Why Fostering and Adopting Matters: Meet Dawn, Proof That All A Dog Needs, Is Patience and Love.

Despite being a 3 legged dog, Dawn was one of the fiercest strays we had ever come across. She guarded her factory fiercely and every one of us was terrified of her. She was past middle age when we met her and she had lost her leg in a traffic accident. After amputation, she was returned to the factory as the canteen workers would care for her. They also helped us trap her when we needed to send her to the vet. There was no way we could have gone near her.

Each time we visited her factory and needed to walk around the compound looking for the other dogs, she would be hot on our heels. We literally had to draw lots and see who we would sacrifice to enter the factory. She would be just behind us, near our ankles and it was scary knowing she would snap at your ankles anytime. You had to keep pace - too slow and she would chomp. If you dared to turn around and look at her, your ankles might have been gone too.

Anyway, long story short, her factory was soon closing down and the workers pleaded with us to take her, especially since she was 3 legged. We were hesitant because she was really fierce, and no one would dare to handle her.

Through a twist of fate, we found a foster in Pamela. We all know that fostering is permanent but glad that Pam didn’t know it that that time. And so with lots of patience and love, Dawn was tamed!

Not only was she good with humans eventually, she was also good with babies. Who would have thought that!! And today, after 4 years, she has been domesticated and is happy with her new family now.

Dawn guarding her new baby brother  

All strays can be tamed. What they need is time. That's why it's so very important to have fosters.

Amazing how a fierce street dog can be so sweet to a baby 

Written by: Felicia Tan

Are You Ready For A Dog?

We all love dogs. They are fun, loyal and always there to greet us when we are home. But affection does not equate to competence in caring for a pet. Before you sign the forms and checkout your new friend, here`s a checklist of factors to consider.

Mathilda (HDB Approved)

Dog for display: The essence of time
The daily tasks in caring for a dog includes: preparing food and water, potty cleaning, bathing and regular walks. But these are just the essentials for keeping your dog alive. If you want a happy dog, Frisbee-fetching and snuggle sessions are the secret ingredients to the recipe. 

For those who lead busy working or studying lives, you will probably need to recruit someone to watch over your furry pal when you are away from home. If you have little downtime, your dog may not get the attention he deserves. Your sleep and personal rest time could also be compromised to attend to your dog`s needs.

SiDa (Special Needs / HDB Approved) 

Rent-a-dog? : The responsibility routine

You don`t rent a dog, you own a dog. And that means you got to merge the responsibilities of caring for him into your daily routine. The added chores may increase your fatigue, but isn’t the company of your new pal worth it? 

Imagine (realistically) where you will be in 5 to 10 years’ time. Will you be married with kids, or a citizen of another country? Insert your dog into the picture. Will the future environment match his needs? Will your family accept him? If you answer ‘maybe’, perhaps you could consider fostering. It is akin to owing a pet but for a shorter period of time (read: less responsibility).

Bank tolerance level: The money matter

Can your bank account tolerate a withdrawal of $300-$500 every month? If your purse strings will snap from this amount, you should probably leave owning a dog for another time. 

The average adoption fee in Singapore ranges from $150-$400. On top of that, medical bills (check-ups, vaccinations), food and miscellaneous items contribute to the monthly triple-figure sum. There`s also one-time expenses such as dog licensing, microchipping, deworming and dog obedience courses. A worthwhile investment or not, you decide. 

Brain workout: The knowledge factor 

Ask after those of your friends who own pets, in particular, dogs. Hound them down with questions: How did they cope with the workload and financial commitment? Get the approval of all your family members as it is a family decision and everyone should be agreeable.

Seek the enlightenment of experienced souls, be it friends, books, or the depthless Internet. Take to heart the lessons others have learnt and avoid walking down those lanes. You could also jot down useful and insightful pointers. Like how you would do adequate research before embarking on a trip or investing in stocks, getting a dog is a big deal and calls for careful thought and homework.

Want or need: The Why Question 

Why do you want a dog? Because a puppy is an IN fashion accessory? Because your idol owns a dog so you want one too? Or you want a snuggle buddy to dote on and you know he will reciprocate your love?

Dig deep into your answers to this question. Is your response something that an older you will cringe and wish your younger self knew better?

If you have gone through this checklist and think (with strong reasons!) that you are ready, please adopt a dog, don’t buy. You can access HOPE Dog Rescue list of dogs up for adoption at http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.sg/p/adoption.html

Written by: Melissa