggressive dogs. So you wont know until you ask. Having help from a holistic veterinarian would be ideal because they have tools in their toolbox that can help tremendously with trauma and stress. Here’s a directory of them. http://www.civtedu.org/directory/ 

5) Engage them in some training exercises. If you get one that’s already trained, that’s a treat:) Getting professional training can be costly so try to pick up some books in the library. Be careful on the techniques you use because those foster dogs that have been abused, they do not trust you fully to allow you to be their dominant leader. I actually prefer positive reinforcement but again, due your research.

 

6) Do not rely on the rescue organization to do all the marketing. Post pictures, write about your foster dog and share on social media, go to the dog park and let people know this pooch is looking to be adopted. Make a simply flyer, go to your local vet clinic and see if they’re willing to display the flyer.

7) And lastly, prepare to give them a lot of love. I know there are trainers out there that think love is not how you rehabilitate or train a dog but c’mon, dogs give us unconditional love how can we not return it. They may not be the best behaved when you first get them but be patient with them. They can turn around fairly quickly.

Now that I’ve made it seem like fostering is a full time job, don’t be swayed by it. All of these steps come naturally anyways if you’re in it for the right reasons.

 

 

 

If you’re thinking of being a foster, it is an awesome experience. Especially if you sincerely want to work with dogs but cannot have a permanent dog of your own for whatever reason. But please know fostering is more than just wanting a dog to cuddle with. Sure, they can give you that but as the front line of helping a dog rehabilitate, there’s a bit more work involved. Rescue organizations don’t require you to put in that extra work but let’s face it, most fosters are not vets, practitioners or trainers. We have to do due diligence with what we can. Love is a great foundation (some trainers will argue with that) but it has to be in addition to understanding your foster dog’s triggers and helping them with certain obstacles.

Training is not the end all be all, there’s still the emotional aspect of that dog to address that conventional training may not be able to reach. Animal communicators can tell you all about it. There are things ‘outside of the box’ that is worth considering. I’m all about weighing all the options instead of being told this is the only option. Drugs are not the only option, euthanasia as the first solution to aggression is not the only option. Whether it be looking at a human or dog, a holistic approach is best to suit that particular person or dog. One size does not fit all. Human or dog, we all do not have the same fears, or same stress factors or triggers.

20140315 172435

 

Personally, when I foster, I observe their behavior, their patterns, their likes, dislikes etc. Based on that, I take the time to research professionals who can give me some tips. I look for certain foods (I don’t necessarily feed them with the bag the rescue gives. If it’s low quality food, I won’t really use it) Food can greatly improve their state of mind. If you're going to put junk or chemicals in them, their health can only go so far. Same with us. I also look for natural supplements and remedies at health food stores. Trust me, this alone can help with transition. I have a few favourites but that’s for another blog.

All in all, it is extra effort that is not paid. It can be a hit in the pocket that’s for sure. But at the end of the day, if the foster dog can get a head start with me, typically the person that adopts them will continue what you started. To me, that small legacy is worth it. It is my wish to be able to scale this kind of effort.

So let’s get back to fostering.

Here are a few basic things to consider before you fill in that foster volunteer form.

1) Research a responsible rescue organization in your area. They are not all created equal and it is hard to spot the good ones from the shady ones. No offense to anyone running a rescue but it is what it is. There are no governing bodies in this area. So you have to do due diligence, ask them a lot of questions, research reviews, if you can try to connect with their fosters to get feedback that would be good also. I wont get into what are some of things that can go wrong because I’m not here to negate rescue organizations, I’m in support of them, just get in touch with the ones that will support you as a foster volunteer. If they have a stringent procedure in accepting fosters, that’s a good sign.

2) Prepare your living environment so it can be a positive experience for the rescue dog. The last thing they need is to be rescued from a not so good place to go into another not so good place. For eg, don’t have rowdy children around a lot, many foster dogs find it stressful. Have them stay in an area where there’s natural light, maybe put some lavender essential oil drops on their bed, it helps with relaxation (hint).

 DSC00132

"Woah, good call on that essential oil, I think I'm going to pass out now"

 

3) Have all the necessary accessories. Mind you, the rescue organization usually provides leashes, basic food items, sometimes even clothing. I find I always buy harnesses when I foster because I find it easier to walk them, and I also buy specific foods that are on the healthier side to start boosting their nutrition intake. Ok and other things that would take another blog to write about.

4) Research dog professionals in your area that would be willing to help you. Its not a requirement but I just like to take that extra step. I found a daycare that didn’t charge me to bring him there so I can see if his socialization skills with other dogs can be improved. Also a groomer helped me out because she had experience in aggressive dogs. So you wont know until you ask. Having help from a holistic veterinarian would be ideal because they have tools in their toolbox that can help tremendously with trauma and stress. Here’s a directory of them. http://www.civtedu.org/directory/ 

5) Engage them in some training exercises. If you get one that’s already trained, that’s a treat:) Getting professional training can be costly so try to pick up some books in the library. Be careful on the techniques you use because those foster dogs that have been abused, they do not trust you fully to allow you to be their dominant leader. I actually prefer positive reinforcement but again, due your research.

 Billede 017

6) Do not rely on the rescue organization to do all the marketing. Post pictures, write about your foster dog and share on social media, go to the dog park and let people know this pooch is looking to be adopted. Make a simple flyer, go to your local vet clinic and see if they’re willing to display the flyer.

7) And lastly, prepare to give them a lot of love. I know there are trainers out there that think love is not how you rehabilitate or train a dog but c’mon, dogs give us unconditional love how can we not return it. They may not be the best behaved when you first get them but be patient with them. They can turn around fairly quickly.

Now that I’ve made it seem like fostering is a full time job, don’t be swayed by it. All of these steps come naturally anyways if you’re in it for the right reasons.

 

These 2 stores carry some of the products I have used and have seen work. 

 Dog Logo 300x250

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