I have so much love for each of the dogs I’ve fostered. Each night before I fall asleep I still think of them and send them good wishes and lots of love. I have fostered eight dogs since I first started in 2015. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I foster. I always thought it would be too painful. As such a dog lover, how could I ever form such a close bond with an animal and then have to say goodbye to them once they are adopted? And trust me, for me, the goodbyes always do involve tears. But these are a special type of tears. Normally when we say goodbye to someone or something we have loved, it’s colored with loss, grief, pain, and sadness. But these goodbyes are unique in that they are not marked by the feelings of loss alone. These goodbyes are overwhelmingly about new beginnings, love, happiness and a forever family for a creature that once had no one to call their own. And while the goodbyes can be painful at first, take my word for it, they are so worth it.
Meet Vanessa. Vanessa was my first foster dog ever. She was a teeny tiny six-week-old puppy when I first started fostering her. She is a black lab/Australian shepherd mix that came from a hoarding case. I had her for about two months. As you can tell, she was cute as can be. She now lives with an amazing family in the suburbs of New York.Meet Koby. He was such a sweetie! I picked him up directly from Manhattan Animal Care and Control (ACC). Koby was just a bundle of love. I temp fostered him for just a few days before he went to his permanent foster home.I saw Koby at a shelter adoption event, about a week after I had fostered him. He remembered me immediately. When I opened his cage door to say hi he literally leapt into my arms and showered me with non-stop kisses. After rescuing him from ACC, and just giving him a warm place to sleep, good food and lots of love, he was clearly so, so grateful. The picture below is from that day at the shelter. Meet Sophia. Sophia was such a sweetie too. Sadly, she was in rough shape when I got her. She was originally found as a stray. She was a senior dog and was missing the fur on her body. Since she came in as a stray it was hard to know exactly what happened to her fur. Luckily with good nutrition, lots of love and a cozy sweater, she was warm and comfortable and on her way to being healthy again. She always looked like she had a smile on her face. She just wanted to follow me around and make me happy.Meet Tum Tum or Tummy, as I liked to called him. You may remember him from my Instagram account. Everyone on the street always stopped to talk to him because of his cute little grin with his tongue hanging out. He was also a senior dog, very well-behaved and easy to take care of. His favorite activity was sitting on my lap. I mean…that face! C’mon!What I would wake up to in the morning… 🙂 Meet Oliver. Oliver was such a heartbreaking case in the beginning, but he had quite the happy ending. He showed up at ACC as a stray with an eye that was terribly injured and almost falling out of his head. Animal Haven, the shelter I’m involved with, scooped him up and got him the veterinary care he needed to remove his eye and alleviate his pain. After having him for a few days I realized that not only was Oliver down one eye, but he was deaf too! He didn’t let those special needs stop him at all. He made a miraculous recovery and in no time was happy as can be, running up and down my hallways like a puppy. I fostered him for about three weeks before he was adopted and moved to Jersey. You can read my full post on Oliver and his story, here. Snuggling makes everything better. For humans and animals alike. How cute is he in his little red sweater? I loved taking photos of him with my real camera.
However, he wasn’t always happy to sit for his photoshoots…Meet Stevia and Agave. Stevia and Agave were the first twosome I fostered. These girls were adorable. When I started fostering them they were eight-weeks-old. They are chihuahua/dachshund mixes and sweet as can be. Their personalities were so different. Stevia, the one standing up, just wanted to be held. She was quiet and well-behaved. Agave on the other hand was full of energy and super playful! These girls came from a hoarding situation as well.This photo below sums up their personalities perfectly. Stevia, cuddling, looking up into my eyes…Agave in the background on her back, blurry from moving around and being so playful. Play hard, nap hard. There’s really nothing like waking up in the morning to a warm little puppy draped across your neck. Meet Dickey. Dickey was my longest foster. I had him for over four months. Dickey is a senior dog and he is blind and deaf. Even with his special needs he was well-behaved and easy to housetrain. He was my longest foster just because he needed time to find the right home that would love him to pieces and knew how to care for his special needs. I love this little guy so much! A totally candid moment I captured below. Did they communicate somehow to all lay this way? Was it a total coincidence? I’ll never know for sure, but whatever it was, it sure felt special to see the bunnies and the blind/deaf doggy all sitting together like this.Feeling the breeze through his fur and happy as can be!
All the guys and girls I’ve fostered have been adopted, but keep in mind that this is just a glimpse into the millions of animals looking for their forever homes each year. If you’re thinking of adding a new furry friend to your family please consider adoption so you can save a life and end up with an amazing forever friend just like Vanessa, Koby, Sophia, Tum Tum, Oliver, Stevia, Agave or Dickey. ♥
If you have questions about fostering or adopting, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.