HOW DID YOU GET STARTED FOSTERING FOR WAGS AND WALKS?
My girlfriend, Emily, had been volunteering with Wags and Walks for a while, and had told Lesley about her love of big dogs. About 8 months ago, Wags and Walks rescued a beautiful Mastiff named Molly, and we were all set to foster her, but she got adopted before we even had a chance to take her home.
We were a little disappointed (especially Emily, who I think was secretly planning to adopt Molly), but now Lesley knew that we were ready and willing to foster dogs, so waited patiently for the next big dog in need. Imagine my surprise when Emily brought home our first foster -- a tiny 5 pound toy poodle named Alvin. At first, Emily thought that it was some kind of joke (she never saw herself with anything smaller than a 50 pound pooch), but a week later we had adopted him. We've been fostering ever since.
HOW MANY DOGS HAVE YOU FOSTERED, AND WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE (WE WON'T TELL THE OTHERS!)?
We've fostered fourteen dog, which seems crazy since we've only been fostering for 8 months. Obviously Alvin was our favorit
e, but we also fell totally in love with a sweet pitbull puppy with an adorable overbite named Harlow. It was pretty hard to let her go when she got adopted, but she went to a great family who's crazy about her, and we've actually watched her when they're out of town.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WITH FOSTERING?
There are the little challenges like working with untrained puppies, or tiring them out so that they'll go to sleep, but those really just come with puppy territory. In reality, the hardest part is definitely letting the dogs go when they get adopted.
HOW HAS FOSTERING AFFECTED YOU?
I never had pets growing up, and while I've always liked dogs, I've never really been a "dog person". After adopting Alvin, and fostering 13 other amazing dogs, I can safely say that's changed. My co-workers joke about me being the dog whisperer, because more often than not I've got at least two dogs following me around all day at the office. It's been a lot of fun not just getting to know our amazing fosters, but also meeting the people who adopt them, and connecting with others over our shared love of dogs.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE ABOUT BEING A FOSTER PARENT?
How quickly we ended up adopting one of our fosters. We'd talked about adopting before we started fostering, but didn't know if we were ready, and certainly didn't expect to adopt the tiniest toy poodle, but when we met Alvin we just fell in love.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT FOSTERING?
Just do it! I think fostering is a great way to test the waters if you're thinking of adopting but aren't quite ready to make the commitment yet, and it's such an incredible gift to a rescue in need of a good home.