Foster The Puppy

Four days ago, ย I met a guy who was parked along a curb, sitting in his car with the door open, holding a tiny puppy that he had found while camping up in our local mountains. He brought her home to care for her, but for whatever reason, wasn’t able to keep her. He was asking people walking past if anyone could take her.

The guy was near a park, so my biggest fear was him leaving the puppy there if he couldn’t get anyone to take her. We already have three dogs and two cats at home, so I know taking in anymore pets would just be too much for us. I offered to take her to the Pasadena Humane Society, assuring him that she would receive great care, shelter, and food, and would be adopted in a heartbeat because she’s so adorable. He agreed and handed her off to me. This little dog didn’t look more than 6 weeks old, all of her ribs and both of her hip bones showing, yet so happy and affectionate from the moment she crawled into my arms. I got in my car and snapped a picture of her, sending it Wil and to my best friend before heading to the shelter.

Not 30 seconds went by after sending that picture, and my friend called me to say she wanted the puppy. She’s been saying for months that she wants another dog, and her other small pup would love to have a buddy. She lives in Sacramento and with a huge rain storm about to hit all of California, I decided to wait until Thursday (today) to drive the puppy up to her. I took the pup to my vet to have her checked for a microchip (none) and get a health check-up, shots, and a flea and parasite treatment. ย According to how many teeth she has, the vet says she’s about ten weeks old, but only weighs five pounds. Other than the obvious signs of malnutrition, the puppy is totally fine.

I stopped at a pet supply and got some basics to care for her over the next few days, and then brought the puppy home. I decided it was best to keep her in another room away from my way-too-curious large dogs, and two cats that probably wouldn’t appreciate a new face in the house. I set up a little camp in Wil’s office, and mentally prepared myself for round-the-clock care of a very hungry, very attention deprived little dog.

The first 30 hours, the puppy was up every 2 hours eating and going to the bathroom. As soon as she was done though, she came straight over to me and whimpered to be held, tucking herself into me as tight as possible, adjusting that tuck multiple times throughout the night. I hardly slept because I just kept kissing her little face and holding her into me so she would know she’s safe. The second and third nights, she mostly slept straight through, only waking once after about 6 hours to eat and go to the bathroom, before crawling back in bed with me, still tucking in as close as possible.

I have always known how important foster care is for rescue animals. Sometimes shelters don’t have the room, the pet may need special care, or they’re just too small to be in a shelter (they need to be a certain weight to get vaccinated, so if they can’t get shots, it’s unsafe for all of the animals to be around a potentially sick one.) After this experience, I have a whole new level of respect for people who selflessly offer their time, love, and care for an animal in need, knowing it’s eventually going to live somewhere else. What has gotten me through this experience (besides her obvious need for food and shelter) is knowing my friend is adopting this puppy. She has such a great personality and is so affectionate, that it would break my heart to not get to see her grow up.

So, thank you to those who foster animals (which I hear can sometimes be a failed foster, because you end up keeping the pet) and for those who take the time to rescue an animal, either from off the streets or from a shelter. There are so many homeless animals that need our help. Please continue to adopt and not buy from breeders. You and your rescue pet will be so glad you did.

In the car right after meeting her.
In the car right after meeting her.
At the vet (tissue box for scale)
At the vet (tissue box for scale)
Tucked into me on the bed, holding her rope toy.
Tucked into me on the bed, holding her rope toy.
Her last night with us, already looking healthier. Seriously with that face.
Her last night with us, already looking healthier. Seriously with that face.

42 thoughts on “Foster The Puppy

  1. I have been following this adorable little pup’s adventures through your twitter and instagram and am firmly convinced that you (and Wil) are proof positive that there are angels on earth. I have wished so many times during the past few days that I could hug that precious little bundle and am so happy that she will be going to a wonderful forever home with a friend of yours so you can watch her grow. You guys are an inspiration and I’m so happy to be a contributor to the Humane Society on your behalf every year!

