I’m a 24-year-old woman. I’m supposed to have some sort of biological desire to bring life into this world. Well, that switch hasn’t flipped yet, but my puppy-crazy is maxed out. Hard. Over the last year I’ve been jonesing to get a dog. I see dogs everywhere. I coo over them, suddenly speak in a strange high-pitched voice and try to scratch their bellies. I hear most woman get this way around babies…? Curious.
Two major factors have kept me from getting a pooch of my own: time and money.
Dogs are a lot of work and require plenty of attention. On a normal day of work I’m out the door at 8:30 and don’t return until 7:00 to 7:30. If I meet a friend for dinner or go out to happy hour it’s closer to 9:00 or 10:00. I think it’s unfair to leave a dog cooped up for that long without a walk. I don’t live close enough to work to dart home at lunch to walk then dog so the other option is pay someone to do it for me. Unfortunately, dog walkers are expensive!
In addition to the time, dogs cost a decent amount of money. First off, you have to get one. I’m not a fan of breeders, so I’m going to go for the rescue pup every time. But even rescues cost some money to adopt. Then you have to add in food, vet trips, toys, medical emergencies, perhaps grooming if you go that route.
To top it all off, I go out of town on a pretty regular basis and would have to kennel the dog or pay for a dog sitter.
With all these thoughts pounding around my head, I still haven’t killed the desire to have a four-legged friend in the apartment. Then I found out about fostering for the ASPCA, while I was looking at adoptable dogs on their website and not through a super depressing commercial with Sarah McLachlan singing.
The goal of the ASPCA foster program is:
- Reduce the amount of time an animal lives in the Adoption Center
- Accept more animals into our Adoption Center
- Increase adoptions by better preparing animals to become beloved family members
Sure the warm and fuzzies of helping save an animal are great, but I won’t lie that this sentence was the real selling point for this frugal gal:
“The ASPCA provides our foster caregivers with all the food and supplies they need to take care of their foster animals, and we cover all medical expenses for foster animals, including medication.”
*insert record scratching sound*
What?! I can get a dog, not pay for the dog in anything but cuddles and affection and if there are major issues or I discover I simply don’t have enough time to properly care for a dog I can give it to another loving foster family?! Ummm, as Charlie Sheen would say WINNING!
Once my roommate got on-board – which took me barely finishing asking the question: “Hey, want to foster a dog?” – we okayed it with our landlord and emailed the ASPCA to sign up. We’ll be able to split responsibility for walks, making sure someone can come home right after work to let the dog out and caring for the pup when one of us is out of town.
My roommate and I have to take a required training course before we can officially welcome a dog into our home, but we’re on the path to helping an animal get ready for permanent adoption and opening up space for other pets to be rescued.
P.S. For cat lovers, you can also sign up to foster the lesser of the two animals (and it seems like there are a lot of kittens available).
Would you consider fostering an animal? If you have, what was your experience?
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