What do you do when you can’t commit to having a pet, but love animals and having a pet in your life? You foster a rescue pet of course!
This is exactly the conclusion that Mark and Lauren came to when they moved to Emerald in 2017. They were always planning to go overseas in the future, and believed that unless they could commit to a dog for its entire life they shouldn’t adopt one. But going years without having a dog in their life? Not an option!
Lauren had fostered for the RSPCA in Mackay and Angel Paws in Townsville, and Mark was ready to get on-board the fostering train as well. So they contacted CQ Pet Rescue, and we were only too glad to sign these two amazing people straight up!
In the two years Mark and Lauren have fostered for CQ Pet Rescue, they have fostered 13 dogs up until they found their forever homes, and temp cared for an additional 22 dogs, puppies and kittens. Most of their permanent fosters have been dogs over 6 months old, but they have always been open to taking any animal that needed help.
Mark and Lauren had a gift in dealing with dogs that tend to fall into the ‘too hard’ basket, which is exactly why they ended up in the pound in the first place. High energy, mischievous, escape artists, untrained…. A lot of these dogs ended up with these two remarkable carers. Suddenly high energy dogs that had been dumped in a backyard and never even been played with found themselves joyfully running 4km a day. Dogs that had never been trained or socialised found themselves learning manners and meeting all kinds of new doggy friends. Escape artists came face-to-face with the wonders of 6ft colourbond fencing.
Lauren stated that she loved being able to work with these dogs and effect a positive change. “We love seeing the change as they learn to trust and love you. Especially the ones that were so scared of you they would initially run away if you tried to pat them, slowly become super loving lap dogs.”
Whilst these two are usually the quintessential team, they did disagree on what the most memorable foster they had in their time with CQ Pet Rescue! “Would have to Tanner for me,” Mark said. “He gave us such a rollercoaster ride when fostering him. He was a little escape artist. He had a number of adoption requests but none of them seemed to work out for him. Then he was diagnosed with heartworm; thankfully he made it through heartworm treatment! Then shortly after, another adoption request came through, and he was adopted by the most amazing family who spoil him rotten! We still get updates from the family and we absolutely love seeing him living it up.”
Whereas Lauren’s favourite was a bit more complicated! “It’s a hard one but I would have to say it is a tie between Wynx and Raven.” Lauren mused. “Wynnie was my baby girl and I loved seeing her grow from being an absolutely terrified pup to a more confident and sweet dog, and so smart! It meant so much to me and Mark to see how much she trusted us. Ray Ray was my best pal, she went from being the most excitable, outrageously ridiculous dog to a calmer, outrageously ridiculous dog! Raven really grew up in the time we had her, and became a truly wonderful dog. Both girls have been adopted to amazing families.”
Lauren and Mark both agreed that they loved fostering for CQ Pet Rescue, and enthusiastically encouraged others to give it a go. “Seriously, do it!” exclaimed Lauren. “People always say to me ‘I couldn’t do it, it would be too hard to say goodbye’, and it is really hard, but I think the little heartbreak I get when each dog goes to a new home is completely worth it. It means I saved that dog’s life and I can now save another. I’d take my heart breaking a million times over if it meant each time I am saving two lives.”
Lauren and Mark are getting ready to finally embark on their overseas trip in August, heading off to the UK where Mark will be teaching and Lauren is hoping to find a position that will allow her to put her science degree (majoring in zoological studies) into use. Lauren stated she miss the CQ Pet Rescue team, and that she had become good friends with so many of the committee girls. “Every meeting and dog drop-off and events always go way over time because we would stop to chat for ages.” she laughed. “It is always great when you are surrounded by likeminded people who care as passionately about animals as you do.”
CQ Pet Rescue would like to wish Lauren and Mark every success in their new lives and hope they have an amazing adventure in the UK. We will miss you both so much, not only for the amazing people you both are, but for the care and dedication you showed to animals who had often never had anyone love them before they met you. Happy travels!!!