What would we do without our volunteer foster parents? They are absolutely essential to our mission, and both the humans and the pups at Wags and Walks are eternally grateful for their generosity and love. For this Foster Friday post, we are featuring our amazing foster, Alexis Paine. So, without further ado, meet Alexis:
About me: I grew up in Maine, always with a huge love & respect for animals that I learned from my Mom. Probably the biggest focus in my life is animals & striving for a happier future for them!! And, I love collecting old pieces of furniture that need some love and bringing them back to life.
Got me started: What got me started fostering was definitely my own dogs. We have two pit bulls, and before getting them, I was never aware of the bad rep they had. Never in my life had I ever stopped to think that because a dog was a certain breed, that meant it was a bad dog. So they really inspired me to want to help the others. Seeing how many dogs are in shelters or just in awful situations really broke my heart and I just wanted to help.
How many foster dogs: We have fostered 4 dogs so far for Wags. I have to say that my favorites were the brothers, Scooter & James Brown. They were our first, and I loved watching them come out of their shells and get adopted into the best homes. They have a special place in my heart.
Biggest challenge: I think the biggest challenge is definitely letting them go. You get so used to having them in your home and they become a part of your family! But seeing them with a great family is so rewarding.
Most rewarding part of it all: Fostering has brought only more love and meaning into my life. Knowing that you can help and do everything for these little guys is really an amazing feeling. I would always feel so helpless when I would see posts about dogs who were about to be killed in the shelters, and I still do, but I always remind myself that we do everything we can to help. You can’t save every animal, which is really a tough reality, but who we do save, is everything and more.
Biggest surprise: My biggest surprise as a foster parent is how quickly our foster [dogs] feel like a part of our family. You never know the dog’s background and what it’s been through, but they are always the most loving regardless of their past. I remember our first fosters, James Brown & Scooter, took a few days to open up but after that it was like they had forgotten about everything they had ever been through. That’s one of the most amazing things about animals, they are so loving, forgiving and loyal.
Advice for someone considering fostering: My only advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster is DO IT! Seriously. It is always the most rewarding experience. You are literally saving dogs and creating memories that last forever. If it wasn’t for the fosters, the dogs would have nowhere to go, and they couldn’t get pulled from the shelter. And the number of dogs that get killed daily in shelters is enough for me. So think about that. It can be tough and emotional, but I think we should be very very thankful that we are able to feel those feelings. Imagine how all the pups feel. <3
Thank you so much, Alexis. Your words are so thoughtful and inspiring. Alexis and all of our extraordinary fosters are an integral part of this ever growing Wags and Walks family we love so much. We are eternally grateful for you and the time you spend making a difference in these precious dogs’ lives.
You can join Wags and Walks' foster program too and please remember to share this post with your friends and family. As Alexis said so well - becoming a foster could not only save the life of a dog in need, but also add unbelievable meaning to your life too.
If you’re looking to adopt, you can find all of our dogs that are available for adoption on our website. And be sure to follow Wags and Walks on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (username: wagsandwalks. Because, really, who doesn’t love seeing photos of adorable dogs with big smiles and even bigger hearts?