Guest Post from Fosterdad

Mark and I started dating about two years ago, and at the time he had no idea what he was signing up for with my future as a foster parent. Being a college senior, I don’t think the responsibility of a dog is exactly his idea of the best way to spend his last few months before the real world, but he supports me and helps me out so much with all the dogs I bring home – definitely being a “fosterdad” to each one. I wanted him to share his take on the rescue world that I so lovingly forced upon him :-).

So Juliana was nice enough to let me borrow her blog for a day and write from a different view. First, to introduce myself I’m Mark. I’m the one you sometimes see at the other end of the leash in many of the photos from different adventures. I get to see the behind the scenes view of Juliana’s growth in the foster world, and at the same time I’m learning a lot.

You were introduced to my canine family in Doggy Pawlitics. My two goldens, Profittarollie and Seamus, gave me a passion for dogs, but I grew up with a very limited scope of what owning a dog meant. My perspective on dog ownership has completely changed and I hope to share my lessons learned.

Until I was 11 years old my dad was allergic to dogs, and conveniently when my mom wanted a puppy my dad was no longer allergic. Funny how that works…

I know many of you are true believers in adoptions and rescues, so bear with me as I tell you my story. My mom spent many months learning everything about Golden Retriever breeders all around Pennsylvania and neighboring states. She picked a reputable breeder and checked on the health history of the mother and father. Finally after the due diligence and waiting, we brought home 8 week old Profittarollie, Profitta or Pro for short.

It was amazing, and a lot of work, raising a puppy. We had her for eight years before I was leaving for college. During the month before I left my mom and I went down the street to a doggy daycare that we trust with Profitta when we are out of town. The owner, who is a family friend, told my mom about a young male golden that had been dropped off by a couple that could no longer take care of him. He had serious behavior issues such as marking in the house and chewing up all their belongings. The establishment was not a shelter or a rescue organization, but they still wanted to find this dog a home. My mom’s heart was sold quickly to help this dog in need. She brought Seamus into our house the day after I left for school (and may or may not have talked to my dad about it first).

Even though I left for school three hours away, when I came home for break the first time Seamus became my dog. Every few months when I make it home for a weekend Seamus is by my side the whole time and even lets me have a corner of my bed to sleep in with him.

He is an amazing dog, and Profitta is the perfect alpha female to break his bad puppy habits and show him how to be a family dog.

What is most interesting about my story is how my view of my own dogs has changed after being exposed to the work many of you do. I never really thought of Seamus as a rescue dog, and I never understood that a community like the one Juliana is involved with even existed.

The moral of my story, education is everything. Many people do not know the options that are out there to gain a best friend and help save an animal’s life no matter what kind of dog you are looking for. Breed preference is personal and we all have our reasons. Personally, I have grown to love pits, but I will always consider myself a golden person. In any case it does not make a difference because there are so many organizations out there for every breed.

There are many issues that surround the canine community. I believe the best way to really help people learn is to engage them in conversation and work to understand each others views. Juliana & I often have different views on adopting, training, and caring for dogs, but I like to think that by really talking about the issues we’ve been able to expand our views and improve ourselves as dog owners. You of course have to respect everyone’s opinions and choice about their dogs, but we can still help each other become better owners.