Fostering is a key part of the rescue process. But sometimes, it can go wonderfully awry, as Claire and her family found when they fostered Beanie back in 2006. What started as an emergency warm-bed for the weekend turned into life-long forever home, with Beanie being a big part of Claire’s family life ever since.
It all started on a regular Friday night when Claire received a phone call from a friend at SAFE Perth - after finding a disadvantaged puppy at the local pound that was due to be euthanised, the shelter was in desperate need of an emergency short-notice foster carer over the weekend.
Claire, determined to do what she could to save a life, said she would love to help out. Beanie was dropped off that night, and Claire knew straight away that there was something special about the little pup.
“Originally, it was only going to be for a couple of days. But after a week, we couldn’t bear to give her up. My husband and I grew really attached. Eight years later, and I couldn’t imagine life without Beanie. We’ve barely been apart since. She’s the ultimate foster fail!”
It was tough for Beanie at first; underweight, undernourished and nervous, she needed some extra special TLC to help turn her fortunes around. Claire was there to offer that from day one - determined to give Beanie the care she deserved.
“Beanie was very thin, somewhere between 14 and 15 kilos. Luckily, she quickly got back on her feet and became part of the family. Fully-grown, she’s now 25 kilos and bursting with energy. Despite initially needing some essential vet work and prosthetics in her knee, she’s really active now. Very high-octane. She had her surgery about four years ago, and can pull up a bit sore after a trip to the beach. That’s not going to stop her though - she’s always going to love chasing her ball or playing in the ocean!”
Claire says the real key to helping Beanie recover was her obedience training. Through the lessons they undertook together, the duo bonded and came to understand each other really intimately. “After completing her course, she responds to instructions with just one word. She’s so clever and fits into our family really well.”
A few years after adopting Beanie, Claire and her husband had a son, Angus. “They’re best friends,” Claire smiles. “Angus has grown up with Beanie around, and the two of them are pretty much inseparable.”
Not only that, Beanie was a real hit with the family’s other pets too. “We used to have these two cockatiels, and they had a lot of fun pecking away at Beanie when she lay next to them. She didn’t mind, and the two birds thought it was great having a friend!”
Now, the family menagerie has grown even larger with the addition of Boris, an eight-month old red heeler.
“Boris is deaf but full of energy, and Beanie is getting on in age now and a little bit grumpier, but they’re good friends.
“It’s going to be very sad when Beanie passes on. She means a lot to our family and we’re so happy we made the decision to help save her life.”
If reading this Happy Tail inspired you to consider adopting, we have thousands of adorable pets waiting for their forever homes right now.
You can help us keep saving pets too, by making a donation to our rehoming programs. It costs just $10 to match one of our rescue pets with their new family.