Both Aaron and I have always
had a passion for animals and have always had animals
in our lives. We started out with a second hand
hamster called Twickers (he belonged to a friend of
Aaron's who had to find him a new home when he left
Uni). After Twickers passed away we got another
hamster called Poppy. When we bought our first house
together we got Hermes who was a rescue cat (he's a
big fluffy white cat who looks like a Norwegian forest
After Hermes was settled Aaron
spent the next few months convincing me to get a dog.
Our first dog Jasmine is a lab x terrier (we think),
she is gorgeous and incredibly gentle (especially when
play fighting with puppies). A few years later we
decided to get another dog (well actually Aaron kept
whinging and I gave in) to keep Jasmine company. After
looking through different breeds we decided on a
Cocker Spaniel, so Bracken came to live with us
October 06. Jasmine at first was not too thrilled by
the new arrival and wouldn't go near Aaron for 3 - 4
days (I guess she thought he'd betrayed her or
something) but after a while Jasmine grew to love her
lil sister and now they are the best of friends.
Before I started posting on a
dog forum neither of us even knew about fostering
furry things. We spoke to a few people who were
fostering and asked them about their experiences.
Everything we heard was positive, but they pointed out
that it is hard work and can be emotionally
challenging at times.
We then contacted a few rescue
centres and found that some used foster homes, while
others relied solely on kennels. One of the people
that we met on the dog forum was involved with Four
Paws Animal Rescue. We were very impressed with the
friendliness of the Four Paws co-ordinators and the
quick responses we got back to any questions we had.
This was one of the most important things as it made
us feel that there was a good network of people who
could support us in any eventuality.
Four Paws were having an open
day so we decided to go along and help out (so we
could assess them). Everybody was lovely and we had a
great day (Jasmine and I even came first in the best 6
legs competition!! Even though mine were a little bit
sunburnt.). All of the dogs we met were lovely and you
could see they were all very well looked after and the
people from Four Paws were passionate about helping
We decided to take the plunge
and sign up to be fosterers. After a home check to
ensure that we were all suitable and that our house
had a secure garden, we were ready to go!
The difficult decision was
then, who do we foster? As we already have two dogs
and a cat it was important that who ever we fostered
would fit in with Jasmine, Bracken and Hermes. After a
short wait and quick holiday in Italy, we went across
the border to South Wales for the day and met some of
the dogs looking for foster homes.
Whilst we were there we met a
little puppy called Alfie. Both Jasmine and Bracken
took to the puppy straight away; it was amazing he
looked just like a mini version of Jasmine (she could
easily be mistaken for his mum!). As most of our doggy
experience has been with puppies we decided Alfie was
the one for us. As he was a pup he would also be
easier to introduce to Hermes as well.
Since Alfie has been here, he
has settled in really well. There have been a few
little bits of growling (mainly from a grumpy hormonal
Bracken) as he worked out his place in the group and
who owns which toy/bone/chair/shoe etc.... He has got
more confident with the cat, but is sensible to take
note of any warning signs. We have worked with him on
his toilet training and he has been getting plenty of
socialisation with our dogs.
The next task was to find
Alfie his forever home. We set about promoting Alfie
by posting on sites, putting up posters, etc. He is a
gorgeous little guy and we will really miss him when
he goes, but we know that this needs to happen if we
are to help other dogs. There are many tales of failed
fosterers who end up keeping their foster and I'm sure
this will happen to us one day. We have really enjoyed
fostering Alfie but know that each new foster dog that
comes along will be different and require different
things from us.
If you think you have
what it takes to be a foster carer please email