Laura Saueracker

Why did you get into fostering?
We have always had stray dogs finding their way to our door. My husband used to laugh that we had a flashing sign over our door that was visible only to stray dogs. Our pets have always been adopted so when we lost our Shadow years ago it was natural to think about adopting. We were introduced to the pet fostering system and Hercules, our beloved now-late German Sheppard. From there we decided that we could make a contribution by being foster parents.

Which hart dogs have you fostered?
We fostered and kept Della (Delia), and then Dreyfus who was adopted out to a wonderful family from Smokey Lake. For the past year and a half, we have been fostering Jetta, the Airport Dog.

What has been the most rewarding aspect to fostering?
The most rewarding is watching dogs learn how to go from fearful to confident. They go from being totally out of their element to knowing how to be part of a family. In Jetta's case, the first time she reached out and gave fingers a lick after accepting a treat was a huge step forward. Just recently she has started to come, with tail wagging, for a pat without needing encouragement.

When individuals think it will be too much work or too emotionally taxing, what feedback do you have for them?
This is one of the most rewarding things they can ever do. Yes it takes a little effort to train a stray, to bring them into the fold, but watching the transformation is wonderful. As for it being emotionally taxing, keeping in mind that you are going to be connecting your foster with a furever family helps to keep things in perspective. The pleasure of watching the interaction of your foster and the adopting family is very rewarding.

If your foster dog(s) could speak, what do you think they would say to you?
I know you can't keep me but I am glad to know you love me.