Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Fosters

Yesterday, I read about Two Pitties in the City’s experience with their current foster pup, Bella, and it reminded me of all the amazing and deserving dogs (and cat!) I’ve had the honor of fostering over the past three years.

First was L, G’s sister. As they were both teeny little pups when I got them (L was just 3 pounds), I was both overwhelmed and completely in love with the two of them. I remember on several occasions, after the girls were getting sleepy from their 2am feeding, putting L on my lap as I sat on the kitchen floor and having her gently placing her paws on my cheeks so I could kiss them. It was honestly one of the simplest, sweetest moments with a dog I’ve ever had.

Luckily, while I was at work my downstairs neighbors were able to check in on the pups and, ultimately, they ended up adopting L. G and L were super close for the first 2 years and I miss L incredibly, but she’s now happily living out in the Connecticut countryside with her family.

When G was about 8 months, I stumbled across a dog that a rescue was trying to pull from the ACC but didn’t have a foster home to send her to. Her name was Angel and she was, in all ways, just that. She had A+’s on her behavior evaluations and I knew she was going to be our next foster girl.

Angel came in our lives, a 4-year old white and brown-spotted pit/American bulldog, as the most loyal and laid back dogs I’d ever met. She had raging allergies all over her bright-red skin, but was nothing but a doll to both me and G, never giving away that she was in constant discomfort.

 Angel ended up staying with G and me for a few months, until one night, when walking back from my mom’s workplace with the two girls, I [my mother corrected me: SHE] gave Angel a copy of the Financial Times (yeah, why not) to carry home in her mouth. Right as we turned onto our street, a couple stopped dead in their tracks.

“Oh my goodness, how sweet!”The woman exclaimed immediately. My mom and I chatted with them briefly and by the end of it, the woman looked at her husband and said, “You want her, don’t you?” To which, he simply nodded, never taking his eyes off of Angel.

To make a long story short, Angel was quickly fostered and then adopted by this couple right down the street. I got to see her very often when I was in Midtown and am so happy that this wonderful girl was finally in an equally wonderful forever home.

This was Angel's family's Holiday card this year (I die!):

A few months later Hazel came into our lives. Hazie, a blonde pittie/beagle mix, was with G and for about a month (during which we had another female pittie, Lucille, with a broken leg in the home too – a little crazy!) and again, was the most soul-stirringly sweet dogs on the planet.

Hazie spent Christmas of 2009 with my mom and I and G before she was adopted a week later by an older lady in Brooklyn with whom she bonded immediately.

Next was Kelly. Kelly was a teeny tiny little brindle whippet/pit mix – if she was larger than 25 pounds, I would be shocked! She was scared of just about everything, but G’s fearless nature seemed to help her grow into her surroundings and blossom into a good nature, inquisitive little girl. Unfortunately, G and Kelly got into it badly one day over food (my fault) and after a $500 vet bill on my end, we had to have Kelly go to a different foster home while G healed.

After that experience, I was a little tentative to foster again. As much as fostering made me feel like I was making a difference, I couldn’t put G into a situation where she was in danger of getting hurt. During this time, instead of fostering, I instead spent my time helping the rescue I was working with in other ways: coordinating and working at adoption events, helping other fosters with their dogs and transporting dogs around the metro area (oh, how I miss my car!).

Finally, the head of the rescue convinced me to give fostering another try, this time with a 4 year old wirehaired Dachshund, Georgie, who was pulled from a rural Ohio home that had over 40 other neglected animals.

Georgie, as I’ve mentioned here before, was the sweetest pup ever. He was such an old man and totally tolerant of G, who was still in the final stages of puppyhood. Georgie ended up going with me and the rescue on the CBS Early Show on Thanksgiving in 2010 to promote the rescue and he was quickly adopted by a couple in a New Jersey with a young child.

(Drag the video to about the 3 minute mark to see everyone!)

To this day, I often think about my sweet Georgie and hope he’s doing well (I’m sure he is!).

In the middle of all these canine foster experiences, there was a black kittie, Nettie, who ended up going to a young man here in the city. While Nettie was never too thrilled with me (a female), she instantly bonded to her new male caregiver and I can’t say enough how serendipitous that adoption was for her.

Throughout it all, I can say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting and sharing even a few weeks of my life with all these pups. If you’re thinking about fostering, one of the most important things is working with a responsible rescue that will support you. That being said, fostering is one of most rewarding experiences, albeit a little bittersweet, that I’ve ever had!


  1. Wow, you have had a lot of fosters! It is one of the most important things to do, though we are only on our second foster. It does take a lot of coordination and planning, though it is so rewarding to see them in their new homes.

  2. Wow, you have had a lot of fosters! It is one of the most important things to do, though we are only on our second foster. It does take a lot of coordination and planning, though it is so rewarding to see them in their new homes.