We still can’t find the words to express how powerful and meaningful the last year has been to us. We have learned so much about dogs, about ourselves, about marketing, about writing, and about friendship, and it has been a joy to share it with our online community. Rather than struggling to find a few eloquent words that would inadequately sum up our year, here are a few humble stats:
Posts written: 262
Post comments: 5,500+
Blog views: 153,000+
Strangest web searches leading to clicks on our blog: “cat climbs cherry tree;” “what dog behaves like pancho villa;” “does stevie wonder swim;” and “incredible hulk and his girlfriend”
Dogs who have shared our home: 7
Foster dogs we have fallen in love with: 7
Dogs who found their perfect forever-home: 6
Dogs we tried but could not save: 1
Dogs whose lives were saved by our foster dogs’ inspiration: 5+
Dogs who were returned to us or the rescue: 0
Dogs who we have missed after they were gone: 7
Longest foster: Lollie Wonderdog, 3.5 months
Shortest foster: TANK, 8 days
Dogs who kept their foster names in their forever-homes: 3
Most popular posts: Pit bull awareness: words do matter; and How to save a life through dog fostering.
Silliest posts: Gonzo’s breed report; and Giving thanks and a dance party.
Most difficult post: Goodnight, sweet Blue.
Favorite foster-written posts: Stevie’s summer vacation Part 1 and Part 2.
Walks in the cold rain taken with foster dogs: dozens
Walks on beautiful sunny days taken with foster dogs: 100+
True friends we’ve made in our own community through fostering: 10+
Friends we’ve made in the blogging community through fostering: dozens
Days we have wished we were not fostering: none.
Have any favorite fosters, moments, photos, stories, or posts from our first year? Do let us know in the comments. We’ve had so much fun reviewing the past year’s happenings, we would love to hear your reflections too!
And most importantly, thanks to all our readers and friends for your inspiration, your compassion, and your friendship. You have changed our lives forever and for better.
Happy “blog-a-versary”! May you go from strength to strength, and may the move (and vacation in between) be happy times leading to even happier ones!
Awesome stats 🙂 I have enjoyed your posts and your journey and hope to read many more 🙂 Good luck on the move and give Chuck an hug all the way from Norway 🙂
I will always love and cry at the letters to your fosters in their new home, but one of my favorite blog posts was the sneak peak introduction of Stevie Wonder. I am pretty sure I mentioned this before, but How To Keep On Keeping On was one of the most inspiring of all your blog posts for me. In a time of incredible sadness for everyone, you still managed to give all your readers hope. Stevie sure did give us all a whole lot of hope when we needed it 🙂
“Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” ― Hope Floats
Kate – Hope Floats is one of my favorite movies!!!! Birdie had the best quotes in that movie!!!
Ooh me too! So good ! 🙂
How to Keep On Keeping On is my favorite too. Breathtaking.
You guys are our heroes. Thanks for all the work you do, and the inspiration you provide for those of us that are just starting to get involved.
Great stats! You forgot the most important one though! Number of Heroes Making it all Possible: 3.
You, Ben, and Chick are amazing for what you do!
So grateful to have found you and shared your journey – at least a little bit! Congratulations and thank you for all you do!
You are so freaking creative! I love this!! Okay so the one year mark and your move are the perfect breaking point to put your book together!!!!
My favorite thing about your first year is how we became bloggy friends!!! I don’t know how I could have managed those first few weeks with Ginger without your constant support and advice! You are awesome and I am SO glad we’re friends now! 😉
You forgot: Number of blog followers who can’t wait for your next foster story.
Since we just found your blog fairly recently, we have loved this opportunity to take a look back over the past year and see what we had missed. Sometimes we laughed, sometimes we cried. Sometimes those tears were tears of joy, and others, as in the case of Baby Blue, they were tears of pain and sorrow. We look forward to the next year … and many more after that.
I read every post but don’t always comment…. I’m a bit more of the lurker type… 😉 I read TONS of blogs but yours is by far my very favorite. What you do is amazing work and thank you for sharing your experiences us.
My favorite is when Stevie discovered swimming! Emily and I will sometimes reference it when we’re impatient to do something (eat dinner? DINNER?!?!). I also liked how Chick would snuggle with his foster sibs.
I think the Gonzo geneology tree was one of my favorite posts! And even 3.5 months for Lollie to get adopted isn’t that long. Love the roundup!
