How many times have you said "I really want a dog" or "I want another dog, Baxter needs a friend!"
Deciding whether or not to get a dog (or another dog) is a big decision. What if it doesn't work out? A great way to test the water, and help out a lovely dog in need is to try fostering a dog.
There are many rescue groups who are in need of foster carers. We got involved with Labrador Rescue to see if we could help out by fostering dogs. Fostering dogs was a memorable experience and very rewarding.
Our first canine buddy for Audrey ( The Black Lab) was the Frisbee catching champion we named Theodore. Theo was a super sweet boy who just wanted some love. Theo loved to chase balls and play tug of war with Audrey and could catch a Frisbee like one of those competitive canine champions. We found a great family for Theo who loves him to bits and takes him on adventures regularly. You can follow Theo's adventures on instagram at @theosarescuedog.
Audrey's second couch surfing buddy was an elderly gentleman named Dizzy. Dizzy was a loveable character who loved chasing balls and getting belly rubs. We managed to find a beautiful family with plenty of kids for his forever home. Dizzy couldn't have been happier with all the kids lining up to throw balls for him. We hear Dizzy is doing great and never gets tired of chasing balls.
So could fostering a dog be the right thing for you? Get ready to make a difference by following our top tips:
Suggestion 1. Get a dog seat belt
Get a dog seat belt if you plan on travelling with a foster dog in a car for the first time. Dog seat belts are relatively inexpensive around $25 but are well worth while if it means the dog is restrained and the driver is less likely to be distracted. A lot of foster dogs just want to be loved and may want to sit on your lap or look out your window, this can be a bit tricky when you're trying to drive your car.
Suggestion 2. Get a dog tag
Dogs generally take a couple of weeks to form a bond with people. When you get a foster dog from Labrador rescue they give you a dog lead, dog collar and a supply of flea, tick and heart worm medicine but its up to you to get a dog tag with their name and your contact details. See our blog on this topic for more information "All is not lost........ if you have a dog tag". Its a small price to pay for peace of mind. Especially if your new friend is skilled at jumping fences like our friend Dizzy was.
If you already have a dog and are planning on getting a couch surfing buddy for a few weeks then plan on having separate areas that each dog can have some alone time when they need. Audrey has her own dog crate and we would use it during feeding time so that there were no unfriendly behaviour during dinner. It is also good if you have an older dog and foster a puppy your older dog may need a break at times.
Fostering a dog and helping them to find their furever home is an extremely rewarding process. So go on. Take the leap and fill out an application. Then bring your new friend down to @black_lab_coffee for a puppiccino!