We realized something remarkable the other day: we know six families who have taken in their first foster dog since we picked up our little blog last fall. Six. And considering we don’t know very many people, that’s a big number! As a break from the Stevie Wonder cuteness, we wanted to take one post to pay tribute to a few of the wonderful and inspiring people in our life who have recently joined the dog fostering ranks, choosing to take the same rewarding, emotional, difficult, beautiful, wondrous journey we’re on.
One of the most fascinating things about this juxtaposition of stories is that each person’s motivation and satisfaction in fostering come from such different places. For us, the goal is to help individual dogs find redemption and elevate the image of pit bull type dogs in our society by presenting them as normal, loving members of our family — but that’s just us. Read on to learn what makes these other amazing fosters tick.
Our friends Kelsey and Shaun stumbled upon fostering while attending an adoption event in Southern California, pondering their first dog. They were intrigued by the concept, and after a series of serendipitous occurences that they call signs (including an encouraging comment from us on their blog!), they decided to give it a try. Their first little darling, Buddy, was just as cute as can be, and now they are hooked — not only on the cuteness that fostering brings into their home, but the chance to learn and grow: “We welcomed our first pup at the end of May, and in a few weeks he’ll be living in Northern California with a loving and compassionate couple with a huge yard for him to play. He’s been the best part of our summer, and we can’t wait for more lessons and growth with each new dog we plan to foster in the future.” Check out Kelsey and Shaun’s beautiful photography, poignant writing, and yummy whole foods recipes on their blog, Happyolks.
We met Josh through our blog after he became a new foster dad to a sweet but fearful little mutt, Suzi. He reached out to us for advice on how to navigate the rescue world and how to do right by Suzi while staying sane (challenging at times to be sure). His reasons for fostering were totally different: “I initially chose to foster for mostly selfish reasons: I wanted a second dog, but couldn’t afford one – so fostering allowed me the second dog at no cost to myself. But during my first foster experience, I realized that a lot more comes with it than I initially expected – and now I do it to help give each dog every chance it truly deserves to have a happy and healthy life.”
Our blogging buddy in Alaska, Alana, actually foster failed with her first foster dog Molly. Alana and her hunny had been planning to adopt a dog and thought they might foster a few in the meantime, but Miss Molly walked straight into their hearts and curled up into a little marshmallowy ball, never to leave again. There was no going back. And yet, they haven’t given up. Through a program at their local shelter that is meant to give dogs a break from shelter life by placing them into homes for a short period, they brought in GI Jane, a darling brindle puppy who looks a lot like our Stevie Wonder! In Alana’s words: “I started fostering because I saw what a great impact bringing a shelter dog into my home and loving them as my own had on the dog’s overall well being and on the people willing to adopt them. I specifically seek out bullies to give them a better chance of finding their perfect forever home by teaching them manners and showing them how to be a part of a family.” Read more about the adventures of Miss Molly, her occasional foster siblings, and her dear parents here.
For another friend of ours, Emily, becoming a foster was kind of accidental: “While volunteering with a local humane society, I met Ginger Rogers, a beautiful pit mix who was condemned to be euthanized if no one was able to foster her. Looking at her beautiful but nervous eyes, I knew that she deserved better than to spend her last days alone and scared in an overcrowded shelter. I brought her home that day and have watched in amazement as she has blossomed into this beautiful and confident creature. I am so thankful to be a part of her story, which thankfully, is far from over.” Want to read more about little Ginger, her two canine siblings, and Emily’s adventures? Check out their blog.
There are more — our friend Susan who rescued a stunning blue pit bull off the streets of Pasadena and agreed to take her home when she was deemed “unadoptable” just because she was shy (Susan is still trying to figure out which way is up. Is she fostering? Is beautiful Louise hers for good? Is she just harboring her until another stable solution comes along? Sue isn’t sure but Louise sure is pretty . . . ) The list goes on.
Fostering is hard work, but it pays off, and we’re proud to be in such good company. Thanks to each of you for reminding us every day that the reasons for doing this work are as diverse as the people and dogs who benefit from it.