Tuesday, March 02, 2010

If I can, So Can You!!

I have been meaning to write this one for a really long time now. I wasn't so sure if I should on the account of sounding too preachy. This blog has had its interesting turns over the years, and now has definitely started getting a bit preachy. I cant really help that, because that is what I read and practise day today!

After a couple of years of selfish living(couldnt help that either, I was on the road to recovery and if I cant help myself, I cant really help anyone else)! I tried to get back to some semblance of work/job, but I am not into my pre-recovery career anymore. It is just difficult to spend excess amounts of time reading anything or even browsing. That is one big reason my hobby blog is also not as out there and as visible. I cant really read all the food blogs that I like everyday, leave comments on them, spend time beautifying my own blog and so on, leading to a in my own world existence of the blog! But hey, I do love to cook, bake and experiment and I am happy with just that!!

Last 3 months we have been fostering dogs(taking care of them till they get adopted). We have had 4 foster dogs, right now taking a break of a month so chewie can get over his cough. He is going to shed his infection for 2 weeks after his cough stops, so we can't really expose other dogs to him, esp the fosters, since they are already under a ton of stress and hence their immunity might not be as great!

Enough of the rambling..The whole purpose of the post was to motivate everyone to take some time out of their daily busy schedules, to do something for someone!

When I, with my hardly a quarter of a normal person stamina, with my balance problem, with my limited bending abilities, and so on and so forth, can be a foster parent, so Can You!

It does not have to be anything spectacular or even related to animals. There are always living beings.. animals or humans.. out there, who need a little push, a little love, just a little bit of your time! So find them, and give them a few hours, a few smiles, a few hugs, a few cuddles!!

Fostering definitely is a bit stressful, because the first day or two, you have to be on your toes. Even if your foster dog is house trained, it is a very new environment for him and he might not know where it is acceptable to pee/poop. Once that is established in the first 1-2 days by taking them out more frequently, they will settle in your house. And then of course it is difficult to let them go if they get adopted. I try to always keep this in mind that I am just a pit stop for them on their journey to find their forever home! If I adopt the foster dog, I can only save one, but if I continue to foster, I can keep being this link between families looking to adopt and adoptable dogs who would either be euthanized or spend even more time in just a kennel!!!!

Of course, it is difficult to foster puppies who are not house trained and usually would like to pee/poop every 2 hours. But eventually, everything settles down. Getting pooped on by a terrified puppy puts the priority and importance of so many things in perspective:). Its not really his fault that he is terrified and he is just a baby , and its not yours either. What would you do if it was your own baby doing the same thing, you would give him some hugs and sweet talk to calm him down and clean everything up. Thats what you do with the puppy :)

This post is not to scare anyone thinking about fostering. But there are some realities to being a foster parent. And things like these dont necessarily happen. 3 of my fosters were older(2 year old+) and were already house trained and the only thing some of them did was pee in the house on the first day because I did not take them out on time!. The day they get adopted, I go through a multitude of feelings. Usually a bit of pain, but a lot of happiness as well. These abandoned dogs would still be living in a cold kennel, in a filthy puppy mill or waiting on a table to get that fatal injection, which would suck the life out of their eyes. A foster parent gets them out of there, gives them some love, some socialization, training when necessary and then passes them along to the loving families, who would have not found this dog, if he was not rescued and fostered!

6-8 million pets are euthanized each year .. that is 17000 to 22000 pets A DAY!! Every day in the US, life is taken away from those 22000 animals for no fault of theirs. Some of the pets are given up for the silliest reasons like they are not puppies anymore. People will keep getting puppies and because of that demand, other cruel people will keep producing puppies in their puppy mills!. Did you know that apart from the regular horrid conditions of living in puppy mills i.e living in tiny wire cages with no food or water and continuously producing puppy litters and then being killed or just dumped in a garbage bag once the dogs cant reproduce anymore, There is also a concept of rape stands, where the female dogs are tied so the male dogs have all the advantage. Even though they are animals and you would think that once the female is in heat, both the female and the male will want to mate no matter what, the females have already been so abused, that they do object. And what they get when they object, is a rape stand!!!!

If you do ever want a dog, PLEASE ADOPT, NEVER BUY.
You can even find puppies in shelters and rescues. You might have to drive 50 miles to get them, but they are worth the drive!

The Seattle Humane society has an awesome foster program. They also have a Weekend foster option where you can foster the dogs on weekends to give them a break from being in the kennels all the time. some 3 or 4 weekends in the whole year helping these stressed dogs is not too much to ask!
There are so many other options at the humane society like playtime with the animals once a week.month, trainers, cat fosters, tour guides, volunteers for the fund raising events, photographers, admission assistants and more!

There I went all preachy again.. But I hope atleast one person gets motivated, to take some time out, to give out a little love and a little help to those who need it!!!