I keep a list in the back of a notebook: the benefits of fostering dogs. I have a new one to add.
Fostering dogs makes you grow. Whether you want to or not.
Freaked Out Foster Mom
I have a “thing.”
I’m not good around sick people. Or injured people. Or even doctors. (I’ve managed to avoid them for 25 years, so far.)
Last week the volunteer coordinator at the SPCA asked if I was available for a medical foster. She attached three pages of hospital discharge instructions for Ginny who had been hit by a car.
I had to skim the instructions. Reading the description of Ginny’s femoral head and neck ostectomy (getting rid of the ball joint where her thigh joins the hip and allowing her tendons and muscles to take on the weight) made me a little queasy. As did the instructions for inspecting her sutures and doing active and passive range of motion exercises.
You see, sick animals spook me just as much as sick people.
I wondered if another volunteer would be better rehabilitating Ginny.
Why I Agreed to Foster
It always comes back to Honey. Most foster families have other dogs. Ginny would have to go to a home where she could get the exercise she needed to strengthen her muscles without overdoing it. No wrestling. No chasing.
And I knew that Honey would not play with Ginny if I asked her not to.
Besides that, I work from home most of the time and December is a slow month. So I’d have time to do a series of exercises 10 times each throughout the day.
Finally, I know that someday I will have to nurse someone in my life. I might as well try to get over myself early.
Ginny arrived at our home Tuesday afternoon and she’s doing great. But I’ve found a new thing to freak out about.
Foster Mom or Physical Therapist
Ginny is a spry little thing. She has no problem getting around. But she’s only using three legs. The leg that was operated on just dangles as she walks.
It’s my job to help Ginny build up the muscles so she bears weight on that leg. As soon as that happens, she’s ready to find her forever home.
The pressure is on.
If I don’t do my job right, I’m hindering her recovery. The guilt is very motivating.
So don’t expect to find me lurking around Facebook. Or tweeting for a while. Because if I want to be a good foster mom, I’ll be kinda busy.
And maybe I’ll even grow into a better person.
Your Turn: Are you a good animal nurse? Or would you rather leave those jobs to someone else?