All Shepherd Rescue is comprised of a network of foster homes in DC, DE, MD, PA and VA. The number of foster home openings affects the number of dogs we can save at one time. As you can imagine, we are always looking to add foster homes to our network so that we can help more dogs. Below you will find some information and personal stories about fostering. We need your help! If you have questions or concerns PLEASE contact us. We will be more than happy to talk to you about fostering. Don't worry if you end up "failing" fostering and adopting at least one of the fosters you have in your home...most of us have!
I would be happy to answer any questions, including the biggie which seems to be "How will I give up my foster dog when it's time for him/her to be adopted?" I hear that question all the time along with "How can you do that" spoken in a horrified tone of voice. The best answer I can give is that when one of my fosters gets adopted, I cry a little and laugh a little and wave good bye. And then I go get another one. By letting my foster dog go, I can help save another one. I also keep in contact with all my adopted fosters families. I check on their progress, help the new family with questions etc. It truly is an incredibly rewarding experience and I urge everyone to try it at least once.
Again, please email me if you're thinking about it. Don't wait, go with the impulse!!!!
Dawn Konrad (one of our foster parents)
For those of you thinking you might want to foster but were nervous about it........or had questions you wanted to answer before fostering.........or were just afraid you couldn't do and then would be "stucK"...... please email either or both of us and share your concerns, ask questions........... remember you would always have 24/7 help if you need it..........'home visits' if you had issues with your own dogs or your fosters, whatever it takes you help make your fostering experience a good one, and make you feel good about taking the next and the next as we now do.
No question or concern is silly or stupid.........and we have all made plenty of mistakes (and will do so).
Speaking for my dogs, they certainly aren't the best trained dogs I have ever seen -- far from it -- nor my husband or I are high level dog trainers (probably not even low level)! but with each new foster we have gained more confidence & and our own dogs have become friendlier with other dogs. None of our fosters have left here with more than a scrape or a minor injury :-)
Each new foster fills our hearts with joy as we think of how their life has changed...........saved from a shelter or bad scene........time in a noisy scary kennel and then in a home where they are cherished and loved until their forever home come along......many times I think we get more out of it than we give the dogs........
There are minor skirmishes from time to time but kids fight, adults fight so why shouldn't one expect dogs now and then to have a 'bad day at the office' and bring it home? We'll help you deal with it IF it happens.
And if it truly doesn't work for you then it doesn't work..........but at least you have tried!
Please please please try fostering...........
I am going to agree with Candice. Please try fostering. The rewards are immense. I’ll agree with Candice and say my dogs are not the best trained dogs in the world either. In fact, one of them is a complete brat. So don’t feel that you need to be a trainer or even have an immense knowledge of dogs to foster. All you really need is love, patience and a lot of paper towels! In fact the other night as I was chasing Max through the neighborhood, AGAIN! (this time he slipped his collar) my patience level was being severely tested. Max of course, thought it all a grand adventure. I came pretty close to calling and saying “Sorry, but I killed the dog!!!” But then I remembered I was the foster coordinator and decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to advocate doggie murder. Hahahahaha Max is a very subdued little boy tonight.
Anyway, my point is, when you foster, I guarantee that funny, awful, silly, scary, goofy and absolutely wonderful things will happen. And of course there is the extra added benefit of people saying “You foster DOGS? Why do you do that”. Think of all the great opportunities to spread the word about dog rescue. And then there is the ever popular question ‘You have HOW many dogs?” Before you know it you’ll be known at your job as ‘that crazy dog person’. Trust me, it’s a great feeling
Please email us with questions. We will help you through it.
Some foster stories...
Let me start by saying that Max our new foster aka Dunderhead (means Dunce) is ok. I know that never sounds good to start with, and this is not much of an exception. Dunderhead escaped the Konrad house and yard this evening. He escaped his Crate while I had the backdoor open to let my Wolfie in the door, and out Dunderhead went. So here I am in my Moccasin slippers, sweats and SHORT sleeved shirt. Going shhh-oot, and yelling no one has ever escaped Stalag 13 in my best Klink/Shultz accent... Off I go no thought to the 24 degree cold, ice/snow covered yard. Just the thought I had to tell Dawn I lost a dog. I completely lost him by sight, but could hear the jangle of the rescue tag and thank God his "I am a lost foster dog" tag.
