Dog Days

Archived: Posted April 19, 2013

Core Assets Fostering - Dog Days

Son: “Can we have a dog?”

Me: “No”

Son: “Please! Why not?”

Me: “Because I don’t want a dog”

Son: “Well, we are going to have one one day”

Me (quietly): “No we’re not”

We don’t spend enough time at home during the week to justify having a dog. That’s how I see it anyway. The poor thing would be on its own all day so it doesn’t seem fair.

I could churn out a long list of reasons why it’s not a good idea to have a dog and not surprisingly my family have a long list of reasons why it would be a great idea. But maybe this is the wrong way to look at it and it’s just a misconception on my part; I’m saying no without really giving it a chance, a bit like people who think they might not be able to foster if they have a dog.
Actually, quite a high proportion of foster carers have dogs or other pets (maybe it’s because of their caring nature?) and there are plenty of reasons why it’s beneficial for children to be around dogs too. There are the obvious health benefits, like keeping you physically fit with the regular exercise which is also perfect for kids with loads of energy to burn. And for children with attachment issues for example, dogs can help them develop compassion, respect and build loving relationships.But of course this is just a myth, you can foster if you own a dog. You’d have the discussion at your initial home visit and your dog would be assessed for temperament and suitability, but the chances are that having a dog wouldn’t prevent you from fostering.

Children treat dogs differently to adults, they love to hug and cuddle them. And they can be great to talk to, are brilliant confidantes and they don’t answer back! In fact, in situations where a fostering family are welcoming a new child into their home, often it’s the family pet that makes friends first!

Having a dog in the family encourages a sense of responsibility and sociability. They help make us more patient and selfless too – all great qualities and, not surprisingly, the kind that make for a great foster carer.

So next time I have this conversation with my son, maybe it will end differently…

 

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
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