The joys and sorrows of fostering senior Vizslas


I will never forget the day I picked up Cisco. At 14 years old, his elderly owner had recently died, and Cisco, having nowhere to go, ended up in a shelter. Luckily, the shelter reached out to CWVRG and I drove up to meet the shelter transport. When they unloaded Cisco off of the truck, I could see he was in bad shape. Thin, weak, teeth in horrible condition, having difficulty walking and definitely looking every bit of his 14 years. He had feces in his fur from being in the shelter and he looked so sad. I helped him into the car, and we made the drive back home.

The first thing I wanted to do was give him a bath. It was hot outside, so instead of cornering a strange dog in a bathtub, I opted to give him a bath outside. When I leaned over him to wash him, he tucked his nose under my chin and snuggled up to me. That was it. I was in love. That became a daily ritual for us: every day I would go outside with him. He would sit in front of me, I’d lean over to give him a hug, and he’d tuck his nose under my chin. We did that every day for 14 months.

I did everything in my power to make Cisco’s last months as comfortable as possible. We made frequent vet visits and tried many combinations of medications and alternative treatment. Shortly after coming home with me, I started to see improvements in his gait and mobility. And that immediate bond we had continued to grow at a rate that surprised even me. I lost Cisco almost exactly 14 months from that day in June I picked him up. My heart shattered in a million pieces that day. Never did I think I could love a dog so fiercely that I had only had such a short time. But Cisco changed everything. And so, began my desire to help more senior dogs in need.

A month and a half after losing Cisco, I welcomed Bailey into my home. He was 11 and a half years old. I was still reeling from the loss of Cisco, but knew that Cisco would want me to open my heart to another old boy. Bailey will be celebrating his 13th birthday in a couple of short months. And while he is different than Cisco in almost every way, the only similarity that matters is present: he only wants to be loved and give love in return. It can be scary to take in a senior. They come with baggage, and can have medical issues that can be difficult to manage. And once one inevitably falls in love with a senior, it is likely that heartbreak is close behind. But it is worth it. Everything you give a senior dog, you will get back tenfold. Senior dogs have lived long enough to know the most important thing in life is to give and receive love. And they have a LOT of love to give.

Consider opening your heart and your home to a senior dog. I promise, you won’t regret it. ~Becky

I found it Hard but gave it a try anyway

Oliver, our 2nd cleft palate baby

I remember wondering if I would be able to successfully foster. Like many I thought it would just be too hard to let them go, but I decided to give it a try. I found fostering to be so rewarding for both me and the dog. Many of them come from less than ideal situations and just need a helping hand.

After spending hours, days, weeks and sometimes months getting a foster dog ready for their forever family it can be quite difficult to let them go but I find solitude in knowing that we have found the right home for them. From that moment they will be living the good life forever loved. It is such a great feeling to be a part of that and knowing that by fostering I can continue to be a piece of the puzzle that helps to change the life of a sweet red head.

As a foster you can be the pathway to an amazing life that lies ahead. Without people willing to open their homes to foster we as a rescue would be unable to operate and save so many lives. ~ Miriamber

Foster Fail


I'm not much of a foster as I've only tried it a couple times and failed miserably but I do know about adopting and I also know that used pups are special... especially the seniors. They are scared and unsure when you get them but just softly talk to them and tell them it's OK and you love them. They do understand, and they will respond in kind....and it normally doesn't take very long at all!!!  Love my rescue pups!!! ~Jeff

The first couple of days can be Tough but. . .

Amy's foster

I like taking a dog from a bad situation and letting them see that life can be good. When they settle in and start to feel safe and loved their real personalities come out.

The first couple of days can be tough if you have other dogs in your household that need to get to know each other and your routine will be thrown off, but give it a couple days! And who can resist a little puppy love from Ruby (most recent foster who was just adopted)~Amy