So many people I speak to are not sure they can foster… unsure if they could do it emotionally. Well, this weekend I went to meet the “freedom transport” with a few members of my family. It is truly a freedom transport, as these little ones that were once “jailed and sentenced to death for no crime they committed” suddenly find themselves being whisked away to freedom and a chance for a life, a life some of them would dare never dream of possible.
When you arrive at the drop off and pick up destination, you instantly are surrounded by people and although you may have just met them for the first time, you are family. Brought together by one goal, saving and volunteering your time, your vehicle and your love to care for (once) little lost souls. (See some of the transport photos that Julie Ann met up with on flickr)
Once seen it cannot be unseen. It is one of the most powerful and emotional experiences I have ever had and I know no matter how many times I will go through this it will hit me the same way. Crate after crate with little ones, medium ones and large ones. Huge eyes, some frightened, some brimming with joy, some huddled in the corners, other so eager to be touched to be loved to feel human contact. Every size, every shape every breed. There was even a tripod dog, and even though he lost his leg he was eager to get into his transporters car to begin the last leg of his journey to his foster home. This wonderful man took the time to bring him back out so my cousin could see him and learn about him and what saving him means. She was told within a few weeks he would be running around with his new foster sisters and then he would be looking for his forever home. He came from death row to freedom and his life will never be the same. None of our lives will ever be the same.
It is true what has been seen cannot be unseen, what has been heard cannot be unheard. That is a good thing in this case. This was such a deeply emotional experience for us all and it has changed the life’s of my cousin Judith, her son David John and my wonderful Auntie B. They are starting on their journey to becoming foster parents, and I hope we can all keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
We see videos and hear the stories from our wonderful transporters, but to see it first hand what they do, is truly an awe inspiring event. So much work goes into getting these little ones to safety and I would like to thank each and every transporter out there. There are so many people who give of their time and money. They come together for the love of a little dog that they may only get to know for an hour, but that hour will change our collective lives forever.
So I would like to finish this off with just this thought, if you are not sure about fostering, try to meet up with a transport and watch all these men and women helping all these once condemned animals. Suddenly a broken heart of your foster leaving seems to be a small price to pay. I would like to say, I once thought my heart would break when my fosters left, but it didn’t, it hurt and it was painful, but it is nothing to the pain of knowing without fostering these little ones would be dead.
– Julie Ann Sawden
(Thank you to Julie Ann for contributing this contribution to our blog, Julie Ann and her husband are one of our most prolific foster families and they have been the bridge to a new life for almost too many Jacks to count!)