Why I Rescue: A Foster Mom Forever – Taylor Osedowsky

By Taylor Osedowsky

ringo3People are scared of fostering, and in fact once upon a time I was too.

I am emotional, cry very easily, and get attached faster than a mother hen does to her chicks. My protectiveness of everything that I love made me believe that letting some total complete stranger adopt my foster dog would not only drive me insane, but also make it impossible for anyone to actually adopt whoever I was caring for. Even at this young age, I am undeniably protective of my “children” which as a nineteen year old can only mean my pets.

After successfully fostering two dogs, both whom have branched off into loving homes I can now only say: Please, please foster. You don’t know what impact you will make on the dog, what impact the dog will make on you, and how life impacting fostering a dog can be for all parties involved.

Ringo was my second foster, or more referred to as my “baby”. To see Ringo’s transition was to watch the most timid, shy, and worrisome child turn into what I can only call a rambunctious pain in my back(with undeniably beautiful eyes)!!

I got him on a Friday evening. His original foster was off to India and one of Zoe’s directors, Kath, had asked if I would be willing to take him on for the next week. At this point, we had a potential adopter lined up for Ringo and seemed like everything would be processed by the following week, so of course I had no problem filling in as a temporary love-giver.

Myself and two friends met his foster in the parking lot of Southgate mall after a big shopping spree—no one told me how much I would love this dog and therefore, how much I would love spending money on him. Someone really should have warned me about buying those shoes before meeting Ringo.

I spoke with his original foster momma, Lorraine, and she explained to me how this dog had stolen her heart. Now bear with me, I had just given up my previous foster to a new home and didn’t believe another dog could steal my heart like she did, so I smiled and nodded and said I would do my very best to care for him before he was adopted.

Oh boy, little did I know.

I had to carry him into my truck because 1) big buildings like a mall are scary and 2) he had no idea who I was and therefore I had no right to ask him where to walk. As soon as my friends saw him they were snapping pictures for their parents in an attempt to adopt him. I laughed, shaking my head and saying, “you guys fall too easy.” Someone should have really videotaped this entire conversation and then played it for me now.

The drive home was quiet. My friends continued to oo and ahh over Ringo and his very prominent cold blue eyes, and I have to admit I caught myself looking in the rear view mirror the entire drive home.

We arrived at home and our very first hurtle presented itself; big buildings are very, very scary. It is sort of a miracle I have worked around horses and had my fair share of supporting heavy weight because Ringo (at first) had to be carried everywhere! I am not talking some little pup weighing at about 15 pounds. I am talking a Husky mix with awkward and lanky puppy legs, weighing at about 30 pounds. Although 30 pounds might seem like a piece of cake, his very odd way of laying against my side with tense legs and a knack for putting his head in the most uncomfortable position (like in my armpit or blocking my sight) made things much more difficult.

Up into the house we had gone, up the stairs (because he refused to walk on my tiled flooring), and onto my bed. This should have been red flag number one that I loved him, I only put my very special pups onto my bed. He sat there, a sad and confused look on his face while I organized my room. There I was setting up his crate, his pillow, and organizing all his favorite squeaky toys that he had come with, and a dish of water.

Meanwhile, he took a pee right on my bed. I remember looking at him, that pathetic “I really thought this was what I was supposed to do” look wavering in his bright as day blue eyes and thinking my God he took two minutes to master the puppy face. Well, needless to say I just carried him straight downstairs and out the door to ensure all other business wasn’t taken care of in his bed and didn’t bring up another word to him about his mishap.

The first night was hard for him, this I knew. He wouldn’t leave his crate unless I picked him up. I tried everything: treats, coos, even took his toys and placed those about three feet from his reach—nothing. I was getting discouraged, a little frustrated, and sometimes sad that I wasn’t some miracle dog whisperer that he warmed up to instantaneously.

The next few weeks were all the same. Coax to leave his crate, only succeed if he had to pee. Taunt him with treats, only see a few instances of success.

