Ah, the joy of fostering dogs! Listen to this heartfelt interview of Christine Humphreys, a cat lover with two cats who opened her heart to dogs.
This is a short version of our interview. Here’s the original interview. You’ll enjoy it!
Cat lover to dog fostering? How does that happen?
Christine never had a dog before she started fostering dogs. But she had a family friend who works for The Hero Rescue who introduced her to fostering.
One day at during a vacation at the beach, she overheard her friend discussing with the rescue group how to transport dogs from other states to Maryland.
In her mind, Christine thought, “Oh gosh, I don’t know. I want to help. It sounds so stressful. But I’m just going to give it a try. Because they need our help.”
Never having a dog before, Christine didn’t really know what to expect.
She decided on puppies because of her cats. Not knowing the dogs’ backgrounds, she figured puppies would be the safest bet. This way, the cats can tell them, “This is our territory.” And it’s good for the dogs because it socializes them to cats.
Christine confessed she had no idea what to expect, except – You feed them. You let them out to go to the bathroom, stuff like that.
Rescue comes to the rescue
Although she was willing to spend the money to get “stuff” for her fosters, she didn’t need to. The rescue gave Christine everything she needed. Still, she bought a good book for what to expect behaviorally.
The rescue provided:
- A crate
- Equipment like leashes
- Veterinarian care (vaccines, spaying and neutering, medicines)
- Travel to the vet if necessary
Joy of fostering
As Christine heard the dogs’ backgrounds, she realized fostering means saving lives. Literally. There’s no better feeling.
Fundamentally, fostering provides a loving home (versus a shelter) until they find their forever family. It shows them they can trust us humans.
Nola, the foster fail
Nola is Christine’s ninth foster, so Christine has been a successful “fosterer.” But Christine’s heart clearly wanted to adopt Nola. Nola was found on the side of the road in Louisiana with her brother, who got adopted by one of Christine’s friends. So they have play dates and see each other, too! Pretty cool!
How do you let fosters go?
Christine cried her eyes out when she gave the first three fosters away. She shared,
“You want to know how they grow up, see them thrive and what they become.
“But as you foster, you get to know their personalities. You know what they need to have the best life ever. We tell the rescue information like, ‘This dog needs a house with no kids or a house with no cats.’ We explain how they act socially with other animals.”
Christine clearly understood how she helps fosters find the home where they’ll thrive and live their absolute best lives.
Precious, a foster success
Christine almost adopted Precious, the foster dog before Nola. But fate intervened.
She and her family go to a local brewery every Sunday. The brewery’s dog friendly, so Christine brings the fosters along.
Picture their family friend walking Precious around the brewery, saying,
“Want to meet Precious? She’s available for adoption!”
That Sunday, this woman (let’s call her “Pat”) saw Precious and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, this dog is so cute!” Christine could tell Pat was already in love with Precious.
Pat had been looking for a dog for over a year. She wasn’t even going to come to the brewery, but something told her she should go. Then Pat met Precious. She knew Precious was “the one.”
Pat applied for Precious through The Hero Rescue website right at the brewery. And she picked her up two days later. Today, Precious’ new name is Maeve, which Christine likes better.
Letting go became easier for Christine with this experience. Almost instantly, it was obvious that this dog and woman were meant to be. The stars were aligned for those two.
What makes a good foster person?
To foster, you’ll need a lot of patience and compassion. And kindness. Be open to love them and let them know that they can trust humans.
Read my blog, Imagine what a foster dog feels.
Not a good fit?
If something happens, if they don’t fit in your family, the rescue will help find another foster family for them and another foster for you.
Do people have to get training to foster?
No, but the rescue has to approve you. So expect reference checks.
How long do they usually stay with a foster family?
For puppies, it’s usually around two weeks before they’re posted online for adoption. But for other dogs, you could be committing to a couple months.
Hesitant about adopting? Try fostering!
If you are hesitant about adopting a dog, a lot of people foster to adopt. Foster to see if it’s going to fit your family. For instance as you foster, your kids might say, “Nope, this is too much work, Mom. You were right. I don’t want to get up at 6:00 a.m. every morning and take this dog out.” As you send that doggie to their forever home, you’ll know you did a good deed! And fosters are needed!
Christine Humphreys is a Baltimore, Maryland native through and through. Christine’s a huge sports fan…season ticket holder for the Orioles, Ravens and Terps! For Christine, family is the most important thing. Luckily, her immediate family is in the Baltimore area, so they see each other all the time.
In her work life, Christine is a Group Sales Manager for the Marriott’s Mid-Atlantic region.
Christine wanted a dog her whole life. But the kids were always so busy, her parents said they couldn’t get one. Instead, they got Christine a cat and she’s had cats ever since.
Christine’s first experience in having a dog has been through fostering. She says it’s been such a rewarding experience. That’s because she helps save lives of the most innocent sweet beings.
The Hero Rescue
The Hero Rescue is based out of Jarrettsville, Maryland. They partner with shelters around the country – high-kill shelters, overcrowded shelters, dogs about to be euthanized, strays or dogs that have been abused. The Hero Rescue will take care of them. So if you live near Baltimore, Maryland, look to them when you’re ready for that dog. Or think of them when you want to give a dog a loving environment while they’re waiting for their forever home.
If you’re interested, search the internet for rescue organizations near you.
Does your fostered animal need help understanding their new life?
Have you fostered animals? If so, I’d love to hear your story!