One Pit Bull’s Journey Highlights The Challenges And Joys Of Fostering A Dog

Written by: Regina Lizik

October 26, 2015

On October 18, a foster family made the agonizing decision to return a sweet and loving Pit Bull named Astra to Red Hook Dog Rescue.

Astra’s foster mom loved her very much and the feeling was mutual. When the pup saw someone who looked like her, she began to wag her tail, but was crushed to realize it wasn’t her. The Pittie’s foster mom didn’t return her out of lack of love. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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In a Facebook post about Astra, Red Hook Dog Rescue says:

Astra is a super awesome pup with magical abilities, she can make even the coldest heart melt and give her a belly rub and smother her with kisses.

But they also say that Astra is very nervous around other dogs. She needs to warm up to them first with slow introductions. That wasn’t possible in the pup’s foster home, which was in an apartment located on the 18th floor of a building in New York City. There were a lot of dogs in the building, which made managing her anxieties more difficult than anyone anticipated.

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Sarah Brasky, Founder and Executive Director of Foster Dogs NYC, told us:

Astra’s foster parents found the elevator to be a challenge, sometimes coming into close contact with other dogs. The elevator rides became an unavoidable issue, and the foster parents were not comfortable keeping Astra as a foster dog any longer.

She went on to say:

It is important to remember not to jump to blaming the foster parent should a foster placement not work out. Yes, a person might not be right for a dog (or vice-versa), but certain behaviors are not always apparent until the dog has time to settle into his/her new home, or become exacerbated depending on the dog’s surroundings.

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This highlights one of the best things about fostering a dog. It gives the rescue a chance to see the dog blossom and also to uncover any deep issues the pup may have. While everyone knew that Astra was anxious around other dogs, she’s not reactive to them on walks. No one imagined she would become so nervous on elevators. Now that rescuers know this, they can make sure that Astra’s forever home will be more suited to her needs.

Sarah stresses that bringing a homeless dog into your life as a foster pawrent is a beautiful thing, but it is a temporary situation. She also adds that any amount of time a person can give is invaluable to a rescue.

If he or she is able to bring in a dog for one month or two months, that gives the rescue group time to get the word out about that dog and try to get the dog adopted.

Her foster parents made a selfless decision by returning her to the rescue. They loved her, but they had to do what was best for her. If Astra is in a more suitable environment, she’ll be more responsive to training, which will help her to overcome her anxieties.

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Finding placement for dogs, especially bully breeds like Astra, is very difficult. Due to the Pit Bull stereotypes, many people are afraid to foster or adopt them. Even if people are willing, there are many apartment buildings have breed restrictions. This means that sometimes, dogs are placed in a foster home that may not be 100% ideal.

But you can do something to change that.

Every rescue is in need of people willing to foster animals. Rescuers will face fewer challenges if more humans volunteer to give the gift of a home, guidance, socialization, food, training and, most importantly, love. By fostering a dog and working closely with a rescue, you can help the rescue evaluate the pup’s needs so that the dog can find the pawfect forever family.

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And there’s some pretty pawesome news regarding Astra, she has a pending forever family! We’ll keep you pupdated and let you know when/if her adoption becomes official.

To help dogs like Astra, contact your local rescues and apply to be a foster pawrent. It will be one of the best decisions of your life – and it will make all of the difference in the lives of the dogs you help.

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Written by: Regina Lizik

October 26, 2015

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