I know the typical saying is "Don't Shop, ADOPT" and I whole heartedly agree that you should adopt rather than purchase a dog.from a breeder or pet store. However, I think all dog lovers should consider another possibility--fostering on a regular basis instead of adding another dog to the home. We could save so many lives together.
I think every dog lover should definitely adopt one, maybe two dogs to be their core "pack", family members. But so often I see the most amazing dog homes adopt until their home is full, and they can't foster. I hear it all the time "I'd foster but I have four dogs!" "I'd foster but I have 3 dogs now" ! We ALL want to adopt - of course we all fall in love with these adorable spirits that we temporarily have in our homes and hearts - but the true gift is to FOSTER.
In our home we have two forever dogs. They are amazing and completely a part of our family; life would not be the same without them, and we are grateful daily to have our girls. The 3rd dog in our home is always a foster - or what I call "The Sacred Spot" - because it is a life saving space we offer to our foster dog for however long they need it. Believe me, we have fostered some dogs that just wormed their way so deep into our hearts that we cried when they were adopted, and will forever consider them a part of our family. Sometimes their adopters become part of our extended circle because we share a common love for this four legged being (during the floods an adopter of one of our favorite dogs, Zuzu, actually offered our entire family - 2 legged and 4 - to come stay with them). But, in the end, we always let our beloved fosters go.
To me, it's a math equation. We always have a foster, and on average they stay about a month. So that is 12 dogs a year we save with our family's "Sacred Spot" program... if we adopted one of our darling, wonderful foster dogs that would be... well let's just say the dog lived 10 years - so 12 dogs per year that couldn't be saved by us times 10 - 120 dogs. 120 LIVES lost because we want to adopt our foster - that is the way I let each one of them go.
We kiss them, hug them, and tell them we will always love them, and we're always here for them if they need us - and then I let them go to their forever loving family that eagerly embraces them.. and open our doors for another life to be saved.
Please consider fostering. YOU can save a life, or 120 lives!