As we gear up for Thanksgiving, it is time to take a step back and think about everything that we are thankful for this year. From the dogs we have the chance to rescue to all of our selfless volunteers and staff, there is a lot for us to be thankful for here at Wags & Walks.
Our success depends on the helping hand of those in our community, and one of the biggest contributions made to our organization is from our foster parents. Fosters are paramount to our success and they provide endless love and support to dogs in need. Words cannot begin to describe how thankful we are for them.
Our fosters always tell us how unique of an experience fostering a dog is, and we love nothing more than when a first time foster parent turns into a long time volunteer. Today’s Foster Friday puts a spotlight on Lor, one of our “veteran fosters,” so to speak. She is a pit bull lover and has fostered countless dogs with us over the years. We hope Lor’s story inspires you over this holiday season; it sure shows us how much we have to be thankful for!
Tell us a bit about yourself
Um, self described Northern California Hippy Chick…We had cats growing up, plus a shepherd mix, Hero, who was very bonded to my mom. She was the only one in the family who wasn’t thrilled to get a dog, but he loved her and followed her everywhere, and eventually she loved him back. I’m all about the pits and pit mixes. I found Arlo on a freeway in San Francisco back in ’95, and haven’t looked back. In my experience, they’re the most sensitive and emotionally intuitive dogs around. If you want a “Vulcan mind meld” relationship with your dog, get a pit bull.
What got you started fostering for Wags & Walks?
I knew Lesley through adoption events but was fostering long term for another rescue. I ended up adopting that dog and offered to foster Hope, a young pit who had bounced around a few fosters. I fostered her for 13 months. She was a very sweet dog, but needed a stable home with structure. I knew whoever her forever parents were, it would be a love at first sight/soul connection, and I was right.
To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve fostered about 20-ish dogs and pups. My favorite was Riley, of course. I fostered her for a couple of months before she was adopted by an older couple. When she was returned 5 months later, I adopted her. They said she’d been crapping and peeing all over their living room, but with me she’s always been perfect. Brooklyn was very tempting, but she was too interested in my cat.
What has been your biggest challenge fostering?
Because I mostly foster pits, pack management. The intro period where everyone is getting used to each other. I have to stay alert and provide boundaries and the like the first few days. Also, when one of my pack has passed away, it changes the dynamics of the pack at large. Now I have a couple of cats, so I’ll be screening for prey drive.
How has fostering affected you?
I’ve gotten a lot better at pack management, being a pack leader. I carry that into other areas of my life. I’m also more open, more fluid, both with the hellos and goodbyes.
What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?
How resilient they are, going from wherever they came from, to the shelter, to my place, to their forever homes.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?
Do it. It’s one of the most generous and rewarding things you can do. People often say they’re afraid of getting too attached, but it’s magical when the family that was “meant to be” comes along. It’s always great to see that “click” that happens when they meet their adopters. It’s usually palpable, and it’s clear when they walk off with their new families that they’re walking into their great new life. It’s only possible because you said “yes, I’ll foster.” And then you can turn around and help another dog who otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance.
The special bond Lor has with her dogs is truly magical, and we couldn’t agree more with what she said about the resilience she sees with the dogs she fosters and adopts. These dogs have been through so much, but their constant love, understanding and appreciation is something to be admired. Every day our dogs are thankful for us and we are so very thankful for them.
We cannot express how lucky we are to have such amazing foster volunteers like Lor who help us save as many dogs as we can each year. The holiday season is about friends & family, and our family at Wags & Walks is forever growing! If you are interested in becoming a foster parent with us, we would love to talk to you! You can find more info about our foster program on our website.
We hope you enjoyed Lor’s story! To stay updated on what’s new at Wags & Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?