That was the task that City Dogs Rescue foster, Melissa Schaffer, faced when trying to convince her partner, Ashu, to take on the task of bringing a furry friend into their home.
“You have to know your partner. Is he or she practical and business-minded? Or do you need to appeal to his or her emotions?” Melissa said. “In either case, one of the most important things to remember is that you’re not making a permanent, life-altering decision. You’re just opening up your home for a short period to change the life of a dog.”
At the time, they were living in Miami, FL, and had adopted their dog, Hopps, from a high kill shelter.
“She was pretty rough around the edges when we first got her, but with some love and training, she became an absolutely awesome dog. Ashu and I often remark that getting her was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” Melissa said. “I wanted to give other overlooked shelter dogs the same chance to blossom and become beloved members of people’s families.”
Melissa began volunteering for a rescue named Paws4You. She decided that she wanted to foster a dog and she’d need to figure out a way to convince Ashu to be on board.
Melissa, Ashu and Hopps packed up and moved to Washington, DC where Melissa found City Dogs Rescue. They have become a fostering family opening their doors and hearts to Hans (now Dewey), Emma (now Raven), Champ (now Oboe), and Lemon.
Their last foster dog, Lemon, had figured out how to lift the top of the dog food bin, but a few barks from Hopps was all it took to let Lemon know that wasn’t ok. Melissa also feels that the timid dogs seem to feel more comfortable with Hopps in the house.
“I suppose they think that if Hopps trusts and respects us humans, we can’t be all that bad.”
“It’s amazing to see the change in a dog when he or she begins to trust you. Once they feel safe and comfortable, they remember how to be dogs again. Nothing makes me smile more than watching a previously scared dog romp around and play for the first time.”
And it’s not only enriched Melissa and Ashu’s lives, but also shaped how they see the bigger picture.
“Fostering has taught us patience. It has taught us that there are more important things in life than a perfectly orderly house and that a little chaos can be a good thing. It has also taught Hopps to be better at sharing.”
If you’re lucky enough to get your partner on board with fostering, Melissa believes that City Dogs Rescue will be there to support you.
“The great thing about fostering for City Dogs Rescue is that they want to make fostering as easy as possible. If your foster dog isn’t the right fit for your other pets or your lifestyle, you’re not stuck in the situation. City Dogs will find a better match for you.”