Looking for dog foster care
June 8, 2016 8:14 AM   Subscribe

How do I work this? My dog, a wonderful black lab/dalmatian mixed breed, needs companionship for a few months while I'm in recovery...

Here is my dog. For now, I live a little over an hour from my house. She's there, being fed and walked by neighbors who drop by twice a day, but aside from those two visits, she's alone and yearning for people contact. For medical reasons, I can't stay in my house (substance abuse recovery). I visit her every couple/few days and it's just not enough for her.
Can anyone provide some advice and guidance on fostering my dog for as long as 30 to 60 days? I'm in reach of mid-Atlantic states and New England and will happily do everything I need to do to keep her happy and safe during this time. Thank you!
posted by nj_subgenius to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
Can you call the local Labrador or Dalmatian rescue and ask for help? They have a team of people who foster dogs waiting for adoption.
posted by suelac at 8:16 AM on June 8, 2016

Is sending her to boarding just not an option, financially? Eva's Play Pups (no affiliation) runs a country camp in NE Pennsylvania (doing pickups in NYC as well) which looks like utter freaking bliss for the dogs.
posted by praemunire at 8:30 AM on June 8, 2016

If you have some money to put into this but not enough to be at the level of a boarding service or puppy camp, maybe post it to Jobs? I'll bet there's someone out in mefi land who would be able to long-term dog sit if you could cover some costs.
posted by phunniemee at 8:48 AM on June 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd try to combine a dog rescue group + a local college student. The rescue group could help screen people (ours additionally makes sure fosterers are allowed to keep pets) and provide advice, and a college student could be a good "just for the summer" fit + will be easy to track down. A high school student could work, too, but you'd have to be extra careful.

The rescue/foster group might have someone trustworthy already, but if not, maybe you could do the phone call/poster/student-newspaper-ad-placement to find someone. There's likely a person out there who really really wants a dog, but who won't be able to take care of one past September. You could make someone very happy.

Also, it's fine if you don't want to do this, but really asking - coming right out and asking - your friends and relatives might give surprisingly positive results. I've noticed lately that people are reluctant to ask for help like this, but it's definitely worth it if you might find a fit you really trust.
posted by amtho at 8:56 AM on June 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

your friends and relatives might give surprisingly positive results

Seconding this. I would happily board a friend's dog if they needed it, especially if it provided them peace of mind that would help with recovery. If you need to avoid most of your friends to make a break from your habit, you might also see if the local AA/NA etc. has someone that could help.
posted by Candleman at 9:08 AM on June 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

If there's also no one in your house currently could you combine the dog watching with housesitting? That way you wouldn't have to pay a premium for dogsitting/boarding services and your dog would be in a familiar home setting, so less pupper anxiety.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:29 AM on June 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

If housesitting is an option, check out trustedhousesitters.com - in my experience the potential housesitters far outnumber the opportunities and you could probably find someone great to give her live-in care.

You might also be able to get some sort of extended stay discount from a boarding facility if you reached out and explained the situation.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:10 PM on June 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

A few things:

- Nthing the housesitting/dog-watching combo recommendation. You might get someone who would love to have a break from roommates, or to save money on rent. You still need to pay that person, but a lot less.

- Use your social networks. I was in a bind in a new city when I had to go out of town for two weeks and couldn't pay $75/day for boarding, so I posted something on Facebook. I wound up finding two really great, inexpensive dog-sitters through that. It might even be a way to find someone to do it for free, or find a good local rescue group. I've found dog people tend to look out for each other and dogs.
posted by lunasol at 12:13 PM on June 8, 2016

friends and relatives might give surprisingly positive results

Sadly, no. Tried them first, but most are variously constrained, and the rest are not inclined.
Also, no joy on requests to others in recovery.
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far!
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:42 PM on June 8, 2016

MeFi Jobs?
posted by amtho at 2:09 PM on June 8, 2016

Airbnb. I dogsat for someone through Airbnb over a weekend. It went great.
posted by kinoeye at 2:32 PM on June 8, 2016

Try rover.com and ask for references. This time of year it should be easy enough to find a young person to house sit I think. Can you try Nextdoor or other community social media to get a personal recommendations?
posted by fshgrl at 5:39 PM on June 8, 2016

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