  2. Tearing as I type! What a sweet face and Anne, I think you’re fabulous to begin with but taking her in to foster for a few days, well, it’s just the tops. I don’t want to sound corny but all of the work you and Wil do to promote rescue is simply wonderful! I’m sure I speak for many when I say we look forward to updates on this little girl!

  3. You’ve done a wonderful thing. Yes, fostering can be difficult, but it’s also very rewarding when you get to see the unloved transformed into the loved and wanted. Thank you for doing your part to help all the homeless pets.

  4. I’m sure you know this, but — by all the absent gods, people, spay and neuter!

  5. The last photo is just too cute for words. If I was able to foster a dog like her I don’t think I could give her away so would fail the foster…
    I’m glad she’s going to someone who will give her the love and attention she deserves. Please keep us updated on her progress.

  6. Oh my… I just… … the adorableness is just *TOO* much with that one! I was seriously thinking about fostering earlier today. I’m so torn though, because I fear that each one would be one of those “failed fosters”! You had a friend who was already ready to take the pup, but if it were me, and that friend did not exist, this little sweetie wouldn’t have been going *ANYWHERE*!

    Much kudos to you! <3

  7. That puppy is too cute to be real!! I hope you’ll keep us all posted on her progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. My Mom was a vet tech when I was young and so we always had a foster animal (or a few) in addition to our own. Also, my Aunt & Uncle were stationed overseas for quite a few years and due to European pet rules at the time, they couldn’t take their dog, Star. Star was their middle child’s best friend, so we knew it would devastate her to lose her. We ‘fostered’ her for over 6 years of her life. When it came time for my hubby and I to get a new pup after losing our old pug, we went to PetFinder and I instantly fell in love with a little Pug/Pomeranian named Libby. We drove over 2 hours to meet her and she instantly fell asleep in my husband’s lap. After paperwork and animal checks, we adopted her. We were caring for my Grandmother at the time and Libby lifted Grandma’s spirit so much. She called her monkey face and the nickname has stuck. She had been a surrender after someone had lost their home during the crash and had been fostered for about 8 months. I am forever thankful to the woman who was willing to surrender her to give her a better life and for the foster family that took her in until we were able to give her a forever home.
    Thank you for giving this pup a good life!

  9. My housemate and I foster kittens/cats, and we love it. Fresh kittens every year! I know she misses some of the kitties when they go to their forever homes, but I feel more like we’re just spreading the love around. I do love hearing from their new families about how they’re doing, though.

  10. As I am cuddling my dying 18 year old cat, who had been dumped at our semi-rural property, I’m so happy this little pup has been rescued!

    We’ve had 11 rescues over the years and every single one has been wonderful experience.

    Anne and Wil – I thank you for all you do.

  11. Oh Goodness! She is so super cute!! Thank you for being the type of person who doesn’t just walk on by but put your time on hold to look after her and find her a home!!! I wish more people could and would do that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. It goes without saying that you and Wil are excellent people who love animals and do so much to help them! Sacramento is such a long drive for you. Why didn’t you fly up and have your friend pick you up at the airport? Puppy is easily small enough to fit in the carrier under the seat in front of you. That’s what I did when I picked up my puppy in Tacoma. I flew up first thing in the morning, spent the entire day with my friends (who were the breeders – on purpose BTW, they have show dogs – and then Sierra and I flew home that evening. $25 bucks extra on Southwest.

    1. The puppy was malnourished, freaked out, only had one round of shots by the vet I took her to three days earlier, and I couldn’t keep her long enough for all of those things to be better in her to fly with her. This was the best and quickest way to get her to her new home with minimal stress. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I seriously cannot handle the cute. What an absolute doll and what an amazing person you are to take her in and find her a new home that she deserves!! Like some have already said, I don’t think I’d be able to give her up!

  14. I have been enjoying the updates and pics from you and wil on this precious little creature, and I am in love. As am, I am sure, thousands of others who have been following along. Thank you, Anne.

  15. I live in Thailand, I have taken care of many dogs, which overtime have passed away one way or another. I currently take care of 4 in my tiny house.

