Fostering helps us to respect the commitment of dog owners

Posted by Nerilie Watson on 17 August 2014 | 4 Comments


Jules and Wally became fosterers in a really organic and unplanned way and have never looked back since! Jules writes about their experience.

My partner Wally was walking a dog called Mac – quite a strong boy and they were building a really nice relationship – Mac started to get very excited whenever he saw Wal and he became quite a favourite.  One day, we were asked if we could take Mac for a night or two – I can’t remember the reason - I thought he had been at the refuge for a while and needed some time out.


We were a bit nervous, living in a townhouse and not having much space.  Neither of us have children so are quite unused to looking after anyone or changing our routines to suit another being!  It was like welcoming a new baby (I imagine!).  Preparing the house, collecting bedding, food, settling him in and working out how to best to make him feel comfortable.  Over the short time, we started to develop little habits and routines and worked out what he liked to do and what made him happy. A constant with all ‘our’ dogs is the couch!  We all love couch time and it feels very empty when we have to take them back. There is always space on the couch no matter how big the dog – they don’t seem to mind that we are all crushed up down one end or being buried by paws!

From there, we waited for the phone to ring and we became well practiced at the settling in routine. Then the discovery of all the different behaviours and personalities. Often the dogs were very restless or insecure, so we learnt to become ‘parents’, team tagging so our foster dog always had company and wasn’t left alone too long and considering them in our daily plans. Then, if the phone didn’t ring, I’d start hanging around to see if there were any needy dogs needing some TLC!

We have fostered about 20-25 dogs now over various amounts of time. No matter the time, there is always the wrench at saying goodbye and returning to a very quiet house. But then we have a big clean-up and enjoy being empty nesters! We have been so lucky that usually the dogs are adopted very quickly and only rarely have we had to visit the refuge and see our foster dog still there. We like to think the quiet, loving time they get in a home environment helps to give them the right demeanour for adoption. 

Of course, with nearly every dog we have the discussion about whether we could keep them, but for now we really know our role and enjoy our contribution and respect so much more the commitment it takes to be a good dog owner.  So I am sure our time will come, but as sad as saying goodbye is, we feel being fosterers is right for us now and really value being part of the team.  The friendships we have built has been a lovely surprise and it’s so nice to be able to debrief with people who understand and share the same mission.

Jules Hutchison

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  • You are awesome people! Respect!

    Posted by Ali, 21/08/2014 8:48pm (4 years ago)

  • Great job, and continue! =)
    Your fosters are so important for some of the dogs... =)

    Posted by Johnson, 20/08/2014 9:52pm (4 years ago)

  • You guys rock!
    wish everyone has such kind hearts as you both x

    Posted by jo howard, 20/08/2014 5:30pm (4 years ago)

  • What a lovely story about your fostering experience. Hopefully this story will encourage others to do the same and help the lives of so many dogs that need it.

    Posted by Lynda, 17/08/2014 12:37pm (4 years ago)

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