As a foster parent of two ageing King Charles Cavaliers, I was delighted to read recently in a magazine of the shared benefits of this special kind of relationship. Looking after a pet in need of a safe home and some TLC is a big responsibility, but I’ve found it certainly comes with many rewards. Our two ‘boys’ (not quite brothers but close in age and having lived pretty much all of their thirteen plus years together) came to us first as a trial run. “We’ll just see how they go,” we said, offering a reprieve to the concerned owners who were moving from a suburban home to an inner-city apartment, with limited pet space. Scout & Ollie came to our rural retreat from pampered surrounds in the suburbs. They enjoyed walks in the nearby gardens, lakeside and dined at the best sidewalk cafes. So, when they were delivered one sunny spring afternoon and immediately took off after unsuspecting rabbits, I wondered about the somewhat spontaneous offer. That was three or four years ago. I can’t remember exactly as it seems like S & O have been with us much longer. They adjusted quickly to life on the farm, chatting to the birds and riding on the tractor. Foster parenting has now turned into a formal adoption with their previous owners, still our close friends, given visiting rights. And we all could not be happier.