I track him through the neighborhood calling him, to no avail, he heads down the road to the neighbors Emu pens, then over to the horse farm, I can hear him and won't let go of the sound, then he gets into the Audubon Society Nature Preserve - SHHH-oot, my arms are hurting from the cold by now, I am hacking from breathing in the cold air, but I can hear him. If I can hear him he isn't lost. I hated to, but I had to race home for a coat, flashlight and boots to cross the F-rickin cold deep creek. I am locked out of home, but do have a code box for the Garage, I open it, and race into the kitchen, hear Wolfie barking (I guess I left him and PD on the Deck), and got the it's F-ricking freezing German Shepherd stare of death from him. I get him in, place the frozen popsicle called PD by the heater and I race and open the door to the garage from the kitchen and there is Dunderhead sitting waiting for me to let him in. So despite my better judgment he is still alive, un-harmed, and laying at my feet (after a long time-out in his crate while I caught my breath).
So anyway, we taught sit and almost have down with Dunderhead, but I think recalls and learning our name (yes I will use Max, but Dunderhead is so tempting) and that our name and COME is important and is not for ignoring will be the priority this week and until it gets through his thick dense dunce skull.
Anywho I think the Konrad household is as quiet as it can be with 5 dogs, a cat, and a weezing/coughing husband, who was so relieved to see the lady of the house come home...
I am so glad to hear that embarrasing and frustrating dog/cat related tales (hee hee) are not confined to those of us of the blonde and feminine gender...:-) My story, however, took place the the nice warm summer time and involved a very well trained GSD who decided not to listen to Mom.....I am getting ahead of myself.
We have been residents of Pennsyltucky....er PA for just a short time; new house, new deck, no fenced yard as yet. Two well behaved dogs (HAH), one product of Wesley and one cocker spaniel that does what she pleases...(excuse is that she is old and cute...geeeesh). GSD IS well trained. First thing in the am, mom lets them out to do their business, GSD is off lead because he never (repeat) never strays outside his yard and the cocker is on a 30 foot leash tied to the deck. Both USUALLY go out, pee, poop, scramble up the deck and wait near the sliding door to come in and have breakfast. Have to mention that mom is in a brief summer length nightie...and nekked underneath..OK the scene is almost set. House next door has a wonderful retired, very christian couple who are not particularly fond of four footers....the gentleman is home after his wife goes to her part time job in the am.
This particular morning at 6:30 am, mom clad in a cute, very short pink nightie (with flowers and stuff embroidered upon it), let her wonderful GSD and her obnoxious cocker out for their morning constitutional. GSD spotted a black lab far off in the distance doing his business and playing with his person and took off. Mom bolted out the door to stand on the deck and try to cover her not so small backside with the end of this lovely nightie and yelled, of course, OY, COME, and every four letter word she could think of. (I know a few.)
GSD barks, Lab barks, his owner is now very pale at the sight of a 90lb GSD bearing down on both of them with his ruff standing up around his neck and "that look" in his eyes. Mom continues to yell on the deck (four houses down), and try to cover her rear at the same time. Just before the lab's owner passed out, and the lab wags his tail, and the GSD comes screeching to a halt, mom gives up all thoughts of modesty, flies down the deck stairs with everything that would jiggle jiggling and everything that would wiggle wiggling and stands, hands on hips, (which does bring the end of that cute nightie up a bit), and screams, KING, COME.
The dogs touch noses, wag tails, owner turns pink and waves at me, GSD turns around to come home and I turn around ..... to see the guy next door with his mouth open looking (no, hanging) out his window. I very calmly wait for my wonderful boy to come to me with a smile on his face and his tail wagging, and march up the stairs, this time holding down the back end of the nightgown (oh well I know is is now just for show) and under my breath I am praying that the poor guy doesn't have a stroke...and I said to myself, I said, Self, we have to reinforce that come command a bit more!