    If anyone wants to help dogs in another country (namely here in Thailand) I would recommend looking at the great work the Soi Dog foundation does here.

    Every dollar they get goes a long way.

    I don’t work for this charity but they have helped me with many dogs I have tried to save.

  16. As a Vet Tech for thirty years I want to give you a BIG Thank You for your wonderful actions. It is sometimes heartbreaking to work in Veterinary medicine, but I never wanted to do anything else. People like you and Will make it worthwhile, keep up the great work.

  17. I have bottle fed 3 foster kittens. Letting them go to great families I knew was some of the most difficult experiences I have had to do. But knowing they were loved and off the streets made up for it. How fosters like The Itty Bitty Kitty Commitee does this litter after litter floors me. But CONGRATS to you doing the right thing taking Miss Lovey with you.

    She is adorable! Here’s hoping for updates and her name in the future.

  18. I also enjoyed reading your foster experience on Twitter. Please have your friend update us in a few weeks on how she is doing in her forever home!

  19. I can’t get over how adorable this puppy is with that face! What luck that pup had to be in a place where you were. I’m so glad she’s getting all the love and care she deserves!

  20. Both Hobie and Storm are “foster failures,” though not officially. Given my line of work, animals come along. I take them home and adopt them out when I can and they stay when I can’t find suitable homes for them (both Hobie and Storm had issues to work through and Storm is still a special boy) if we have the space for them. But I started calling foster failures adoption successes some time ago. It helps me mentally. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Currently, we have Jade, who is likely staying, too, though she is still young and working on getting along with everyone in the house, so her adoption status is still pending. It’ll break my heart to let her go if we have to, though. I’ve adopted out fosters before, and I’m okay with it, but it is hard for sure. It’s such a mixed thing – you’re glad they’re getting a forever home, but sad to see them go (most of the time *grin*). This one, though, I like her…again, most of the time, as always…but we shall see.

    Thank you for helping this wee one, and I’m glad everything worked out. You did right by her and the guy who found her and your friend. All is well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh, and PSA for everyone out there? Microchip your pet – and REGISTER THE CHIP! I can’t tell you the number of times a Good Samaritan has brought me a pet that has a chip, but it was never registered, so we can’t find the owner. ๐Ÿ™

  21. I have a failed foster at home – just over a year ago, Eugene came into the house to heal from surgery after being surrendered to the clinic my niece works at. He was going to heal and find a new home….and I guess he did. He came from a somewhat abusive home, and the first few weeks were rough – he was determined to hate everyone. However, as he began to understand that he wouldn’t be kicked, beaten or yelled at, that big fat cat turned into a marshmallow. He’s the best lap cat and just wants to be loved. He adopted me!

  22. Thank you for this post and the awareness-raising you do for adopting furbabies! I foster with my local animal shelter, and have successfully fostered-to-adoption 3 animals in the past year (and have “foster-failed” and adopted my 2 babies from there as well). It’s super important and so rewarding to help these animals! The best feeling in the world!

  23. I’ve been following the Lucy Chronicles on Instagram and Twitter. Every time I see her face, I think that you and Wil have found your loophole around having the maximum number of dogs at home … FOSTERING!

    I’ve been fostering cats and kitten through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. I currently have my foster failure Klaatu (ask your husband) and itty bitty fosters Zoe and Kaylee (names after Firefly.) My heart is bigger because of fostering!

  24. Such a beautiful story. Brought tears to my eyes. You are a bright shining light in this world and an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  25. I loved your story. I helped find a puppy a home too. It was hard to part with her but I know she is well care for and right where she belongs.

  26. So glad you found her. I have a rescued greyhound and am still so grateful to the people who fostered him.

  27. Fostering is such a privilege. I’ve seen babies birthed and babies die. I’ve seen horrifically underweight animals gain so much weight they were downright pudgy. I’ve seen animals we could not help, no matter how many night vigils we stood. I’ve given a lot of love and received so much more. Fostering isn’t easy, by any means, but it is SO worth it. I’m glad you’ll get to watch your new friend Lucy grow up.

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