Foster Dogs and Adoption

Read about dogs in foster care, past and present

Now that we are in our new home and acreage on Vancouver Island we have decided to work with the Furever After Small Dog Rescue organization, fostering dogs until a permanent home is found for them. Our lives have been so enriched, in so many ways, by the dogs that have spent time in our home. It's time to give something back.

If you wish to pursue an adoption or are interested in learning more about the rescue process please visit the website:

On these pages we will write about rescued animals that have come into our lives either through abandonment or owner-surrender as foster dogs. When I tell people that we are fostering dogs until an adoptive home can be found for them, the usual response I get is "Oh! How can you bear to give them up once they've lived with you?" Noel and I thought that, having boarded dogs for a few years, we would be ideal candidates for fostering as we have learned how to keep some emotional distance when caring for dogs that are not 'ours'. Of course, it is still difficult to relinquish a dog with whom we have forged a strong bond. Fortunately, we have seen for ourselves many times just how adaptable most dogs are to new surroundings. It also helps to remind ourselves that if we keep every foster dog we meet, we will soon have no room left to provide a temporary home for more foster dogs. And, sadly, there is a huge need for this service in order to save the lives of dogs who are waiting to find a family to love and care for them for the rest of their lives.

One thing that helps me maintain a workable relationship with the dogs is thinking of myself as providing the kind of love and shelter that a kindly grandmother might offer. When my own mother lost her father at a very early age, her older brothers and sister were put in an orphanage and she went to live on a farm with her grandmother. That scenario comes to my mind when I take in dogs that need a place to stay until they can go 'home' for good.

Many of the dogs that end up, through no fault of their own, in the crowded and stressful environment of a shelter, are not able to cope. Often they are older dogs* or dogs in need of medical attention. Through benefactor donation and volunteer work, The Furever After Small Dog Rescue organization is able to pay for any medical treatment a dog needs while it is in foster care. We work with a lovely Vet in Courtenay to make sure the dogs are in good health before they are put up for adoption. Typical medical problems we see with abandoned dogs are; teeth in poor condition, ear infections, allergy related skin problems, lack of spay or neutering, lack of current vaccinations, lack of heartworm, flea, tick and worm treatment and more.

Besides doing all possible to improve the physical health of these foster dogs, we also work with them on any behavioral issues they may have developed during their former living situation. Typical behavior problems are; separation anxiety, food aggression, possessiveness, fear/shyness, obsessive behavior, darting out the door or wanting to run away, excitement/aggression while on the leash, a tendency to pull while on the leash, lack of crate training for riding in the car, excessive barking, house-training, etc. For anyone interested in adopting a foster dog, we will be happy to discuss and work with you to continue helping the dog overcome any problem behaviors.

When one of our foster dogs is adopted we offer one week of boarding, free of charge, to the dog's new family. It's a gift that gives in two directions; the new family can go on holiday knowing their dog is going to 'Granny's House' and it gives us the hope that we may get to spend a week with our dog friend again.

My dream is that one day there will be no more need for animal shelters, that everyone who is not a qualified and knowledgeable breeder will have their animals spayed or neutered. I truly believe that humanity is moving slowly toward that goal with the help of dedicated volunteers and the constant advancement of knowledge and information that will help us all be better caretakers of our animal family members. Let's all work toward the goal of seeing the day when the last puppy mill and animal shelter are closed down forever.

*A Few Thoughts about Older Dogs...

Because of the nature of the in-home boarding service we provide we tend to get many elderly dog boarders in our home. Some of the most sweetly serene moments of my life have been spent in the company of older dogs, dogs who are nearing the end of their lives. I've spent a lot of time pondering what it is, exactly, that makes being in their company such a rewarding experience. And I still don't know the answer. I just know that old dogs have mastered the art of living in the moment. In their company, I find myself able to do so as well and that is one of the best gifts I've been given by dogs...a great gift among so many. I feel totally relaxed and peaceful in their presence. I know many people are reluctant to consider taking on a mature or even an elderly dog for adoption. They don't want to get attached emotionally only to lose their dear companion. They don't want to face the possibility of dealing with illness and expensive medical treatments. While those are certainly issues to consider carefully before you make your choice, please don't close your mind to the possibility that you could make the last years of some lovely dog truly wonderful. What you will receive in return is one of life's best experiences--the companionship of a true friend.

Grace and Noel at Pet Granny Boarding Pet Granny