Although his lack of love for me wasn’t prominent or obvious in how he acted, it was the small victories that won my heart over. The times that he would leave his crate and allow brief pats. The times that he would venture from his crate to explore what was around my house.

May I also add that I was absolutely relieved his previous adoption application had fallen through? I still shake my head at myself thinking that I wouldn’t fall in love with Ringo—naïve, foolish human I was. Our victories were small, but after a pile of small victories it eventually turned into a mountain of big success. Here my Ringo was, hating his crate and enjoying being a sociable explorative dog. Here Ringo was barking in absolute excitement, happiness, and joy at the sound of my vehicle pulling up in the driveway. I would walk in and there he would be, a clumsy mess of energy curling into my lap.

*wipes tear*

Ringo won my heart. It took me awhile to get somewhere with him, but here he had blossomed into a sociable and adventurous pup. He really did steal my love, not by his show of affection but by his transition from one personality to another. I had never worked with a dog that made such a change, with that said I had never really worked with a dog that was such a challenge either.

Now imagine my heart when a great adoption application came in. I must applaud Zoes here, now, because they gave me incredible support. I was involved every step of the way, from approving the application to doing our final home check. The couple were older, married, with their “child” Buddy who was a large (I mean HUGE) Husky mix. They seemed to have a calm atmosphere with a loving environment.

I loved them, but I also loved Ringo.

Now I know, this is where I am supposed to say how hard it was to see him go, and how I would never EVER foster again because my loss of Ringo was too strong.


Letting Ringo go was like letting my baby bird fly the nest. I had been his platform into a better life, his step into a new direction, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. To have impacted Ringo in a way that he trusted people, dogs, and may I add large buildings, was enough for me.

I am his foster mom, and I always will be.

I will always be the one who helped him overcome big fears, and be the one who showed him life is actually a safe place and to not be scared.

Without me, and other fosters who do the same, Ringo may have not had this chance.

I stress this now: I saved a life.

Ringo needed me, and on the contrary to what I had believed initially I needed him too. I needed him to show me how much of an impact I truly did make on fostering dogs, and I needed him to show me that fostering isn’t heart breaking, it is heart WARMING.

I really do believe that I was his pathway to his “furever” home.

A couple months went by since I had seen him. I had gotten a couple updates from his new owners but I did not press them for much, I knew he was happy. The couple who had adopted him lived only a few blocks from my father’s house but yet I was so busy I hardly had time to see him.

That was, until last week. I didn’t expect much—maybe he would wander over to the gate. Maybe he would smell me and wag his tail. Whatever the case I wasn’t really doing this for a reaction, but I was doing this for my own reassurance. I just wanted to make sure he was as good as I had envisioned him to be.

Pulling up to their yard where I knew he would be outside, I saw his white furry coat asleep just outside the dog house. As I got out, I watched his vibrant blue eyes open and what happened next is something you could only really feel by being there. Up he flew barking and running in a bound to the chain link fence. I reached down as he jumped up and my hand was greeted in a fit of licks and excited whimpers.

*reaches for box of Kleenex*

To explain that feeling I had is explaining something you can’t understand until you do it.

He remembered me like the back of his hand, he expressed that by his actions, and just like old times he was running for his nearest toy to play tug-o-war with.

He really didn’t forget me, I am still his foster momma, and you know what? I know I always will be.

I might have been sad seeing him go, but I was so incredibly happy to see him be loved. I might have been hurt seeing how happy he was doing, but I was so excited that I was the reason he got to that place. And nothing, and no one will ever take away mine and Ringo’s reunion—a fit of licks, giggles, and excited barks in greeting. I am the weakest at heart, loving too quickly and crying too easily. I am a protective momma hen, defending everything that I give my heart to till I am blue in the face and my fur-babies are safe. And I am a foster.

Thank you Ringo for showing me that fostering isn’t about the heart ache, but instead about the joy of saving a life.