I just broke up with my girlfriend. The one night you don't want to be alone is New Year's Eve. It's a very lonely night for singles.
I have been dog sitting lately. I had to return my last little doggie a few days before the holiday. So, now I was really alone.
New Year's Eve, right? It's the worst time to break up! A lonely heart turns to egg shell on New Year's Eve, fragile, brittle, easily cracked to pieces.
What happened to make things work out?
Friends were going to San Francisco, and their dog, Pickle, gets car sick. They needed a temporary doggie hotel. They offered me the company, and I jumped at it. Was I going to like this Pickle? (I did. It bailed me out of all those tragic feelings of being alone on the year's biggest date night besides Valentine's Day.)
Pickle got me out of a pickle.
Today, I noticed a post from Barbara Davilman, a local resident who fosters and coordinates adoptions for Ridgeback Rescue. She posted a notice from an Orange County shelter. It was requesting help for a lovely German Shepherd who must be exited from the shelter today.
All this reminds me to inform you of a way to be of great usefulness while filling your heart with the love of a needy animal—animal foster care!
Fostering for a shelter allows the shelter to open up another space to care for an animal, while the foster parent—possibly you–cares for the animal, gets to know the animal, documents their needs, habits, strengths, and areas of concern. This helps the real adoption process by informing potential adopters about what kind of animal this is: trained, partly trained, socialized, fussy with other pets, good around children or not, etc.
Fostering helps you by filling your heart and offering your time for a terrific cause. This type of volunteering is badly needed, and cases are popping up in rescue, foster, and adoption sites all the time citing dogs who need a temporary home outside the shelter.
There are some tricky things about this process: These animals are transitioning from shelter life, so they may be restless and even irritable at first. They may have difficulty sleeping, eating, excessive nervous energy for a few days as they try to understand this new environment and its requirements.
In some cases, you may save a dog's life. In others, you may be helping the shelter to save a life while you simply love an animal back to the real world, getting it prepared for the journey of adoption down the road.
Pickle totally saved me. By playing with Pickle, helping Pickle overcome anxiety from being away from her family, I dropped the stigma and drama of "New Year's Eve," and welcomed a new dawn with my new friend.
If you have time on your hands, some space that allows pets, and any experience at all handling dogs or cats, you may benefit by looking into fostering animals. You can Google "Animal Foster Care" or "Dog Fostering" or "Cat Fostering" and examine some of the choices in front of you. Fostering dogs in Studio City brought up 2,070,000 results, not many of which were specific to our area, but some quick research will reveal all you'll need to get started.
I can guarantee that fostering is important volunteer work. To quote the truest lyric from Abbey Road:
"And in the end, the love you take...is equal to the love you make."