Wolf & I Co. Blog | Adventures Of The Wolf Pack

What It's Like To Foster A Dog

What It's Like To Foster A Dog

Posted by Wolf & I Co. on Jun 05, 2024

A few months ago we received an excited string of messages from one of our long time customers, Karri. Karri had messaged us to let us know she was appearing in Take Me Home on Channel 9 in partnership with SAFE (Saving Animals from Euthanasia).

Saving Animals from Euthanasia Inc (SAFE) was founded in Karratha in 2003 and since its inception more than 40,530 healthy, rehomable animals have been saved and adopted to new homes.

SAFE operates on the foster care model and has 11 branches throughout Western Australia (WA). With only 3.5 FTE paid staff across our 11 branches, SAFE relies heavily on the goodwill and dedication of our 2,000+ volunteers.

Little did we know that Karri was not only a dog lover with multiple dogs herself but she is also a regular foster carer for SAFE which is how appearing on the hit show came about.

We don’t know a lot of people who choose to foster a dog or adopt a dog, so after all these years of seeing Karri’s wolf pack grow, we had to find out more about the foster journey she has been on. Here’s what she had to say.

Karri and Biscuit - photo credit Heather Osborne

Karri and Biscuit - photo credit Heather Osborne

What’s required to sign up to foster a dog?
You must put in an application to be a foster carer, then a member of the SAFE team come to your home to ensure it is a suitable environment, secure yard, it’s the same process to adopting a dog basically.

How long do you usually foster a dog for? What special care is needed?

The time varies, sometimes a couple of months and longer especially over COVID where everyone stayed put. Sometimes the dogs come to us unwell, as Biscuit did, she needed medication. Other dogs we have had have needed very basic training.

The dogs that come into SAFE or the pound need vet checks, desexing and time to heal. They also need a round of vaccinations – up here in Karratha we get three parvo shots because of the population of kangaroos, so that adds on extra time with us, and a check to make sure they are 'fit to fly' for puppies because the dogs have a much higher chance of being adopted in Perth.

Sue (the founder of SAFE) tends to match me for fostering puppies and smaller dogs because of my disability and people tend to want smaller dogs so they get snapped up fast, but the dogs must meet the vet’s requirements first.

Karri collecting Biscuit from Sue at SAFE Karratha

Karri collecting Biscuit from Sue at SAFE Karratha

What do you love about fostering dogs?

It is special to be part of the dog’s journey, it’s beautiful to see their confidence grow, they all have different personalities and quirks. It’s also a great way to make community connections.

How many dogs have you fostered?

No clue, we started being foster carers in September 2021 for dogs, puppies, kittens and cats.

How many foster dogs have you decided to adopt?

Two; Brin and Biscuit. Brin came from a litter of 11 split into different foster carers, she was one of the last to be adopted and became Rufus’s little puppy shadow so we decided to keep her. Brin has a face only a mother could love and the older she got, the less likely of adoption. And, of course, Biscuit. She’s hilarious and cute, she tends to get away with things that the other two don’t because she is so cute.

Rufus playing with Brin (on the left) as a puppy.

Rufus playing with Brin (on the left) as a puppy.

You recently appeared on season two of “Take Me Home“ How did that come about? Tell us a little about the process of filming and Biscuits story?

Take Me Home is a show about how SAFE Inc uses an innovative foster care model to save homeless pets.

Right from the start, SAFE (Saving Animals from Euthanasia) had a beautiful adoption set for filming and filming took about 3-4 months. I tried to keep my cool while filming because an application had been received for Biscuit's adoption but when the original family couldn’t take her anymore I immediately messaged SAFE and told them I wanted her to stay. 3-4 months is a long time to fall in love. 

Behind the scenes filming Take Me Home Season Two.

Behind the scenes filming Take Me Home Season Two.

Three occasions were filmed in our home, one time at the photographer, Heather Osbourne’s home, and one occasion was filmed at SAFE HQ. I would say if you added up all the filming of Biscuit, it would be only a day.

I’m was so nervous to be on TV but it was for a really good cause and I hope SAFE received more donations and more exposure to people who didn’t consider fostering a dog or adopting a dog.

Biscuit getting photographed for Take Me Home Season Two.

Biscuit getting photographed for Take Me Home Season Two.

Tell us about your current dogs? Name, breed, age and personality?

Rufus Whitesocks, 4.5 year old American Staffy. He thinks he’s rough and tough but he’s really sensitive, and like a baby who tries to sit on my lap, 35kg. When he’s out he’s alpha.

Brin Scruff-tail, 2.5 years, a real mixed breed. She has Cattle Dog / working dog in her because she tries to round up foster kittens. She’s a really good girl, very shy, but wiggles her whole body in excitement when we get home from work, her nickname is Slinky because of this.

Biscuit Kitty Kit, 1 year, Chihuahua x Terrier but you never truly know with foster animals. She’s the boss of the other two and gets away with things because she is so cute.

Biscuit, Brin & Rufus at the beach.

Biscuit, Brin & Rufus at the beach.

What are your favourite places to take your dogs?

The beach and the river.

What’s it like living with dogs in a very hot area like northern Australia?

We use aircon inside for six months of the year. They get lots of water, and we must remember to take lots of water for the dogs when we go on a trip, even short ones, some people have air conditioned/cooler box kennels for their dogs.

What adventures do you get unto?

Our dogs are our lives. We enjoy 4x4 driving.

Rufus enjoying his adventures in his Wolf Pack harness.

Rufus enjoying his adventures in his Wolf Pack harness.

What Wolf & I Co. gear do your dogs use?

Dog leashesdog collarsdog harnessesdog bowlst-shirts haha!

What do you like about Wolf & I Co. gear?

We saw online an ad, with a collar that had cactus on it so we thought it would be cute for Rufus because we live in the desert, when it arrived a hand written note on the back of a postcard, came with it and stickers, I was blown away because businesses haven’t done that in a long long time if ever, so we supported ever since.

I had forgotten how many puppy collars Rufus had. There were so many even before we got the tactical ones. Rufus is our first dog ever, so naturally...

I only have the use of one hand, so clip collars (and the new tactical collars) are super easy for me, also the carabiner leashes. We knew that Rufus was going to be a strong big dog so we needed something strong and not easy to slip off (because of the swivel done up).

Wolf & I Co. have amazing cool designs that are stylish yet practical. They’re also of very high quality.

Rufus and Biscuit - photo credit Heather Osborne.

Rufus and Biscuit - photo credit Heather Osborne.

Thank you Karri for sharing your story with us. You're such a legend and we’re super proud that you choose Wolf & I Co. for your dogs gear.

Click here to watch Karri and Biscuits story on Take Me Home Season 2.

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