Now What?

So I’m sure many of you are wondering what my next fostering move is. To be honest, I don’t even know. The night I dropped Baxter off I was ready to run to the shelter and pick out another one, but after four months of being responsible for putting a dog before myself, I knew I needed to sit back and evaluate.

I am completely torn on the subject. Half of me wants to keep this momentum that I’ve built from Baxter – with the blog, the dog schedule we’ve adapted at home, the foster parent mindset I’ve got now. So many things change when you have a dog (preaching to the choir, I know). I miss so much of it, too. I really do think I was put on this planet to do this type of work. Things don’t come this easy for no reason.

Which is why, on the other hand, I know I need to take a short break. I am literally going to be doing this for the rest of my life, and right now I’m only 22 years old. I compromise (or sacrifice, depending on who you ask) a lot to have a dog at this age. My friends are all out being young and carefree and living up their 20’s in the nation’s capital. Me? I’m home by 11 to take care of Baxter. Don’t get me wrong, it was totally 100% completely absolutely worth it and I wouldn’t take back a second, but I have to look at the situation from all angles.

Now this does not mean that I’m out for a good, or even out for longer than just a little bit. I’m not putting a time limit on it because I know that my next foster will come to me the same way Baxter did. Soon enough a dog in need will come along that will be right for my situation. Until then, I’ll enjoy my freedom. This is why fostering is so great: I get the best of both worlds. I just have to make sure I’m giving both worlds – or, more importantly, the people in both worlds – equal time and energy.

World 1

World 2

So, what can you expect from this blog? I’m definitely going to have to get creative, that’s for sure. Of course I have a ton of stuff to talk about, but I don’t like being preachy so I promise to steer clear of ranting posts. I think I have some insight to share as a shelter worker, and I’ll introduce you guys to other dogs & happenings at Jasmine’s House. I’ll talk about fun pittie merchandise I find and maybe I’ll write about a book or two. Since I’m by no means an “expert” on many things dog, I’ll only talk about what I’ve experienced first hand. I have some knowledge from the mix of my Animal Sciences degree, working at a shelter, spending a lot of times around dogs, and having extra interest in animal behavior – but that’s about it.

At the very least, I will try my hardest to have a post here on your computer screen at 6:30am every morning like I have the last four months. I love this blog, and I love my followers, so I hope you’ll bear with me in this time of transition. I salute those who can entertain you with foster after foster, but I’m just not there yet.

If you have anything you’d like me to write about – please let me know! And as always… thanks for being here : -)

18 thoughts on “Now What?

  1. Teresa

    Good for you. For being 22 you have an excellent perspective on what you want. I applaud you for that. You’ll know when the next dog comes along just like you said. Enjoy while you can and then enjoy the next pup. You did an excellent job with Bax and you’ll do it again with the next one. i enjoy reading the blog every morning. Keep up the good work!!

  2. Janet in Cambridge

    It’s clear you have a great commitment to this work. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break to sort through things. You’ll know when and if you’re ready again. It will happen. It will come to you.

  3. That sounds like a smart plan. You never know when the right dog will come along. It could be tomorrow, it could be over a month from now. There is no need to rush. This way you will be free to choose when your next “Baxter” arrives!

    I wish I had been nearly so dedicated and wise when I was 22!

  4. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for others. Words of Wisdom from Blogging Bob.
    You can read my blogging ……… that will keep you busy. HA.
    Love and Licks,
    Bob

    Oh and Mom says you can be a dogwalker!

  5. some stuff to blog about……….how can I do more to help dogs?……..how do I become a volunteer?…..what does a volunteer do?….how much time is required?……..how do I become a foster mom?……

  6. teri

    You are amazing! Your focus, passion, commitment and wisdom at age 22 is incredible — all I can say is, “WOW!” You’ve already had a huge impact on the world. And, I agree with a previous comment — you must take care of yourself in order to take care of others. There are many years to come, with many exciting experiences and opportunities in both Worlds 1 and 2 — Right now, just rest. Claude Debussy, said, It’s the space between the notes that makes the music.

  7. Sonia

    i’ve enjoyed reading your blog and reading about baxter’s progress. i think what you’re doing is great! i’d love to read about your experiences with any shy dogs, and how they overcame their shy/fearful behavior. i rescued a 4 month old puppy in august, and have been working very hard with her to overcome her fearful behavior. i’m always trying to connect with people who have gone through the same thing. just wondering if you’ve had any experience with that. looking forward to reading about your next foster :-)

  8. Laurie

    I had no idea you were 22…it’s very inspiring to know that there are young people out there doing what you’ve already done with Baxter. You’ll know when the time is right for your next foster. I look forward to reading your blog as your journey unfolds…

  9. Thanks for fostering and sharing your experiences! I’d be interested in hearing more about your shelter work and your educational background. (Not to sound like a stuffy job interviewer or anything – LOL!) Also, I’m in my mid-20’s and quite a few of my friends have gotten pets right after college, and a few are considering it. I think it would be good for more young-ish people to know that fostering is an option to have a pet without the long-term commitment that can be hard to make when you don’t know what lies ahead (and if they get attached, there’s always foster failing). Anyway, congrats on Baxter’s adoption; now go out and celebrate with your 2-legged friends!

  10. No need to feel bad about your decision at all. I think it is a wise move. Maybe even put a little away for future dogs so you are even more prepared to make it an easy transition when you do get another foster. Having gotten Luna (my first personal dog) when I was 21 or 22 I hear what you are saying. She is a lifestyle not just a dog (Vizslas are known for that). Enjoy your “break” you deserve it.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

  11. Katherine Pitts

    Juliana,
    you are to be commended for your dedication to animals especially pitties. you are very mature and seem quite grounded for 22. no need to worry about another pittie just yet. as you said, he/she will come to you. big bruno had some great ideas for blogging ideas. i’d be real interested to hear those topics. unfortunately, i can not volunteer at this time but i am hoping this will change in the near future. the animals need anyone willing to adopt, foster, donate, etc.

    congratulations for you work with baxter. i was sad at first. then i read you letter to him. it was very touching and absolutely AWESOME. i’d be lying if i said i didn’t shed any tears. keep up the great work.

    kathi

  12. Erin

    There would be significantly less dogs in shelter if more people were as thoughtful in determining if their current place in life has room for a dog. Kudus for making the decision that is right for you at this time. Enjoy some R&R after Bax :) Keep us updated on him! I’ll miss seeing his smooshy face every morning.

  13. Pingback: What to Expect from PL&F | Peace, Love, & Fostering

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