10 Jul Stealing our Hearts
This week at Smart Pups …
When I am out and about with our dogs I am often approached by members of the public who say they would like to foster a dog, BUT …. And the but is always the same, they would not be able to give the dog back.
I certainly know dogs have a way of stealing our hearts, however short the friendship. This week I had the privilege of attending our latest graduation breakfast, not as a trainer but as a foster. One of the many, including the inmates of Maryborough Correctional Centre who got to know and care for Gypsy.
Yes, it does take a special person to be willing to give a piece of their heart to a dog they know won’t be theirs forever. Yes, it is such bittersweet day when they leave us. And yes, as one foster described it recently they do ‘leave a dog shaped hole in our hearts’, upon departure.
BUT …and here is another but …..look what they do when they leave us! They change lives. Sometimes even save lives. This is not just a hope it is a fact. The stories of the difference they make are amazing and heart-warming. I am looking forward to sharing them with you through this blog.
As a parent I see fostering in the same way as raising children. We love them, they are such a huge part of our lives, we guide them, instruct them and nurture them as they grow, but in the end we want them to go out into the world, to make their own way and to make us proud.
So, I urge you, if you are one of those people who think they could help but are afraid of saying goodbye, think again please. How small and insignificant our needs for canine company and love are compared to the needs of families with special needs kids. How proud would you feel to know you have helped make such a difference?
Thankfully unlike children dogs grow up quickly, and never talk back! And finally, our loyal fosters will tell you there is a cure that mends that dog shaped hole. A new pup, needing a foster home! So instead of holes in your heart you end up with dimples, where each pup stole a little love, but left behind rich memories that make fostering one of the most rewarding volunteer roles out there.
Shirley SmithPosted at 15:59h, 11 July
I became a Foster Carer about 4months ago. It is the best thing I have ever done. So far I have had 4 adult dogs for a short period of time. Knowing they are going to help a child, and find a forever home, is so rewarding. Thank you Smart Pups, for all you do.
Pip JacobsonPosted at 18:03h, 11 July
AAhhh, it took me 12 months contemplating whether I could “hand back the dog” – in the end I decided that the only way to find out was to ..COMMIT…
What a wise choice that was!!
First little Chilli arrived – 12 months of delight, with untold support, dedication and encouragement from trainers, other foster families, and even the very husband himself!! Then came the day to say ‘bye bye’ – I could not speak, Chilli was ready to join her forever family, and my heart crunched as I saw her bum wobble away in its usual fashion. But! then I got news on just how much her presence in her childs life made an enormous difference..how proud, how bursting that heart of mine!! Along came another wee bundle called Kelsi – I didn’t think I could love her as much as Chilli, but she proved me wrong…again, she wiggled her butt at me and settled with her forever humans, and once again my chest was bigger than Ben Cur (pun intended!) In between, and since there have been Smartpuppies for a few weeks or months – and I look at my life and wonder what I did before they each touched my soul…its the next best thing to the children that are leant to you, and now my reason for giving back to those so much less fortunate that me -its not a lot to ask really.
Jo BurtonPosted at 09:03h, 12 July
Beautifully said Kate.
I often use the analogy of raising children myself.
Not ours to keep, a gift while we raise them, our pride when they go out into the world and do good things.
SandyPosted at 14:39h, 17 July
As a Parent of a child with a Smart Pup. “Elsa” I can tell you Smart Pups absolutely change lives.. Instead of rescue helicopter’s and police dog searches we now have “Elsa” to track our wandering son. Our son is also non verbal so she also finds him in our house (under beds in cupboards behind doors etc) Elsa also alerts us to our Sons epileptic fits before they come, she settles him when he’s distressed (deep presure on child helps to calm some children during meltdowns or anxiety attacks) .
If you can please foster these very important “Smart Pups” they really do change live’s for the better and Safer!