For the past two weeks, Meredith, Orvis, and I have been fostering a new puppy. We’ve already shared a few Instagram photos of Micah, but today we thought we’d write a quick post about our experience with fostering this sweet boy.
After months of debating whether or not to foster a dog through Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, Meredith and I decided to take the plunge last month and apply to become a foster family! We knew that we’d want to be placed with a dog whose energy matched Orvis’s, so we decided that a younger dog would probably fit our family the best. This also meant dealing with a little of the usual puppy mischief, but we certainly felt up to the task.
The day we were to drive down to Kittery to retrieve Micah from his long journey up from Virginia, we received an email from one of the rescue’s coordinators. She reminded us that by fostering, we were not only helping to save the life of our foster, but that we were also making room in the program for another dog, and in turn saving his or her life. We’d honestly never considered this fact, and it’s stayed in our minds throughout the entire foster experience.
That first day was a whirlwind. We picked up Micah in Kittery (without Orvis, since we didn’t want to overwhelm him), took him to Sooper Dogs in Biddeford for a bath and a few treats, and then Meredith rode all the way home with him in her lap. Hearts melted. We didn’t quite know what to expect once Micah and Orvis met – there are plenty of stories of overly timid or aggressive foster dogs that have trouble adjusting to new situations – but by the end of the first day, it was clear that Micah was a perfect fit for us. Watching him grow into a comfortable, loving, friendly, and playful dog over the past couple of weeks has been absolutely amazing – he’s been rough-housing with Orvis, playing fetch on the beach, off-leash each day, and snoozing at our feet during movies in the evening. He’s left a mark on our hearts and maybe we’ve left one on his.
Deciding not to adopt Micah ourselves has been one of the most trying and difficult decisions of our lives. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our lives, and our family dynamic. There is no question about how much we love that furry little guy, and many many tears have been shed in deciding to forgo adoption; but we had originally approached the idea from the standpoint that we were just going to foster, and we know that ultimately, Micah is going to make someone, some couple, or some family who have always wanted a dog of their own very, very happy. Originally, we thought that we weren’t strong enough to ever foster again, but after talking to a close friend about her similar experiences fostering, and always remembering the fact that by fostering, two lives (just like Micah and his sister, Meryl) are being saved, we’re slowly coming around to the idea that we could do this again some time in the future.
We’d love to be able to keep track of Micah as he grows up (and maybe even have a few play dates with Orvis), but realize that this might not be possible, and are OK with that idea as long as we know that Micah is happy in his new life and bringing someone else as much joy as he has brought us in our short time together. We want the very best life for Micah and are so unbelievably thankful that we had the opportunity to spend time getting to know and fall in love with this beautiful creature.
I guess my point is two-fold. First and foremost, we want to find the absolute best forever home for Micah. If you or anyone you know can give Micah that loving home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or Big Fluffy Dog. (To see more adorable photos of Micah, click here!) We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Second, if you’ve ever considered fostering an animal, please take the first steps towards doing so. Open your heart and home to that creature and don’t be surprised when they teach you a thing or two about your own life. It might hurt to one day have to say goodbye, but it’ll be that good kind of hurt that ultimately makes you a much better person. And please don’t ever forget that for every animal you foster, another will be let into the rescue organization you foster through – two beautiful lives will be saved if you open your home to one.