They don’t have room, but somehow they find the space. When a dog is stressed from kennel life, or in need a quiet place to heal or a family to teach them the ropes, or a rescue can’t take him unless a foster home is available – these families say, “We can take him home.”

They open their houses and hearts to fall in love with a dog that they know isn’t theirs for keeps. They go to work providing crate and leash training, socialization, medication and extra meals as needed. They separate resident pets from foster dogs if they have to, scoop extra poop, write blogs, take photos and spent their weekends at adoption events.

They take on all of the work that comes along with bringing home a new dog, and then some.

They do their best to balance holding tight and letting go. It is a tricky dance to care so deeply for a guest, since dogs stay forever in our hearts. But when people tell them, “I couldn’t foster because it would be too hard to give the dog up.” They say, “How can it be harder than knowing a dog died because no foster home stepped up?” And that is why they do it time and again.

And while they worry they might not be strong enough to let this one go, something special happens: The right adoption application arrives!

They lifted a single soul up, out of the crowd and floating on their hands, their foster dog arrived in the arms of the family that has been searching for him. It was all worthwhile.

They are the specialists, the deep sea divers, working the details of a dog’s life until he’s ready for prime time.

They bridge the gap to a new life.

They are foster families – true everyday heroes.

And sometimes, they are the bridge to somewhere deeper, a place to rest.

They understand that the troubled souls, the weak bodied, the ancient, are having a tough go of this world. And so they step up to the loneliest plate and say, “We can take her home until it’s time. We will be her final family.”
They give some very special dogs a loving home before they leave this earth.

They commit to walking alongside these dogs until the last moments. What some of us are not strong enough to do for our own pets, they choose to do for dogs they have only known for a month, a week, a day, an hour.

Fiercely they say, “I see you. I love you. You are not a number or a mistake or a victim anymore. You are mine and I will walk with you until the end.”

They are warriors of the heart.

They are compassion foster families. They are everyday heroes.

Click here to fill out a foster application now.

Source: Jessica Dolce, originally posted on Oct. 11, 2011 on http://stubbydog.org