There were two dogs when I left in the morning. I fed them and patted them on the head and went to work.
I came home early. I’d left work for a dental appointment and so I was the first one back, not Paul. As I pulled in, Ranger appeared in the front window. But where were my double dogs?
I unlocked the front door and went in. No Abby. It’s a small house and it doesn’t take a minute to run thru the whole thing. No Abby in the living room. No Abby in the kitchen. I dashed upstairs. No Abby.
I called Paul. Abby’s gone. He couldn’t explain her disappearance, just like he couldn’t explain his crazy wife. I told him, everything’s normal. The two doors are closed upstairs (bedrooms, which Abby sometimes takes for meadows, are off-limits), and ….
But wait. It was hot, mid-July hot, and the fans were still in storage. The guest room at the end of the house had to be open to let the breezes thru the house. So the other door wasn’t that, it was ……..the bathroom door.
The bathroom door was closed. And when I tried it, it was locked. I pounded on the door. “Abby! ABBY!” Absolutely no response. Nothing. I did it again and again. Nothing. I tried the door again, definitely locked. That would be from the inside. If Abby was whimpering, I would’ve said that she went in for a drink at the porcelain water bowl, and the door slammed shut, locking her in. But all was totally, dreadfully silent.
I imagined horrible scenarios. Maybe she tried to get out the window – just a screen today – and got caught and had a heart attack. Or fell to the ground outside. Fearfully I went outside and looked behind the house. No dead dog. No sign of damage to the window.
Years of Red Cross disaster responding kicked it. I would need to get that door open. But first it was time to……..PANIC!
I went back and called Paul again. Please come home. But he was the only one holding down the Allstate office. Dennis Haysbert had stepped out. Paul couldn’t leave. I untwisted a coat hanger and tried to open the bathroom door thru the little hole. No luck.
Ok, then what? Fire department? Cats in trees? No this was a dog and a missing dog at that. Police? Really? For a missing dog and a locked door?
I called 911. I apologized. I said I hope there was no major mayhem happening in Baltimore County right now. I apologized again.
The guy was very nice. Concerned even. “M'am you are telling me that you came home, one of your dogs was totally missing, and your bathroom door is closed and locked? I will have someone there very soon.”
It was ten minutes, tops, when the first cop arrived. Ranger and I went out to greet him. Ranger growled, and the policeman smiled, clearly a good judge of canine character. Ranger melted. Buddy! I answered a few questions (yes, the door was locked, no, nothing was taken or out of place, I really don’t think there’s anybody in the house) and we went in.
He did his own check, but then believed me. No bad guys in the house. Then, suddenly, a whimper from behind the bathroom door. Huge sigh of relief. The cop starts in on the door with my coat hanger tool. He asks, so what kind of dog is this one? The whimpering sounds tiny and sad. I say, oh, it’s another German shepherd. He stops.
By that time, the other two cops had arrived. One was a cadet, and he was fully armed. As he ran up the stairs, he pulled out – his credit card. He had a go at the lock, but no luck. Time for the screwdrivers.
There are now three cops working on my bathroom door. They’re carrying on a conversation about who the dog is going to want to eat first when she gets out. I say I think the youngest one, tender meat.
Off comes the knob, and the door is free. The lead policeman steps back and the other two go downstairs. I push back the door, and there is a very confused Miss Abby. She regains her wits, and growls a little, but not with much conviction.
The end of the story is that I took her and Ranger down and secured them on the deck while the policemen put my bathroom doorknob back on. I thanked Baltimore County's finest for their excellent response, and heaved a huge foster mom sigh of relief.
Interested in giving fostering a try? It is an imensely rewarding experience that makes a difference not only in the life of the dog you foster but in the lives of those that adopt that foster. It helps keep your dogs socialized and depending on the match can also give them a playmate. For more info you can email us or you can go ahead and fill out a foster application (the adoption and foster applications are the same).