Hello to June and hello Elise Tate - one of our amazing foster moms! Elise is truly one of a kind, as she’s somehow found the time to dedicate to fostering dogs despite her busy work schedule and traveling every month. One thing we’ve learned from her story is that if she can do it, you can too!
Elise recently fostered the sweet Evie, who was treated like a queen before finding her forever home. Fosters like Elise put in so much time and effort to make our pups feel special and loved, and that’s what fostering is all about! Without further ado, here is Elise Tate:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m recently married, have two jobs, I love to travel, and of course, I love rescuing animals.
What got you started fostering for Wags and Walks?
It was a God send! My husband and I live in Michigan for half of the year (and foster animals there) and live in California the other half of the year. After fostering in Michigan, we were hoping to do the same here in Los Angeles! One of my neighbors happened to be Megan, who works for Wags and Walks. I was introduced to her via a mutual friend who knew we shared the same passion for helping animals.
To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite? (Don't worry, we won't tell the others!)
I’ve only fostered two dogs from Wags and Walks - one last year and one this year. My sweet Evie, who was my most recent foster, would have to be my favorite foster yet. All rescue pups have a distinct appreciation and loving yet thankful demeanor to them, but Evie was just on another level. She was so easy to take care of and was instantly my best little bud. I took her everywhere I went!
What has been your biggest challenge fostering?
Honestly, the biggest challenge with fostering really doesn't have to do with any of the dogs, it's more so my schedule and overcoming my out of town obstacles. I am never in town for a month at a time, so just nailing down a few weeks when I’ll be home is my issue. The flexibility of Wags and Walks has made it possible for me to foster whenever I am in town. The staff and other volunteers are just so amazing and accommodating. If I can make time to foster being newly married, moving two times a year, having two jobs, and running a non-profit then…. trust me… I promise you can do it too!
I thought the most challenging part of fostering would be a number of things including: training and breaking habits, or even giving the dogs back after growing attached, but honestly all of these things weren’t issues. When you foster an animal, you just become so connected to them, feel for them, and can see how grateful they are that you are showing them love. I think all foster parents can agree that you just have this innate drive to nurse them back to health and find them a forever home. The challenges I thought I’d have turned out to be motivators. I cannot say enough good things about fostering. If you do have any type of issue or need assistance during the process, the Wags and Walks staff are there to guide you every step of the way.
How has fostering affected you?
Sounds corny, but it has definitely made me a better person. I have a different level of empathy and patience for all animals, which has actually translated into a great level of empathy and patience for people!!
What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?
I could not have predicted the level of fulfillment fostering would give me. People are always saying, “oh I could never let them go, I couldn't do this I couldn't do that”… well yes you can! I have become so proud of the dogs I foster for every little accomplishment, because you see SUCH a drastic change in the animal every day. Fostering is beyond rewarding… and addicting!
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?
Do it. Push aside all of your possible excuses such as not having time, fear of getting attached, or not having a big enough yard or even a yard at all, etc. Trust me, these dogs are just thankful to be with you, and you’ll figure out a way to make it work. The fulfillment you get as a foster parent is indescribable, but it keeps you coming back for more!
Thank you, Elise, for sharing your foster experience with us! As she said, fostering is “beyond rewarding” and we can’t agree with her more! Like so many fosters, Elise has given so much unconditional love and care to her fosters, which truly helps the pups in their journey to finding their furever home.
If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, please check out our foster page.