Fostering: the gift that keeps on giving

December 18, 2019

If you’re interested in becoming a foster, it is always helpful to hear from someone else’s experience to find out if it might be for you. We asked our very own Camille, of A4, to share her insights into the life of a foster parent. 

Foster Parent: Camille

Dates active: 2009 – 2019

Why did you decide to start fostering?

I started fostering because of my love for dogs. I was in my sophomore year at EMU, and missed my family dog. I became a dog parent at age 14, but when I left for college, my dog became my mother’s dog! I was told that Pepper didn’t want to go to college, so I needed to fill that void. I became a foster parent to help the animals at the shelter, be able to care for a dog without the financial strain, and, of course, to fill the void that only an animal’s love can fill.

What does fostering mean to you?

Fostering makes me feel like I am making a difference. Whenever a foster arrived to my home, it was always amazing to see how the dog opened up once they started to trust me. In a way, I felt like a dog whisperer. There is no greater joy than meeting a scared, timid dog and watching them get their confidence back! In my opinion, confident dogs are more likely to get adopted, so time spent with a foster can help immensely with finding their furever home.

What was the hardest part about being a foster parent?

The hardest part is watching them leave. Getting to know the dog is always the best part. One of my fosters, Lucille, was with me for almost 9 months. During that time, she became part of my family! My parents loved her, friends loved her, and she loved my small apartment. When she was finally adopted, I cried for 3 days. I convinced myself that she was mine! After that incident, I tried my best to not get too attached, although I am still working on that.

Did you have any bad experiences with fostering?

I have never had a bad foster experience. There were many times where it was somewhat difficult due to an issue that the dog may have had, but never a bad experience. The worst thing that happened was a dog chewing up my Bible.

How did you pick which animals you chose to foster? 

After my experience with Lucille, I chose to only do short term fosters. I didn’t have a preference as to large or small breeds. When choosing a foster, however, you can choose exactly which type of animal to foster.