Its 7:00 on a Saturday morning and I’m up feeding and walking dogs. In our house that’s no small task because at any given time there might be as many as five. No, I’m not a dog hoarder I'm a dog foster. In addition to our three “personal” dogs we also take in what I call “temporary” dogs. They are seldom with us longer than a month as they get medical care and make the transition from the streets or shelter to a home. These dogs have a dismal past but a promising future.

On this particular day I’m driving our foster puppy Jojo along with two other dogs Stevie and Powell (fostered by other volunteers) up to McDonough to meet the transporter who will take them to new lives in Maine. This is happening all over the Southeast as communities with too many dogs connect with others that have an actual lack of shelter dogs. Thousands of lives are saved every year through a network of rescues and fosters. I foster dogs for one reason, without fosters they cannot be saved. I’ve fostered for the Pixel Fund and Maine Lab Rescue.

It is always amazing to me that what people here in Georgia don’t value is treasured by our neighbors to the north. The comment I hear most often from friends is, “How can you possibly let them go? I could never foster. I would get attached.” My response is simple. I have a hard time saying no when all that stands between this dog and euthanasia is my being willing to open my home for a few weeks. I’ll get over letting the dog go and once the dog moves in with its new family the dog will get over its time in our home.

As I ride up to McDonough Jojo sits in my lap wearing the new sweater I bought for her. It’s going to be cold when she arrives in Maine. I do feel bad about one thing. She has no idea what is happening and I worry that when I place her in the transport crate she will think I am abandoning her. During her time at our home I’ve spoiled her by carrying her around like a baby. Happily, Jojo is pre-adopted. She has a wonderful family waiting for her at the other end of this journey.