Fosterer Liz Wigzell
To know we're helping give dogs a chance at a happy life is incredibly rewarding.
We got into fostering a few years ago. My husband and I are absolute dog lovers. Luckily our three labradors are very relaxed and happy to share their space with dogs who need a bit of time in a loving family home.
Teaching and toilet training
We’ve fostered five dogs so far and one is currently still with us. The length of each dog’s stay depends on the case.
Gilbert the Staffy, our first foster dog (pictured below, left), was with us for 14 months. He came to us as a puppy of just nine weeks after being born in kennels - so we were responsible for toilet training and teaching him the rules of the house!
The rest of the dogs had been brought to the centre as victims of cruelty and struggled with kennel life for various reasons.
For example Billy the kelpie (below, right) was blind and would get very frightened and defensive when the other dogs barked. Being in a calmer, slightly quieter house with lots of one-on-one attention helped Billy a lot and just four months later he was adopted.
Supporting a portly pup!
Oscar the springer spaniel (below, left) was very overweight. The centre asked us to take him on for a while to see if our long walks would help him burn more calories and slim down. We managed to help him lose 11 kg in 7 weeks! Then he was able to go back to the kennels and meet potential adopters looking and feeling much healthier.
Olly the 14-year-old labrador-cross (below, right) was an older boy who struggled to share the kennels with so many young, boisterous dogs. We thought - and were happy to - look after him for the rest of his life. However in a fantastic turn of events, a lady was looking for a companion for her twelve year-old dog. The two got on really well so it was a perfect, happy-ever-after story for both of them.
Our latest foster
We’re currently looking after Arthur* who’s just 11 months old. He’s very energetic and has never lived in a house before so he’s got lots of lessons - including toilet training - to learn. However, the regular routine seems to be helping him already. To know we’re helping give dogs a chance at a happy life is incredibly rewarding.
It’s always sad to say goodbye to our foster dogs but it’s heartwarming to see them go off to their loving new homes. If we can help train them and teach them the rules of the house and that makes it easier for them to settle in with their new owners - we’ve done a good job.
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*Name changed to protect identity.