Ben – Fosterer

Location: Cheltenham, UK

Role at the charity: Volunteer Fosterer, Website Builder, Social Media

Why did you join Geordie Bullies?
I was at an event called Paws in the Park in summer 2017 and got talking to the volunteers at the Geordie Bullies stand. They explained that they needed fosterers and I after I met a few of the dogs I felt like I had to do it.

What appealed to you about fostering?
We always had animals growing up, however as I was living in Manchester city centre for 12 years, I could never have pets. I moved back to Cheltenham in 2017 out of the city centre and wanted to get a dog, however due to my work and travelling I didn’t feel I could commit and take on the responsibility.

I used Borrow My Doggy a few times which was great, however fostering I feel gives me more purpose and it’s satisfying to know that I am helping give a dog another chance. When I settle down a bit I would like to adopt a bulldog, however at the moment fostering fits my situation.

How many dogs have you fostered?
I’ve fostered 2; Archie and Myrtle. Both very different, but both had amazing personalities.

What is the biggest challenge with fostering?
As I live alone the biggest challenge was having to factor everything I did around the fostering. After a while it got easier when I got into a routine, but at first it took some getting used to. I also knew nothing about English bulldogs, so it was very fun learning about the breed.

What have you learned from fostering?
Archie had a condition called screw-tail which needed surgery. So I helped him through his operation and looked after him until he was ready for adoption. I have learned a lot about the breed and how to look after bulldogs. I have also learned about how they come to get picked up by the charity, and it’s very sad the situations some of the dogs find themselves in.

What do you like the most about English Bulldogs?
Considering what some of the dogs go through, I think it’s amazing how resilient they are. I had never really met an English bulldog before, however after fostering, I wouldn’t get another breed. They have so much personality and are so friendly and loving. Both Archie and Myrtle showed no aggression and were amazing with my friends and family.

Do you have any advice for people looking to foster?
My main advice would be to not expect the perfect dog. All dogs will have issues and their own personalities, so be prepared to be adaptable. That’s most of the fun of fostering though in my opinion.