Foster Friday – Lynn Gilmartin

Foster Friday – Lynn Gilmartin  

August 12th, 2016

Today we want to introduce you to one of our selfless fosters, who is an integral part of the Wags and Walks family. Lynn is a huge animal lover, having fostered two dogs for us thus far and volunteering at various events. We are extremely grateful for you and truly honored to share your story with our readers. Take it away, Lynn…

“I’m Australian and moved to Los Angeles three years ago when I started working as the anchor of the World Poker Tour on Fox Sports. I’ve been following the poker circuit around the globe for about eight years, which has been priceless. I think I’m slightly addicted to traveling!   

I’ve always had such a deep love for all animals. So much so, that I decided to stop eating them four years ago, which has been the greatest decision I’ve ever made for my wellbeing. I’m passionate about animal welfare, supporting causes such as Oscar’s Law to spread the message of adopting and not shopping, and to hopefully close all puppy factories throughout Australia; Animals Australia who are shining a much-needed light on Australia’s ugly factory farming and live exports industries; Edgar’s Mission, a beautiful sanctuary for all kinds of rescued animals who do amazing work in spreading the message, “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?”, and I’m a global ambassador for Wildlife Warriors, Steve Irwin's family’s foundation which supports the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and countless other wildlife conservation projects around the world. And now, I’m a proud foster momma with Wags & Walks here in Los Angeles.

With all the traveling that I do, it hasn’t been possible to adopt a dog of my own. I've been yearning for a dog’s energy in my home though, so this is the perfect solution. They’re helping me with their love and cuddles, and I’m helping them by giving them a safe place to stay. Win/Win :)               

While taking care of two fosters at once, I had a slight insight into what life would be like as a single mom with a newborn and a toddler... Karmen had been spayed and was recovering at my place (she's in recovery mode in the picture above)! That night Choco needed to pee, but Karmen had finally fallen asleep. She was on the couch and there was no way I was going to move her and wake her up! But I was so scared she would jump off the couch and hurt herself if she saw us walk out the door. After fretting over this issue and failing to convince Choco to break his well-trained house rules and pee inside, I thought of a solution... I called myself on FaceTime and answered from my computer. I was able to turn the computer to look at her and then run out to the street with Choco while supervising Karmen at the same time through my iPhone! Success! She didn’t move and Choco peed in lightening speed. What a relief that was! 

Fostering has affected me in a very positive manner. I live alone most of the time, so having the company at home is really special. The dogs have helped me get into a healthy routine. Waking up early and going straight outside for a walk is such a refreshing way to start the day. 

I thought the hardest part (of fostering) would be getting too attached and being distraught when parting ways. I really surprised myself when Karmen got adopted. We had been through quite an emotional week together and I had fallen so madly in love with her, so I was really sad and anxious the morning I had to take her to meet her new parents. I had met them briefly a few days prior at an adoption fair, so I knew they were lovely people, but I still felt really sad. However, as soon as we met them again, my fear turned into such joy for her. They are a beautiful couple with so much love to give.  So I was truly happy to let Karmen go, and that really surprised me. I mean come on, look at her in her proud papa’s arms!

On advice to give to future fosters; DO IT! Please! In exchange of such a simple act, like letting a friend crash on your couch for a week, you're saving lives. Wags & Walks offer loads of support, and when I’m out of town, they effortlessly find another foster to take care of Choco while I’m gone. I love the community that I’m now a part of on Facebook too, where fellow fosters share pictures and stories and ask questions. If you’re home for a decent amount of the day and you can have dogs in your home, then please, I beg you, help let a little mate stay over for a few days and save them from the shelters where they are filled with fear and confusion and at risk of being put down.”

Thank you so much! Team Wags is eternally grateful for all that you do for everyone around you. If you're interested in becoming a foster, fill out an application here. Make sure to share this post with your friends on social media, so that we can spread the word about how life-changing fostering is! It not only saves dogs lives, but it will change yours too.

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Team Wags