Every person’s fostering journey begins somewhere. While each story is different, there is a universal moment in which someone makes the decision to become a dog foster. I believe that universal moment in all of us is the willingness to make a difference in a dog’s life. Every dog owner understands what an impact their dog has had on their lives. As a foster dog parent, you get to help shape that dog into someone’s new best friend.
The first foster dog parent to tell us a little about her experience is Lori. Lori has been a long-time foster, beginning with Dogs on Deployment and now with The Love Pit. Here is her story.
The first pit I ever had was named Boomer, a 9-month-old blue nose who was left behind by a guy I dated. He was the best dog I’ve ever had, and he followed me everywhere, even to the kitchen for a midnight snack. If I went out of town, my roommate told he would wait by the door I went out of until I got home. He was sweet but stingy because if he ever caught the ball, he would keep it to himself so that no one else could play. He didn’t like to play catch, he just didn’t want the other dogs to be able to play and have fun.
When he was a few years old, I got a random email from a volunteer military group that fostered pets for deployed soldiers and I was the only one in Texas who would take pits. Those fosters came to me with moms, stayed for a very specific amount of time and then went home to their moms. Boomer was top dog and showed them all the ropes. He was an inherently balanced dog, good with all sizes and shapes of all dogs, cats and people so I didn’t have to do a thing with my military fosters, he did it all for me. I was single for a long time and he was my man. At the end of the day, it was just him and me.
Eventually, he got extremely sick and within a week, he had to be put down. This was in August of last year. I was by myself at the vet so once again, at the end of the day, it was just him and me. He was only 7 years old and I was in no way prepared for the amount of grief I felt. I knew I did not want another dog, but I got real tired of sitting at home crying and having only 1 dog was just too quiet.
So, I started Googling local pit-bull rescues to find someone to foster for and The Love Pit kept coming up. What was different about them was the obedience training that was required which was admirable. I sent in my application and I was impressed that I had to take a pop quiz just to get approved! When I got my first assignment, I chickened out because I had no idea how to do this without Boomer. Finally, I just pulled the trigger and got a black stray dude from Corsicana, named Usher, who was very laid back.
The most rewarding thing about fostering is being part of the journey from scared, abused, and homeless to having someone find their new BFF. The most rewarding thing about fostering for The Love Pit is the reputation we are making for ourselves by being excellent and the teamwork I have seen from total strangers. One lady said, “I’ve always wanted to meet someone from The Love Pit!” Made me feel like a Rockstar.
Right now, I have Harambe aka Mugsy because he looks like that cartoon character from Bugs Bunny, the short gangster with the cigarette and the bowed legs. He was picked up by animal control in Houston for “resisting arrest” and labeled “severely human aggressive” because he lashed out at everyone who approached and almost bit a guy’s chin off. They could only use a catch pole to handle him until Duc stepped in. “Duc” pronounced “Duke” is a trainer with TLP from Houston who takes problematic or aggressive dogs and reprograms them with troubled pasts into family pets. Day 3 with Duc and he was chilling with his local mama. They also said he’s “dominant aggressive.” Both of those labels are a joke. All he does is follow me around, wanting to know what to do next. He has angular limb deformation and it just adds to his charm. He can’t help it if God put his feet on backwards.
Harambe aka Mugsy is still in training and hopefully is available for adoption soon.