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The “perfect” foster

March 13th, 2013 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Fostering. | Ginger Jr. | Ginger Rogers | Lucy Lou | Moby Wonderdog | Opt to Adopt | Pit Bull Pride | Polly Pocket

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

I remember hearing this quote when I was in college and it really resonated with me. It has also been kind of a motto for me in fostering. Each dog we have fostered so far has faced/is facing some sort of “battle.”

Ginger Rogers has chronic medical issues, Ginger Jr. was a “cage painter” (dog who poops in her crate and then smears it around her crate) in the shelter, Lucy Lou is a fence jumper, and Polly Pocket suffers from separation anxiety. And then our latest foster, Moby Wonderdog, is fear reactive.

 Coupled with the label of “pit bull,” my fosters have all come to me with some sort of strike against them. My bestie Jo and I were chatting last night and she asked me, “with so many dogs in the shelter who don’t have (fill in the blank with an issue), how would you convince someone to adopt one of your fosters when they do have issues?”

And without thinking, I replied, “I wouldn’t.”

You see, I know that each foster isn’t the perfect dog for everybody. But I do know that each foster is the perfect dog for somebody. So I make it my job to find the perfect adopter for each foster.


I’ve been pretty lucky so far to find the absolute perfect home for each of my fosters…Ginger Rogers was adopted by an amazing couple who have past experience with medical issues similar to Ginger’s. How did I know they were perfect? When I rattled off the list of meds Ginger was on and Jenny replied “Oh, our last dog was on that too!” Polly Pocket’s new mom had a dog with similar issues to Polly that past away a few years ago. When I told her about Polly’s issues, she replied, “well, I know how to do with that because I’ve already dealt with it.” Lucy Lou and Ginger Jr. are both thriving with their families too!

While it does take longer sometimes to find the perfect adopter (the average stay at foster home is 5 months), I believe that the wait pays off. Daniel often jokes that I like to foster the “broken” dogs, but I prefer to think of them as “diamonds in the rough.” Ginger Rogers was passed over at the shelter for weeks before narrowly escaping the euthanasia list… but after just a few weeks in foster care, her personality came shining through and she endeared herself to so many people.

I believe that Moby’s perfect adopter is out there, too. He may not be the perfect dog for everybody, but he is the perfect dog for somebody. Now the hunt is on to find out who that somebody is…

* Moby Wonderdog is available for adoption through Unleashed Pet Rescue. If you are interested in finding out more about him, please contact me at {ourwaldobungie@gmail.com} *

 

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19 Responses

  • avatar Kate says:

    Diamond in the rough! Love that phrase. I have said that Petfinder should change their “Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week” to “Find Your Diamond In The Rough Week.” Waaaaaay more positive spin :)

  • avatar peaceabull says:

    I agree-Diamond in the Rough is a great phrase. I love how you show the positives of your fosters while not shying away from the fact that they’re not “perfect.”

    I bet you don’t know this…I have a framed picture (postcard) of Ginger in my bonus room. 😉

  • OMG, I don’t know why I didn’t know about your other fosters’ ‘issues.’ Our last foster Anna had ALL of those, and I never thought we would find someone willing to ‘deal’ with them. But we did, and she is happy, so it definitively proves your point that there is someone out there for every foster! (But, had I known you had dealt with all of those issues too, I would have asked for your help! Now that I do know, you can totally expect numerous emails asking for advice!)

  • avatar Hannah K says:

    Kate – I absolutely love that! Have you sent that idea to Petfinder?

    Also, this post is wonderful. Both our pooches have “issues” – on total different ends of the spectrum – and I think that has only made our bond stronger! Yay for Diamonds!!

  • avatar OhMelvin says:

    Having adopted diamond-in-the-rough dogs, you are so right, to someone every dog will be perfect!

  • I have to laugh about the “broken” dogs. The last foster I brought home, a 30lb, young girl labeled as a pittie by our local shelter. She had initially fought mange (in a foster home), then finished up her treatment while stuck in the shelter and not allowed to interact (shelter policy, no dog on meds can be handled by the volunteers) and then got the kennel crazies. I was recruited to foster her to get a better sense of her, and for Abbie to teach her some manners and appropriate play.

    Back to the broken comment, upon meeting her, my 10 year old step-daughter proclaimed “What is wrong with her? She looks fine?”. I laughed and then told my fellow rescue friends “I guess you need to send me more VISABLY broken dogs”.

    You so hit the nail on the head though. No dog is perfect, but perfect for SOMEone.

  • avatar Allie says:

    One thing none of your fosters face is a lack of cuteness. (Hi, Lucy Lou!) Good post, and I could relate. I think just about every dog has some issue or quirk. We made the mistake of adopting one of our fosters to a couple who seemed perfect but in reality were not equipped to deal with his issue of “pushiness.” They freaked out, returned him to us and said he was agressive because he barked at them when he wanted something. After an eval by a behaviorist, and more work with him on our part, he was adopted to the perfect family who knew how to set boundaries and limits that would help him continue with the progress he had made with us. They love him, and he’s doing great today.

  • avatar Audrey says:

    Thank you for this post! Our current foster, Hope, has a plethora of “issues” all of which make her perfect in her own way. She has been with the rescue since May 2012 (only with us for a few months now) and sometimes when I am working with her on the same issue for the billionth time and hoping that we can finally work through the issue this time,it’s hard to remember that there is a perfect home out there for her somewhere, it’s just a matter of time :-)

  • avatar Corbin says:

    If someone wants a perfect dog, they should purchase a stuffed animal! Our foster dogs have all had their own issues or quirks… but we definitely did our best to make sure they went to the right homes equipt to deal with them -or seek out help in learning how to. It’s such an amazing feeling when a “diamond in the rough” finds their forever home. It’s always been much more rewarding than some of the “turn key” fosters we’ve had. Any placement is rewarding, but something special about those ones who have come so far.
    -Jenn

  • “not be the perfect dog for everybody, but he is the perfect dog for somebody” – that is exactly what fostering and adopting is about! Love this post!

  • avatar Kate says:

    I think I will!!

  • Great post! You are so right, the perfect dog for one person might not be the perfect dog for another.

  • I think for many of us the draw of pit bull type dogs has very much to do with their underdog story. And that translates to being drawn to the dogs with issues – like you are with your fosters. I understand completely! I know there will always be a spot in our home devoted to a fearful dog – Sadie’s taught me so much. I hope I will always be one of those perfect homes for imperfect dogs. I honestly think I would be completely bored if I ever had another Suzy (our former “world’s most perfect dog” from birth).

  • I love this post. And I love your determination and personal belief in each of the dogs you have fostered. Keep up the good work, girl.

  • avatar Emily says:

    I’ve often heard people in rescue say that when it comes down to it, on some level it has to be a numbers game. Sometimes I’ve scoffed when rescues pull the “highly adoptable” dogs but then I look at how long it takes to adopt out a dog with big issues. (Hence how long in total we’ve had Madden in our home. I think, so many dogs could have come in gone in the time we’ve had her.) But I know Madden and her life is absolutely worth saving. But aren’t they all? That’s the hard part.
    Our rescue does large breed and lots of bully breed but lots of others dogs as well. Sometimes there will be a really odd dog that I think is just not my favorite at all for many reasons superficial and not superficial. Then when they do get adopted the resounding response from their adopters is “They are PERFECT!” And we always laugh and say, “Yep, every dog is someone’s perfect dog!”