You too can be a foster parent to a
As an avid animal lover, I
just cant seem to keep my mind off our furry
I have always loved animals. When I was younger I wore a
sweatshirt that read Animal Doctor because it
was my dream to become a veterinarian. When I was
six year old, I got my first kitten and shortly after my
dad surprised me with a white pony for Christmas. I
had two cats growing up, they both passed away last year,
but I still have my pony.
One thing Ive learned about animals is that they
can live a long time. This is something to remember when
considering if having a pet is the right choice for
you remember that they are a big responsibility and
can be expensive, so make sure you are ready before you
take the plunge!
Its been almost eighteen years since I got the pony
for Christmas, and hes still hanging out in the
backyard (thanks to my parents who took care of him while
I was away at college!) After my two cats passed
away, I rescued two new kitties who are both
amazing. Brady was found in a cemetery when he was
about three months old, and Bella was found in a parking
lot when she was two months old. Finally, the
newest addition to the group, Dash, a twelve week old,
chocolate lab/retriever mix puppy was rescued from
In addition to my love for animals, Ive also always
loved to do volunteer, non-profit work. I have
combined my love of animals with my desire to do
non-profit, and Ive recently joined up with an
organization called One Tail at a Time Rescue out of
Haverhill. This rescue organization was founded by Meg
Reynolds of Haverhill. I have never met anyone with a
bigger heart than Meg. She makes finding rescued
puppies homes, her full-time job.
This new passion of mine became
a reality when I happened to see a woman at the
vets office with a beautiful little puppy. I asked
where she got the puppy and she told me she found it on
petfinder.com. So one day, I thought I might just check
out petfinder.com .and the rest if history! This is
a fabulous website where the viewer can browse through
thousands of homeless pets.
I stumbled upon the group called One Tail at a Time
Rescue and saw that they needed foster homes so I thought
I would inquire. The next thing I knew, I was filling out
a foster application.
Being a foster home means providing a safe,
loving, temporary home for a puppy or dog, while the
rescue reviews applications for adoption. Usually the
puppy is in your home for only a few days, maybe a week.
Most of the time its very temporary.
After I returned the application, I received an email
that said I could have a puppy tomorrow to
foster. One thing led to another and I found myself waiting in my
car outside Main Street Animal Hospital in
While I was waiting for Meg to arrive, I felt both
nervous and excited at the same time. Not only did my
parents (I still live at home) have no idea about my new
venture, but I had never done something like this before.
When Meg finally arrived, she brought me to the back room
of the animal hospital. There in the metal crate, were
three adorable puppies with their tails wagging.
Which one do you want Pick one she said.
I had absolutely no idea how I was going to choose one
puppy over the other, they were all so precious! The
doctor came in and advised me to take the calmer dog,
considering this was my first time. I thought that
was great advice; therefore I chose the lab/retriever
female puppy named Red.
When I got home my mom and dad practically fell on the
floor when they saw me walking in carrying this adorable
little puppy. They panicked because they thought this was
my own puppy, and they didnt think I needed anymore
pets. After I assured them that we were just fostering
her for a few days, their heart-rate became normal again.
As each day went by, I fell more and more in love with
Red. I took her everywhere, she was my little buddy. I
called Meg and told her I wanted to keep Red, that I
would do anything to adopt her. She told me that there
was already an application in for her and that everyone
always loves the first foster dog and wants to adopt. She
told me to be patient and to keep fostering and maybe one
day I would find another I would want to keep. On the
fourth day of fostering Red, I received a call from Meg.
who said she needed to meet because Red was going to her
new adoptive family.
I cried driving to meet Meg, I
cried as I handed Red over, I cried as I drove home, and
I even cried that night. I was so sad.A week passed
and I received another call from Meg. I have
another puppy for you, she said. My heart was
racing during the whole car-ride to meet her. I had such
a great experience with Red that I couldnt wait to
Meg opened the back of her Explorer, SUV and there were
about five dog crates inside,filled with the cutest
puppies I had ever seen. She handed me a black lab named
Brandy.The story that follows is the same story as with
Red. -Brandy was a great dog, such a sweetheart. I
actually went to the adoption when Brandy was meeting her
new parents. Since I had lived with her for a week, I was
able to give them an inside look as to what Brandy liked,
didnt like, and what her habits were.. And,
just as I did with Red, I cried as I drove away.
My third foster experience had a bit of a different
ending, however, this time I kept her. Dash, a 12wk
old chocolate lab/retriever mix, is now a permanent part
of my family. I love her, and Im still
fostering today. Right now I have 8 wk old Patsy
and Penny, also some of the cutest puppies I have ever
The best part about fostering is receiving pictures and
updates from the adoptive families after they have moved
on. You become so attached to these puppies that it makes
you happy to see what a great life they have.
These puppies are rescued from a very
high-kill shelter in Virginia. If it
wasnt for Meg, these puppies would most likely have
been euthanized. The dogs know the tough past
theyve had, and all they wish is for a safe and
love-filled future. There is nothing better than coming
home and seeing their tails wagging, eager to give you
big, wet kisses!
Next month: How you can foster a puppy (or adopt a puppy
that is already in a foster home), tips on how to care
for your pet and advice on the best way to keep up on
your puppys health.
information about adopting or becoming a foster puppy you
can email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com The December 2007
Edition of the Valley Patriot The Valley Patriot is a Monthly
All Contents (C) 2007, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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