Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we’ve been honoring all of the mothers in the Wags and Walks world these past two weeks across our social feeds. Today’s Foster Friday is a continuation of that celebration as we put the spotlight on Mikayla. Mikayla isn’t just the dog mom to two Wags and Walks alums, she has also been the foster mom to four other dogs with us, and she is an all around animal lover who volunteers with Wags across our organization.
On Mother’s Day we send a special note to the mother-figure(s) in our lives. For some of us, that’s multiple people. For Wags and Walks, we have so many mothers of all kinds to be thankful for every single day, including Mikayla. But before we get too far into the emotions of Mother’s Day, we’ll let Mikayla’s story do the Mother’s Day emotional gushing for us!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I'm an elementary school teacher, writer, and dog mom to two pitties, Mae and Bean. Champion of children, and animals, and all things creative.
What got you started fostering for Wags and Walks?
I started fostering two years ago, when I heard about the Riverside dogs who needed our help. I had a small, unfriendly chihuahua and didn't know if it would even work, but I just had to try. That's when I met my little angel Mae. I brought her home and gave her a bath, and she jumped straight into my bed. I laid down next to her, and she put her head on my shoulder and sighed. Within 24 hours I foster failed with her!
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 fostered about 6 dogs, and failed with TWO, so Mae and Bean have to be my obvious favorites. However, I recently fostered one of the Kings pups, Muzz, and she absolutely stole my heart. It was hard to let that sweet face go, but it was even sweeter to see her find a wonderful new home.
What has been your biggest challenge fostering?
NOT KEEPING THEM LOL.
How has fostering affected you?
I know this might seem ridiculous, but I think fostering has grown my heart, like, five thousand times. Every time I see one of my fosters go to a loving home that's just been waiting for them, my heart feels like it's going to explode. It's like, you know, intellectually, that helping others is a wonderful thing, right? But, when you are able to actually, physically, immediately help a dog in need, there's no feeling like that in the world.
What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?
I think the biggest surprise to me must be how easy it is to so deeply love a dog that isn't mine and how easy it is to see them off when they go - I love them like they are my own when they are with me, but I am so ecstatic to see them with their forever family when they get adopted. It's just a double joy.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?
I would say, DO IT! It has been one of the most wonderful, worthwhile, rewarding experiences of my life. I would also say: expect the unexpected. Fosters need patience, flexibility, and a healthy sense of humor!
If you want to learn more about being a foster parent with Wags and Walks, stop by our Adoption Center or check out our foster page on our website. We would love to talk more with you! As Mikayla said, being a foster parent is an unbelievably rewarding and wonderful experience. It is full of unexpected challenges and surprises, but it teaches you so much, and of course helps you laugh more about the little things.
From the proud dog moms of the nearly 100 litters of pups we have helped save, to our foster dog moms, and the moms of our Wags and Walks alum, we are so lucky to be surrounded by endless motherly love. And to all of the mothers in our community, we hope your Mother’s Day is a relaxing one...that potentially involves a long walk with an irresistibly cute pup.
Still searching for that perfect Mother's Day gift? Consider making your gift this year a monthly or one time donation in honor of a mom in your life. Your gift will help us continue saving more dog moms and their litters, like the wonderful pups in the photos of today’s post. For more information on how to donate, and dedicate your donation to a person of your choice, visit our donations page.