Reason #7: Animals can teach some of life's great lessons.
Newest foster litter 2011
This is our second year working with our favorite no-kill animal shelter as a "foster family". We volunteer to take in animals that would otherwise be euthanized and give them a home until a family can adopt them. Yesterday, we picked up a litter of 6 week old kittens (pictured on left) and were reminded of some wonderful life lessons that do not require a long-winded lecture or self-help book. These unwanted, motherless kittens, endured hours traveling in a crate, were poked and prodded for their health, uncertain of their fate and began purring the minute I picked them up. It was as if they were telling me in those little motors how grateful they were that someone cared. Fostering animals is a great experience, especially if you have children and/or don't want to commit to years of owning a pet. My kids learn how to be patient with a timid and scared kitten, nurture a pregnant dog, the responsibility of feeding and taking care of a pet, see the acceptance of a litter welcoming an new, orphaned kitten, the compassion for living things and the joy of a foster pet being adopted. It is also a great lesson in the circle of life and always amazes me how these little creatures already have a personality different from one another the moment you meet them. I can't say enough positive things about working with your local animal shelter. Even if you do not have the time or space to foster animals, the shelter is always looking for volunteers, donations and support from their community.