Being new to your blog, I saw your line about losing a foster and clicked to read Baby Blue’s article. I too went thru a similar experience with a sweet brindle boy named Arnie, without going into details of how I lost him, reading your piece on Blue gave me peace of mind. When I was going thru losing him, I felt so alone, like such a failure, and like the only foster home this had happened to. I knew people who fostered for 10 years+ and never lost a dog! I had only been doing it 1 year and was already dealing with a tragedy like this, I thought this is not fair!
But the ordeal changed my life forever, and fully fully cemented my commitment to rescuing pitbulls. Arnie changed and affected me in a way no other dog has or probably ever will. With the help of supportive friends and rescue mentors, I’ve come to think maybe this was his purpose on Earth- to make me into a fierce pitbull advocate and lover, which translates into fostering and finding homeless pitties their place in this world.
Anyways, again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog. And thanks for the piece of mind this morning 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with such heart, truth, and style. We have had our little girl pit bull, Zelda, for 6 months, she is now 18 months old and our life with her has been wonderful but not without some challenges. Reading your blog always makes me smile and inspires me.
I first came across your blog when I was debating whether or not to take on our first real full-time foster, Peeps! I needed some reassurance that this was all going to work out and I was doing the right thing. Looking back, I can’t imagine not fostering Peeps and pulling him from that kennel. I just spoke with his new “dad” today, and hope to see Mr. Murphy this weekend!
Your story of Blue really got me. I don’t have a pitbull, but know plenty great pitties out there around town as well as in rescue. I am behind the breed and can’t imagine what it was like for someone so strong and willing like yourself to go through the goodbye’s with Blue. Will never forget that. I hope I don’t encounter a similar situation myself and hope I’m doing right by my current pittie puppy fosters!
Congratulations on a wonderful year and looking forward to reading about many more beautiful fosters. All your fosters have been beautiful, but, as someone who adopted a very shy, shut down dog, I have a soft spot for Stevie Wonder…just loved seeing her transformation.
Whooooa! That’s lots a words
Benny & Lily
Once found, I read every entry, sometimes more than once…your candor, clarity, and compassion speak volumes for your fosters and you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I’ve loved ’em all. Lollie the Wonderdog got me hooked, but Mr. Gonzo Bunny Ears? Those bunny ears! I have to say, all the fosters have impressed me beyond words, but when it comes down to it, it’s thumbs and paws up to Sir Chick. He’s so tolerant, and yet does such a good job of teaching the ‘new kids’ the boundaries. He’s our hero! 🙂
I love the google searches that led people to your page, too funny!
My favorite foster would have to be Gonzo Bunny Ears. Who can resist those ears?!
Its been a great year!
Stop on by for a visit
Obviously (to you) Lollie had the most personal meaning out of all of them but whether or not I knew them before you took them home or not each one of your fosters came to mean something special to me. It would be hard to pick my favorites out of all those posts but I think that the one with fosterdad singing to Stevie…that one got to me. More than anything by you guys fostering and starting this blog it gave me a chance to meet some people who were DOING SOMETHING. In a world full of people with good intentions you reminded me that sometimes people actually go about helping others.
Reading Chick’s story was one of my favorites. I loved how you left us hanging about why he kept smelling Mexican food and laundry.
John over at ohmidog.com turned me on to you and your blog. I haven’t missed a post. Thank you for blogging.
I love that blog too! I check it probably once a week generally.
Wonderful way to look back – happy Blogaversary! 🙂
I have WAY too many favorites to list. Ales, thank you for talking me through a hard decision to let go of a sweet foster boy I grew far too attached to. You emailed me out of the goodness of your heart, giving me the courage to say goodbye. He is now growing and changing and loving life in his new home. We see each other often! I now know that letting go is not the most difficult part of fostering, and that choosing NOT to take the chance on helping a dog in need would be much harder to accept. You and foster dad have the biggest hearts out there, and I look forward to reading your posts each day. Your blog and your advocacy are saving many more lives than you can imagine.
I have WAY too many favorites to list. Alex, thank you for talking me through a hard decision to let go of a sweet foster boy I grew far too attached to. You emailed me out of the goodness of your heart, giving me the courage to say goodbye. He is now growing and changing and loving life in his new home. We see each other often! I now know that letting go is not the most difficult part of fostering, and that choosing NOT to take the chance on helping a dog in need would be much harder to accept. You and foster dad have the biggest hearts out there, and I look forward to reading your posts each day. Your blog and your advocacy are saving many more lives than you can imagine.
Shirley, I’m so glad to hear how well everything is going for him. Isn’t that such a fantastic feeling? I think my favorite parts of fostering are picking out and getting to know a new dog, and then getting happy updates about how my former fosters are thriving. Will you be taking on another? Thanks for making my day 🙂 Aleksandra
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