February is a month filled with love, especially this week following Valentine’s Day. Since we have a thing for our fosters, we wanted to get in on the trend of showing appreciation this week and share our love for our amazing foster, Alessandra Cecconi. She is currently fostering our little fluffy pup Heartly and took some time to talk with us about her puppy love for Wags and Walks:
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I recently moved from NYC and work at the World Surf League. At home in the Bahamas, my house consists of 4 kids, 4 cats, and 2 dogs. Each cat was found as a kitten in the bush by one of us kids and the dogs came from a local shelter.
What got you started fostering for Wags & Walks?
I fostered in NYC because I couldn't have a forever dog just yet. When I moved to LA in October, I immediately researched shelters to foster with because I needed that puppy love. I'm so happy I found Wags and Walks!
To date, how many dogs have you fostered for Wags? Do you have a favorite?
Since starting in October I have fostered 3 puppies, who have all been so different that I can't pick a favorite.
What has been your biggest challenge fostering?
Because we only foster puppies, the sleepless nights are always a challenge. Our current foster, Heartly, was the first pup I had who was terrified of other dogs to the point of yelping and running away when she saw one across the road. But with some patience and some treats it took her less than a week to be able to sit quietly when a dog walks by and even go say hi on her own.
How has fostering affected you?
Fostering is incredibly rewarding; healing them from sickness, gaining their trust, building their confidence, and seeing the connection they have with their forever parents is an incredible experience. It has also shown me what it takes to own a dog full time and what traits do/don't fit my lifestyle.
What has been your biggest surprise as a foster parent?
That two puppies are easier than one!
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming a foster?
It's a lot of work, especially the first couple of days, but don't give up! The more a scared/anxious dog is moved around, the less they can settle. Just push through the night crying or the timidness because once they open up, it can be like a completely different dog! When fostering puppies, have Nature's Miracle on hand at all times. Do your research on different breed traits- no two dogs are the same and not all training techniques work the same way. Saying good-bye can be hard, but they won't think you've abandoned them once they see a new toy or treat :). When you see the love in their adopter's eyes, it makes letting go so much easier.
You can join Wags and Walks' foster program too! Also, share this post with your friends and family so we can continue expanding our foster program. It saves dog’s life and makes an for an unforgettable experience!
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?