Fostering will change your life. The animals you love, feed, care for, protect, and find homes will hold a piece of your heart. Sometimes, they take that little piece with them when they go home leaving you a little emptier – and ready to fill it back up with another pet in need. Below are some of the VIFP’s (Very Important Foster Pets) I’ve met, loved, and helped re-home in my life.

Fred

Fred was my first truly tiny little man – and as a lover of chihuahuas and teenie tiny dogs, Fred’s whopping 4.5lbs when he first arrived in my home was truly incredible. He had a previously broken jaw, which was corrected while in rescue, and (unrelated) had been thrown out of a moving vehicle with two other pups; one was hit and killed by oncoming traffic.

Fred was gentle. Fred was sweet. Fred was affectionate on his terms. He did little happy dances when he was really excited about something I was cooking. He loved wearing clothes and burrowing under blankets – you had to be careful where you sat down in case there was a Fred under there!

Fred was also one of my first seniors, and I just adore senior pups. I guess what made Fred most special was that he was always sweet and happy, I don’t think he ever did anything wrong… and even if he did I blamed the other dogs, because Fred was too perfect to be bad!

Roxy Hart

This dilute tortie was a beautiful mama cat with three kittens. She wasn’t my first mama and she wasn’t my last, but this beauty was talkative at dinner time, friendly toward everyone, gentle, and affectionate. She was one of those pets where you think to yourself, I could fit one more, couldn’t I? But, even better, she was adopted by a family friend, so I still get to see how she’s doing! And boy, is she SPOILED!

Roxy is MUCH happier as an only kitty – at my house, no matter how happy she seemed, she over-groomed from stress and lost a lot of hair before her adoption. And one thing you learn after fostering a few times is that your house might be full of love, and you may really, truly adore a particular pet, but your home is not the ideal home for every pet you fall in love with.

Now, Roxy has the most beautiful, thick, smooth coat – and any time she starts to over-groom her Daddy thinks about anything he’s changed in her environment and changes it back to make her happy (moved the litter box, was late for dinner, etc). She is so very loved.

Raelynn

Raelynn hit me like a cannonball. I thought I knew ahead of time which pets would effect me in this way, change me – I’m partial to teenie tiny and/or sick and needy pets. I’m partial to seniors. I forgot I was partial to pugs – and Raelynn didn’t disappoint with her smushed face, endlessly friendly demeanor, and constant contentedness in my presence.

Raelynn was a pug-shih tzu mix, and within two hours I was head-over-heels in love. At the time I was actually on the lookout for a fluffy little female to add to my personal pack – I almost “foster failed” with Raelynn. But before I could decide to call dibs, this snorty little lover got an incredible application and the opportunity to stay with the sister she came in with.

Raelynn would go to a permanent home where she would be spoiled, where she would be one of two dogs instead of one of five, where she would be spoiled and doted on. Having Raelynn for just a couple weeks was my turning point – my realization that my home and my lifestyle were not the ideal fit for every dog I would come to love.