Name/Family Members: Chris Norman | KJ Norman
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Number of Years Fostering: Five years
Number of Fosters: 24
Number of “Foster Fails”: 2
Resident Pets: 6 (two dogs, 2 cats and 2 bunnies)
How do the resident animals feel about the fosters, are they helpful? My dogs are pretty good when I bring in a new foster. I’m usually more concerned in how the foster is going to react. My new puppy (second foster failure), hasn’t had the experience of welcoming a new foster yet, but the older dog has seen many come and go.
What do you find most rewarding about fostering? Helping a new family find the dog that is right for them and knowing I’m giving the dog a family who will take care of him. To see a dog start to trust again, is also rewarding.
What do you like least about fostering? Some have been hard to let go, but it helps knowing they will be well-cared for. I won’t lie, some I have been happy to see go, because they weren’t a good fit for my family.
Favorite fostering experience? I don’t think I can pick one. While each one is different, and some start out difficult, they all turn into a good experience. Some of these dogs come in and don’t know how to be a house dog. My own dogs are very helpful as leaders, teaching them how to do stairs and walk on slippery floors, drink from the toilet.
Smelliest fostering experience? I actually can’t remember which dog this was, but we had to drive with the windows down after picking him up. I keep deodorizing spray in my garage and they get sprayed before they even come in the house. A bath, neutering and regular brushing helps take away any smells.
Helpful hints for others considering fostering? Patience. Dogs adjust quickly.
Anything else you’d like to share? I think what I hear most is how if someone fostered they would no be able to give the dog up to another family. Foster with the mindset that it is your job to prepare the dog for another family. Don’t worry so much about how you will give it up. Knowing you have helped a family and a dog come together is very rewarding. If you’re thinking of fostering, try just one. If you decide to adopt, great. One of the things I thought of was, I am only going to have so many more dogs in my life. By fostering I have been able to connect with way more that I would have with just my own dogs.
Pictures here: The Dog in the Blog