Having had seven different puppies at my house, I can testify that they help ease any sadness that happens to be lying around. When I started fostering (after Sophie had been gone for three months), I still had many moments of grief for my best girl ever. I can honestly say that I still shed a few tears occasionally and always will miss her, but having had some puppies around has definitely eased that pain. Most of these puppies have reminded me of her (all have LOVED their food like she did) and all have shown complete and total love, which has filled up my heart. And yes, the sneaky moments still hit when I miss Randy desperately and seeking out a puppy or two to snuggle is very comforting. I think he would approve.
I would highly recommend this "therapy" for any of you who might be in the market for a little extra love, due to any reason. It may be that the holidays are not going to be what you want them to be (I don't think the Norman Rockwell family exists anymore) or that you've lost a precious person or animal in your life or...well, you name it. Snuggling with puppies and knowing you are an important part of saving them? There is just nothing like it (and I think it's been good for Lucy as well!).
There are many good foster organizations in the Little Rock area. I am working with Rescue Road, whose mission is to redirect happy, healthy, adoptable dogs in high-kill shelters into other networks to find their forever families.
Normally, I foster for two to three weeks, then "my" dog(s) travel north and find their forever homes, thanks to Last Hope K9 Rescue. With my latest pups (part of an abandoned litter at only three weeks old), I am keeping them longer, since they can't ride the bus north until they are nine weeks old.
Many friends have asked how I can give them up. I won't lie to you. It is hard. I cry my eyes out for the first few minutes after I put them on the bus. But knowing I helped save them and that they are headed to a new home (and never to a shelter again), plus knowing there are more who need me - all of this makes that time of sadness well worth it. I finally came to terms with the fact that all they need is someone to love them and care for them for a lifetime...and that doesn't have to be me!
Fostering has filled my heart with so much joy and I am so very thankful. If you'd like to get in on this incredible opportunity, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.