Kim Kampjes

Why did you get into fostering?
To be honest, I was quite scared of dogs as I have been bitten many times. I was watching "Hotel for Dogs" with my children one weekend it really touched me. I went upstairs after the movie and found hart on the internet. That day, I called to see if I could help out!

Which hart dogs have you fostered?
Sarge was my first cutie. I remember Ferguson and still think of him quite often. I had Stella and her crew of 5 (Guiness, Molson, Cider, Bailey, and Kaley). Sadly, I can picture them all in my mind but cannot recall all their names. My family seems to think that Maggie is number 14. Sounds about right.

What has been the most rewarding aspect to fostering?
The most rewarding is seeing a dog slowly learn to trust again. Once they become comfortable enough to greet me at the door just like my own do. I know they have turned from being scared to knowing what love is.

When individuals think it will be too much work or too emotionally taxing, what feedback do you have for them?
I work full-time, have two teenage girls, two dogs and two cats. I have not been physically well for the last two years. When you volunteer with hart, you're not on your own. There is a team of volunteers that are there for you. If I'm too busy or not well enough to attend an event or just need a break, I just have to say so and they will find someone to try and help me out.

The only part that is difficult is saying good-bye to your foster once you have picked their furever home. Maggie is my baby and I will do the ugly cry when she goes, but I have the comfort of knowing that I have chosen a wonderful home for her. The adoptive parents have said they will stay in touch through Facebook and most adoptive parents do this and that helps.

If your foster dog(s) could speak, what do you think they would say to you?
I think they would say thank you for being patient with me while I learn the ropes of being a house dog, for not scolding me too much when I chewed some of the neat objects in your home, for sitting outdoors with me until I felt comfortable to enter your home, for hugging me when I cowered when you picked something up from the counter and for taking care of me when I needed it most.

Fostering has brought so much to my life. Thank you!