It’s Foster Spotlight time! Put your hands together for our faithful and brilliant foster parent and also Adoption Event Coordinator, Janet Roberts! When she moved to St. Louis a little over a year ago, she was looking for a way to connect with the community and what better way than through a shared love of dogs?! She did a lot of research on shelters and rescues and Gateway stood out to her. She first began by working shifts at the emergency shelter before becoming a foster parent herself. Janet still felt there was more that she could do and that’s when she began her role as the Adoption Event Coordinator.
It would be impossible for GPG to adopt out as many dogs as we do without all the exposure they get at these events and without Janet’s dedication in organizing them. She has had six fosters come through her home in less than two years. She prefers to foster adult dogs because of all the appreciation they show in response to the love they get. Not to mention, they are also easier than puppies. Even dogs that have spent years on the streets have the potential to act like any other dog and just want to please their humans.
Anyone familiar with Janet and her wonderful blog can probably guess that her most memorable fostering experience would be with Rain. Rain was a feral dog living in East St. Louis with her sibling, Fire. After she was rescued it took some time for her to come out of her shell and become comfortable with her new life. From her first kiss to her first walk and even her first bath, it didn’t come easy. She is almost unrecognizable from the shy, feral eight-month-old street dog that came to GPG. Rain has grown into an amazing companion. Janet is so proud of the girl she has grown to be.
Janet’s best advice to new fosters comes from her own wisdom working with Rain. It is important to give your new foster time to adjust. We are all too familiar with the scenario of a dog being brought into a home and at the first sign of negative behavior, the owner decides it is too much to handle and gives up. It can take weeks or even months for a dog to adjust to living in a home with structure and love, especially when they are used to fending for themselves out on the street. For some, they spend their entire life doing this. If you can stick it out through the adjustment period, you will find it is the most rewarding feeling and such an accomplishment for both you and the dog.
Janet’s dog, Harley, is her own Gateway foster failure. They are a world-class team when it comes to fostering. Harley plays just as much a part in the success of her fosters as Janet does. Janet’s favorite activities include camping and spending time outside, so it is no surprise that summer is her favorite season. Her family gets together every year to re-enacts the 1840’s. They dress in pioneer clothes, camp in canvas tents, and cook over an open fire three to four weekends every year with family and friends. It helps remind her to live in the moment and not worry about all the craziness going on in the world. It really is a great thing to be able to put down her mobile devices and to just sit around the fire and read a good book. Janet, you are irreplaceable! Thank you!!!
If you are interested in fostering, please visit our Fostering Page to learn more!