Before I present some special guest posts, I just wanted to relay that our dog, Teddy, the foster who came to stay, is settling in just fine. This sweet little dog has brought us so much joy. Teddy is a three year old shih poo who was surrendered by his owner. Some people upon hearing this ask, “How could someone do that?” I prefer to think that someone made a difficult decision and cared more about their pet’s long term care and made the right choice.
Today I was watching a segment on a local cable news station called, “The Pet Stop.” Its host, Dr. Brian Voynick, was interviewing a guest who had brought in an adorable dog in need of a home. He took this opportunity to suggest that someone might want to foster this little dog until his fur-ever home was found. It was nice to hear this option presented to his viewers. Hats off to Dr. Voynick.
Later, I received an e-mail from Jan Todd, a very dedicated foster dog-mom from the state of South Carolina. She asked if I might share this note from her friend Rhonda Sims from the Freedom Train Rescue Transport. http://www.freedomtraintransports.com/
It reminds everyone that many times life presents us with difficult circumstances and we have to make tough decisions. I said I would be happy to share Rhonda’s story.
Here is what Rhonda wrote.
Sometimes a person has no choice but to surrender their pet.
Meet Shiloh. Her dad is a young guy who lives near me. I’ve seen this 20-something young man on many occasions with his dog Shiloh, and I know he loves her dearly. I’ve also had him [Shiloh’s owner] come to me after catching a feral kitten and taming it so that it wouldn’t die, and ask that I place it.
Well, he came to me the other day in a panic. Several months ago he had decided to serve his country and they had called him to come the following week. He said he was sorry, that he didn’t mean to wait until the last minute to try and place Shiloh. I knew why…it was because he loves her and didn’t want to say goodbye.
And what was I supposed to say to this great young guy who wanted to do the right thing by his dog and his country?? On many occasions I would have had to say the unthinkable, due to there never being enough FOSTER HOMES. But, thank the good Lord, last week one of my wonderful Freedom Train volunteers said that she was ready to foster again after having to say goodbye to her beloved dog.
I was going to send Martin [another homeless dog] to her, but as it turned out I was able to transport him this weekend and he didn’t need a foster. So I called Stacy [another volunteer] and she agreed not only to foster Shiloh until I could place her, but to meet this guy at my vet’s office that morning to pick her up.
God is so good. He always provides when we trust in Him. I promised Shiloh’s dad that she would be in great hands, and thanked him for serving his country. My country. Taking Shiloh, who is a real sweetheart, was nothing compared to that.
On a final post note, my friend Judith Ayn Sobel, of Poway California, wrote to say that a portion of a previous National Dog Week blog post had been shared in Paw Prints magazine published by the folks at the incredible Baja Animal Sanctuary. http://www.bajaanimalsanctuary.org/
That made my day. Thank you Judith! Here is the excerpt:
“When you foster a dog or a pup (or cat), you become the CEO, administrator and head bottle washer of your own personal shelter. No cages, no stress, no loneliness. You are offering the most home-like sheltering situation possible for a displaced, scared animal.
Through your time with your foster pet, you can see them blossom. You help with their training, assess their temperament and give them emotional and physical care they cannot receive in a crowded shelter facility and their placements in their adoptive homes work because they are the result of good matches. By taking a dog or pup out of one of those facilities, you are freeing up a spot so that another pet can have a second chance at life.”
Remember that transporting, fostering and adoption are rewarding ways to help homeless Companion Animals, but we need to also find a way to reduce their population through the implementation and support of Spay and Neuter Initiatives and to encourage people not to purchase dogs from retail outlets. Many of those poor dogs find themselves homeless due to poor emotional or physical health. As our good friend animal advocate Willie Wonka of Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love, often says, “We can’t rescue our way out of this mess.”
Congratulations to all of those who foster, transport and work to improve the welfare of our homeless Companion Animals. Everyone can offer something. No action or effort is too small.