The following post is by Nicole Lasorda, who fostered Amore, a Pit Bull displaced by a fire in her home in October 2012, and Eleanor, a Husky displaced by a fire in January 2013
I’ve always loved animals – that’s probably an understatement. Ever since I was a kid, sick, injured, and homeless animals had me on their radar. It was like a beacon on my head that said “FIND ME. I WILL HELP YOU!”
Having grown up with a gigantic dog (Great Pyrenees), a few cats, some bunnies, birds, and even a squirrel at one point (that’s another story), I’d always loved having a houseful of pets. As I got older and realized that animal hoarding really wasn’t an option (it’s just my two diva cats and me for now), I looked for ways to help with animal organizations; just over a year ago, I stumbled across Red Paw.
Thinking that I couldn’t handle fostering (Why? Because I’d end up adopting every one of them and becoming a hoarder – see above), I decided to help out with transports. That worked out great – picking up a pet and returning it to its family (my favorite!) or cuddling a dog that’d been at a kennel before I took it to a foster.
Then the call came out that Amore needed a foster home. Amore, a very spoiled Pit Bull from a North Philly fire, hadn’t been doing well in a kennel. She didn’t get along with other dogs so Red Paw was having trouble finding someone able to take her. After thinking about it, I decided to give it a try. I figured this was a safe one – she’d saved her dad’s life and he called every day to check on her; there was no way he was giving her up, so no danger in my keeping her.
Amore was THE BEST – a total cuddler, well behaved, didn’t bark excessively. I was even able to take her to work with me, where – no surprise – everyone fell in love! Three weeks later, I had to take her home…and I cried like a baby. But when I met her dad, saw how happy she was to see him and how happy he was to see her, the tears went away. I realized I could do this!
My second foster wasn’t through Red Paw. A friend called and asked me to take her mom’s Teacup Yorkie while she was in the hospital and I agreed. He was much easier to give back (maybe because I’m a big-dog person?).
Then came the Red Paw call to foster Eleanor – an extremely hyper five-month-old Husky. Her family had had a small house fire and needed someone to take her for about a week while they cleaned up. Let’s just say, I’d forgotten what life was like with a puppy. The first night, I actually called Red Paw and said, “I can’t do this.” Then I rethought it and realized I didn’t want her in a kennel. Plus, it was going to snow the next day – a Husky in the snow? Iditarod here I come!
It took a day or two to get into the groove of things, but Eleanor turned out to be a blast! She loved to go hiking (me, too!); we took five-mile walks each morning; and oh the fun in the snow! She was so dirty from our outdoor escapades, I had to bathe her before she went back to her family. I was sad to see her go, but I was happy to be able to get some uninterrupted sleep.
So, what does this all amount to? I know that I’m not cut out to do long-term fostering (see hoarding again), but I’m happy that I can help a family who’s lost so much take solace in the fact that their best friend is being loved and cared for while they recover. The happiness on the family’s (and furball’s) face at the reunion is enough to make me want keep doing it.