We’ve been fostering for Spaniel Aid UK for just over a month now and it’s been an incredible experience so far. I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk a little bit more about why we foster dogs, our chosen charity and our experiences with our first foster dog so far!
Jasper is a 3 year old Springador (Springer Spaniel cross Labrador.) He’s very intelligent and well-mannered but does struggle with nervousness at times. Woody and I have been working hard to show our first foster dog that the world isn’t always scary and he’s already come so far in the few weeks we’ve had him.
I can’t go into depth online about Jasper’s past, nor do I want to. Fostering is all about looking to the future, rather than dwelling on the dog’s past. I’m really excited to help find Jasper’s forever family in the coming weeks, though I’m sure we’ll all be sad when it is time for him to leave!
Why do we Foster?
I’ve been wanting to foster since near enough the day I adopted Woody. At the time, I wasn’t eligible to adopt a dog through a traditional rescue centre or rehoming charity; I lived in a house-share and worked full time. Despite this, I was keen to start fostering as soon as my lifestyle allowed. Unfortunately I can’t afford to own another dog full time at the moment. Fostering is a great way for us to enjoy the company of another dog flexibly, while helping them find their forever home.
We foster for Spaniel Aid UK, a charity dedicated to helping and advising owners who need to rehome their dogs. They’re a breed specific charity, specialising predominantly cocker and springer spaniels (along with the occasional springer mix like our first foster dog Jasper!) So many dogs are advertised for little to no money online each year. Dogs sold so cheaply (often less than £150) can easily end up in the wrong hands and Spaniel Aid are determined to provide a reliable alternative, via their nationwide network of fosterers.
Choosing our Charity
I searched for a good 6 months before settling with Spaniel Aid UK. It’s important to do your research in order to figure out the right charity or organisation for you. I initially considered fostering for Refuge4Pets, who are based in Liskeard, providing foster placements for all sorts of pets fleeing domestic abuse. Due to the nature of the charity, confidentiality is key and the location of foster dogs has to be kept secret. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a good fit for Woody and I, as we share so much of our life online.
When I found that Spaniel Aid’s insurance policy allows foster dogs to be walked off lead, I was sold. Of course, I’ll only walk our fosters off lead if they have a reliable recall. Fortunately, Jasper does, it’s actually better than Woody’s! They also encourage fosterers to share photographs of the dogs online, which suited our lifestyle perfectly!
What are the Benefits of Fostering?
Fostering is by no means an easy feat. The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion! However, there are so many benefits to welcoming a foster dog into your home. I love how Woody is teaching Jasper the ropes, both out on walks and in the house. He’s also really benefitting from Jasper’s company, something only another dog can provide. They’ve become proper little foster buddies and watching their little antics always makes me smile!
I love the flexibility of fostering. There was no pressure to start straight away. It’s completely on mine and Woody’s terms. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity of welcoming our first foster dog as soon as possible and picked up Jasper in a matter of weeks! The flexibility also ensures Woody has the perfect balance of canine companionship and one to one time with his humans between fosters. I’m not sure how we’re all going to cope when Jasper leaves. We may need a bit of time to decompress and prepare for the next dog. It also depends on our schedule, as well as the dogs that are available for foster. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens!
Have you fostered a dog before? Is it something you’d like to do in the future?
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