Notes from a Foster Mom -
an important read



I have fostered many dogs--unhappily, I have never kept count--but every dog that has come through my door has been special. Some have been elderly (and they mostly stayed because they needed a home). Some have been older puppies. Some have hit middle age.

I do not understand anyone's problem with a rescued dog. I have had ill dogs, well dogs, special-need dogs. Right now I think my calling is to have special-need dogs, since every dog in our home now fits that bill. Are they "the perfect dog"? No. But they are all perfect. I'm not a perfect human, so I can hardly ask them to be perfect. Sure, they keep me out in the snow when I'm cold and want to come in. They pee on my floors. I interrupt occasional fights.

But Holly came in our door as a senior who had never really been loved. She loved it here so much, she asked to stay. I have always thought she might have been happier in a home where she was the only dog, but she has made up for that by ruling the roost. She is unfailing sweet to humans, and if she doesn't greet you at a Tri-State event that she attends, it is never her fault. She loves to socialize.

Dexter is the most wonderful, sweet, charming hound in the world (I know you all have the same dog in your home, and I admit I am biased). He cannot see, since glaucoma won the battle for his vision. But he adores every human he meets. He loves Drew and me. He has the charm of a Cary Grant, which is why I call him C. Dexter Haven, after Cary's character in "The Philadelphia Story." Though, at the time we adopted him, we knew he'd lose his sight, we have never been sorry that we adopted him. He is perfect, and you'll know that when you see him navigate a strange place with just a few directions to keep him on course.

Horton only came to us because he had a broken leg and we had a ramp. Tri-State had to turn on the charm to get me to take him, because I don't do puppies. Really? I am so glad I took him in, though he is very fearful. He adores me. He's sweet. He's just afraid of the rest of the world, and, reading an article recently, I discovered he probably has post-traumatic stress disorder. That's why I'm safe, but no one else is--unless it's one of my neighbors, who is also named Pam. (Maybe he only likes Pams?)

What is perfect about a dog is the good things about it. And every dog has some good qualities. Those of us who take in the "broken" dogs know this. Those who don't know it are missing out on the best friends they could ever have in life.

I too am broken. I don't do everything perfectly in life. I have a few health issues. I'm not always perfectly patient. But my dogs have been patient with me. They don't throw me out because I'm late feeding them. They don't stop loving me if I have to spend the day out of the house and can't love them up enough. I'm glad they aren't human, because if they were, they might have tossed me out long ago.

Maybe the imperfect ones aren't the dogs, but the humans. They haven't trained their dogs consistently. They haven't loved them enough to be willing to take them to the vet over and over again until they are well. They've failed their dogs habitually, but in the end, they blame the dogs, not themselves.

The best dog you'll ever have is a rescue, because that dog will never forget that you saved his life (or her life). Dogs have long memories and will never forget that. They love you until their last breath, even if you don't quite deserve it.

Yes, I want a rescued dog. I just can't understand why everyone doesn't.
-Pam, food slave to the perfect Dashing Bassets



CAN YOU FOSTER A BASSET

We are in urgent need of foster homes in Western Montana.
If you can help, please email us Basset Rescue of Montana.
For more information about fostering, please click here: How to Become a Foster "Parent"


 


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Special Thanks:
Build-A-Bear Workshop



The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families and pets, in need of a helping paw. With the sale of each full-sized Bearemy's Kennel Pals® friend -- a collection of Build-A-Bear Workshop® plush dogs -- one dollar is donated to domestic pet programs including local animal shelters, stray pet rescue and rehabilitation organizations, and pet education programs around the country. These funds are available to qualified non-profit organizations in the United States and Canada. Visit www.buildabear.com for more information.