EverythingDogBlog #173: Foster Families Needed - Yours?
How to Foster Dogs:
From Homeless to Homeward Bound, by Pat Miller (Dogwise, 2014, 158 pages, $14.95)
Not sure you have what it takes to take on a dog - or
another dog? Haven’t had a dog since you were a child when your mother probably
‘did it all’? Never had a dog but would love to get one? Want to learn about
Fostering may just be your answer.
You Want to Foster, But.
. . .
The dog world needs more foster families and yours may be
You will have all the help you need if you research rescue/shelter
organizations to find the right fit, gain some knowledge via books like How to Foster Dogs: From Homeless to
Homeward Bound and from experienced people, and keep at it by asking the
right questions for you.
Foster is also a stellar
reference for the experienced foster family, answering questions you may never
have thought to ask.
Easy to Read
Foster begins by defining
the term, fostering, and by detailing the types of organizations one can foster
for (or foster with), as well as the benefits for you and for dogs. Foster then delves into the various kinds
of shelters and rescues and how to select one whose philosophy matches yours
and which offers a continuing education and support program for foster
“Bringing Your Foster
Don’t know how to get ready for your foster dog, how to
introduce him to your canine, feline, and human family as well as his new
routine? Pat Miller is here to help, and to give solutions for when things go
wrong. She also includes sections on socialization and the all-important record
Feeding, grooming, veterinary care, exercise, training (and training
tools) are covered in Chapter 4 while the final chapter will help you say
goodbye – if the foster-dog foster-family match doesn’t work out or when you,
bittersweetly, turn your foster over to his forever family. It’s OK to say
Chapters 5-9 discuss common issues that fosters (and all
dogs) may have – and how to help those dogs. From common problems like barking,
escaping and house soiling to the more complex behavior issues of fearful dogs
(“Finding Courage”), and topics such as aggression and separation
anxiety/distress (“Home Alone,” a dog’s worst nightmare).
Miller defines and offers solutions of management and
training but she begins the ‘problems’ chapters with refuting the fallacy of
dominance and the myth of the alpha dog, a much needed discussion in every dog
book, for every dog family, in every dog class. Miller was one of the first to
help the dog training community heal the damage the ‘dominance’ philosophy has
caused to dogs and the bond between them and their people.
Who is Pat Miller?
Dog trainer and horsewoman Pat Miller got her start in
California shelters decades ago and has made a successful business career with
animals. She has a knack for jumping on the bandwagon and making a new dog
sport or activity more popular by learning about it early, then teaching others
and writing about it.
Foster is a
must-read for all shelter and rescue people, all foster families and even new
dog people! But, it is not just a book to read once: rather, keep it handy for
the life of your dog. “Ready, Set, Go!”
Read more about it:
DogWise is a superb source of EverythingDog – simply the best publishing
company and bookseller for dog people. Reach them at www.dogwise.com
Caveat: This book
was sent to me by the publisher for review. This article first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on 10 June 2014 and the other Maryland Patches.