Welcome to our Foster Blog. Our purpose here is to expose the beauty of what it’s like to be a foster parent, a window into an amazing experience of compassion. Each and every home has their own story or experience, but what we have come to learn is that there is a common theme among foster parents – the incredibly rewarding feeling of being able to save a life, who had no chance without them. For some, this love often grows into rewarding connections with other like-minded individuals, and for others, it is their own kind of purpose. We hope that these stories will move you, or help you decide if fostering is right for you. One thing is for sure - there are thousands of dogs and cats languishing in desperate situations facing a very sad fate without enough of us to help them. Please join us on an inspirational journey into the power of saving lives.
I’ll start with a quick peek at one of my very own fostering experiences – Saving Blossom. I’ll never forget the first image of this fat, over-bred beagle mommy at Downey Shelter. It was a picture collage and one picture was a snapshot of a very wild eyed, fearful looking girl who didn’t know what was happening to her. Another picture showed her on her back for tummy rubs, all too happy for human affection. I loved her instantly and saw that she was set to be killed very soon. Here I was, a wife with a beagle of my own, a Dalmatian, a pit bull, and two cats. I picked her up from the shelter and she knew she’d gotten a second chance. She just wanted love. I’ve heard it said that you will never experience the feeling of gratitude like when you save a dog you’ve rescued, and I believe it’s true.
Blossom joined our home nicely, settling in with the mix of bigs and littles. She let me dress her up for her photo shoots to market her for the very best home. Of course, I had to dress her up in beautiful flowers to match her name. I’d come to learn many things about her, many true to her breed…like FOOD!!!! I had made the mistake of getting groceries and then picking her up from the vet. After putting her into the backseat of my car and driving home, I could see her bottom through the rear view mirror teetering back and forth on top of the seat, trying to fall head first into the groceries. I’d shout her name and her wild-eyed, bushy tailed eyes and open mouth would look at me like she’d hit the jackpot. I clasped the steering wheel and started laughing. So, she wasn’t always the best in the car, but she had this heart-melting thing about her that soothed a soul, so I let those things go.
On the day Blossom found her family, I knew they were perfect for her. They had their own two beagles. I’ll admit, I felt the need to keep her, of wanting her silliness to be mine, but I stepped back, instead, and saw her future world of walks, morning bed snuggles, and off to the trails for their hikes, and I knew she was already theirs. I also knew there was this other little guy in a desperate situation who needed me now. So I cupped her little face and said, “Baby Girl, I’ve done my job and you’ll always be my girl, but I’ve gotta help this other little guy like I did for you.” I swear the look in her eyes said she understood, but either way, I know now she is exactly where she was meant to be, and I helped be a bridge from despair to a happy life. The perks continue as I see all the great picture texts come to me and I see that she truly has Blossomed. It’s kind of fate - her name. She’s Blossom, and she will always be my girl.
I could go on and on just about her, or I could tell you about the others who’ve equally affected me, enriched my life, made me a better person, made me feel that I hold a very powerful purpose in this life, but I think it’s enough to just say that each and every time I do this, it stands alone, as if it, and only it, is the greatest thing I’ve EVER done.
The following entries are our very own foster parents and their stories. We hope that their stories touch you, and just maybe, they will inspire you to become a lifesaver, too.
Outreach / Adoption Coordinator
4Life Animal Rescue