Foster Home Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Don't you get attached to the Pug?
A. Quite frankly, you will probably become VERY attached to your foster Pug. There is so much joy in fostering the new arrivals. As for your foster pug, the resident dog(s) get to make friends too. Often, the resident dog will be revitalized in the presence of the rescued pug, and you will witness amazing developments in both dogs. It's educational to see how different dogs react to training, how they play with and teach one another, your dog becomes the ambassador. You WILL fall in love with your foster Pug. This is necessary to his or her rehabilitation and also leads us to the next question.
Q. How can you give him up?
A. This is probably the number one reason why a lot of caring people do not offer their homes for foster care: they are afraid of the pain of giving the pug they have fostered. Remember, without foster homes, we cannot rescue and save these pugs. It helps to think of your foster pug as your neighbor's pug that you are keeping during a vacation. Sure, you like him and will take really good care of him, but when your neighbor gets home, you will give the pug back! Some of us think of ourselves as the rescued pug's 'aunt' or 'uncle,' a loving guardian for the pug on his or her way to a permanent home. This is a pug who ultimately belongs to someone else, who is in our care for only a short time. When you give him or her up, it will be to a pugs 'forever home' that this pug has been waiting for--and you will be opening a space for the next rescue who needs you so desperately. There is ALWAYS another rescue pug that needs your help. But, also, after many years of fostering, your fellow volunteers can assure you there is nothing quite as moving as seeing your beloved foster pug happy, healthy, loved, and cherished by the forever home that really wanted him or her and in some cases really needed your pug. It's contagious, and we hope you will be hooked on fostering, too
Q. What if I'm afraid my foster dog who is ill might die?
A. We ease foster homes into the work very gradually and never give a heartworm patient or other very sick or injured pug to a home until they feel ready to take on that responsibility. To be honest, though, we can tell you that if you foster long enough, you may very well eventually lose a foster even with all our efforts to save him or her. Tragically, most of us who have fostered for a long time have gone through the pain of loss because, after all, most rescues are in the program because they have been neglected, abandoned, and abused: and that includes previous owners not giving them heartworm pills or other medical care. The illness is not the dog's fault, and sometimes the weeks or months he or she is with us are the only medical care, peace, and love the rescued Pug has ever known. We have held them in our arms when they crossed over and wept tears for them. It happens. The dogs we do lose in our program knew we loved them and did the best we could for them; and we are humbled by their sweetness and understanding even as they cross over. It is, in fact, a very humbling experience, and we're never sorry we tried to help these dogs. Most of your fosters are not only going to make it, but are going to thrive, become unbelievably gorgeous, go on to a wonderful new life, and make you very proud.
Q. What if I really like the pug and want to keep him?
A. This does happen. Sometimes the "perfect pug" comes along, and everyone in the family just seems to agree that theirs is the "perfect home." Fortunately, qualifying as a Foster Home usually qualifies you as an Adopter as well! We ask that foster homes foster a pug for at least 6 months before they can apply to adopt a pug. If you are fostering to just adopt a pug please just fill out an adoption application. The Pug Rescue Network's first priority is to place our pug's where their needs and preferences are as important as the adopters'. Sometimes the dog tells us which home is right; and we respect that. Should this happen, and we all agree, then the foster home will pay the adoption fee, complete the Final Adoption Agreement, and assume ownership of the dog. Please think about this carefully, though, as often adoption means the family feels it no longer has foster space available, and we desperately need those homes.