Another Home for the Holidays
"Home for the Holidays" is a project that I began last holiday season. The idea behind the project was that I would adopt a stranded pet from the pound and give him/her the opportunity to be as spoiled as my own pets during the month of December. I decided that the project would essentially run for the month and then I would knowingly place the pet back into the pound where (with the increased stats etc.) he/she may have a better chance of being adopted.
Alas, this was not the case.
How long did I end up housing my foster pet for? 131 days. I don't regret one day of it.
Before I began my project, I took about a week or so to do some studying on the various pets in the pound. I wanted to really make a difference in this pet's life, and so I was drawn to the pets who had been stuck in the pound for long periods of time (years!)
When I first met Sunny, he was a pale Blue Scorchio whose colour matched perfectly with his emotional state. He had spent almost 3 years (!) in the pound waiting to be adopted, and was also a Neopian elder (3500+ days old!). I did look at pets in a similar situation as he was, but I was drawn to Sunny; He was exactly the kind of pet who looked like he needed a break, and I was there to give it to him.
When I brought Sunny into my Neohome, he was met with nothing but love and support, and despite beginning as a timid creature he became very close to my pets, Designer in particular. The two of them began reading exactly the same books (I would have to buy two of everything) and would spend hours talking about their favourite parts.
Sunny stayed long after the holidays passed, and it was only after a few months that I realized that I was not only treating him as one of my own pets, but he was one of my own pets. He was no longer the timid Scorchio that I had met at the beginning of December hiding in the dark corners of the Neopian Pound; instead he was a confident creature who shone rays of his bubbling personality wherever we went.
Sunny was not only rescued from the pound, but he was given the opportunity to be a part of an amazing and supporting family. He underwent a makeover, gained a pet of his own, began training, and sheltered a love of reading and other activities that he would not have experienced if he remained in the pound. He really was a changed pet, and I knew that when the time came he would be adopted with no problems at all.
Eventually Sunny wished to try and find a new owner to further develop his new skills, and like any good foster parent would, I gave him the chance. Sunny left us (long after December was over) as a changed pet. He had a new outlook on life, which I imagine he took with him to his new family.
**I admit that I check on him from time to time... he seems happy and settled in his new home and I was a part of that! It feels amazing! **
I was a part of an amazing guild at the start of this project, and one of my lovely guild mates decided to take on the project with me for the month! She had similar results that I did, and in her case, her foster pet became a permanent resident in her Neohome. She absolutely adores her pet!
While taking on this project last year, I had no idea where it would go, or what the response would be from other users. The experience that my guild mate and I had with our two foster pets shows the enormous potential of this project and has inspired me to foster another pet at the beginning of December.
So again, for a second year I plan on adopting a pet down on his luck and giving him a family over the holiday season. Speaking from past experience, my pet will more than likely reside with me for a lot longer than a month, but the time and attention that the pet will receive in that time-frame will lasts a lifetime. They will never forget you, and you will never forget them.
I saw the enormous potential in Sunny when no one else did, and helping him find a good home after all of his loneliness in the Pound was worth every moment and Neopoint. I encourage you to take something from this project and incorporate it into your holiday season, because no one should be alone during the holidays, and giving back to a pet in need creates holiday cheer!
Want to join me? Foster your own pet for the holidays and see what an amazing experience it is!
All you need is an open home, open-minded pets, an open SDB (preferably filled with food), and an open closet! You're not only fostering a lost pet, you are fostering a lost personality that has been slowly disappearing within the cold walls of the Neopian Pound. Help a pet regain their personality, and develop a new and more positive outlook on their lives!
Here are few tips to get you started:
1. Find a Neopet that speaks to you.
You don't have to research or spend a week finding a lost pet like I did! Take a trip to the pound and see who catches your eye. A pet like Sunny stood out to me because even with his warm and shining name, he was completely lost. Believe me; you will know the right pet when you see them.
2. Remain open-minded!
Not every pet was granted the new-age "privilege" of having a name without numbers or underscores in it. In order to be a caring foster parent, you must change your outlook on pets like this and give everyone equal opportunity. Sunny had several numbers after his name, but nevertheless he was the pet who needed me.
3. Do one thing a day with your new pet.
You don't necessarily have to make this new pet your active pet and do absolutely everything together, (I know you guys like to match with your avatars and signatures for the boards) but commit to doing one thing a day with your foster pet and they will feel like a part of your family in no time! I began with fun tours around Mystery Island with my foster pet.
4. Be a positive supporter.
Find your new pet a petpet, train your new pet to be a worthy battledome opponent, zap your pet for a unique colour; do anything that will help your pet limit the amount of time that he/she will be in the pound after the holiday season.
I don't think pets should be abandoned in any case, but sometimes it needs to happen. Pets may, at some point in their lives, find themselves in the pound with many other pets just like them. With "Home for the Holidays", we can increase the chances of these pets being adopted into a new home. We give them a warm home and a hot meal over the span of one month, and instantly give them hope that they will find a new and permanent home. Positivity creates positivity, and together, we can change the way pets perceive the Neopian Pound. ♥