The fostering is all paid for by me, I do get donations and they help out a lot, however I still put out about $900 a month out of my own pocket. The feeling I get saving these animals lives is priceless. Most come from horrible situations, the one girl I rescued about 2 months ago was taken away from her owners who starved her to death and kept her on a two foot chain outside with no shelter. She was infested with fleas, had scabies, kennel cough and was skin and bones. Now she's working towards her Canine Good Citizen. It's priceless.
To tell you the truth, I recommend you foster some puppies from your local pound before you breed. You will learn how to take care of them, and the shelters pay for the whole expense. Once they are able to be adopted, they go back to the shelter and find homes. It is practise before the big thing.
I use to have rats too, they are wonderful pets! I thought they were both females, but nope. They weren't. 12 babies later, I had 14 rats. That was interesting.
Because your dog is motherly and sweet is not a good reason to breed her. She's 5, which is the oldest age you should breed a dog at. Is she AKC registered? Does she have championships? These are the only dogs who really should be bred. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to be honest. If you would really like to help dogs, foster pups from the local shelter and if your cocker is a good mom, she'll help mother them. And again, 5 is very old for a dog to be bred, when you breed them older is increases their chances of cancer of the uterus. In smaller breed dogs such as the cocker spanial, cancer is pretty common.
If your dog does take to the puppies your foster, she is capable of producing milk for them. You really should try this, instead of putting her through a labour that could kill her. If she has good motherly instincts then this would be the ideal situation for her.