Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable about writing about myself and you're probably sick of reading about me so I figured why not start sharing other people's acts of kindness too!  

About a year ago, I re-connected with an old junior high school friend, Juliet, on Facebook.  I was immediately drawn to the amazing family unit that she has and the wonderful, thoughtful things that they do for each other and others in their community.  This past summer, the Marshall's started fostering animals and so I thought it would be wonderful to feature them for today's blog.  Meet the Marshall's...
What can I say about the Marshall Crew? We are very active, happy and friendly family with 4 kids ages 7,10,13,14. We moved from San Diego 4 years ago where we were raising our 4 kids and 2 dogs in a townhouse that had no yard. We literally had 200 sq ft each in that house and it was suffocating. Moving was the best thing we ever did. We are now in Colorado and the kids and dogs can run and throw the ball as hard as they can and it still won't go over the fence. This yard we have was perfect for our active labradoodle Ruby. Sadly, she died unexpectedly by swallowing a rope chew toy. We were all so upset that getting a new puppy sounded painful. How could any dog be as good as her? She was perfect.

Early in the summer we all went in to Petco looking at turtles. The cutest group of puppies caught our eye as did the adorable little southern lady Debra who was answering questions about how to adopt them. With 4 kids in tow, of course we stopped to hold them and get a whiff of that delicious puppy breath.
 After talking with the puppy lady, we learned that PupSavers rescues puppies from kill shelters in New Mexico and Kansas. The shelters are in low income cities and simply do not have the budget to hang on to dogs for extended lenths of time. She told us that for every puppy you foster, you actually save 2 pups. One you foster and the other has a spot to be rescued. We immediately decided that fostering would be something we'd love to do.

What's the commitment when fostering?
Puppies are driven from NM to petco where you pick out your puppy on Tuesday night and keep them until adoption day on Saturday morning. The pups would have been put down on Wednesday had they not been taken on Tuesday. This is a big deal for them. They provide food, meds, kennels, collars, etc. You provide the TLC.

One of the hardest and rewarding parts to fostering go hand in hand. When the pups arrive they are covered in poop, pee, and throw up. They are tired, scared and thirsty. Some are covered in scabs, ticks, sick and super skinny. This part is horrific and heartbreaking. BUT.... you get that puppy home. You give him a bath, food, water and within one hour... the puppy is different and so are you. This is the moment you realize what you've done for this puppy and for your kids. Everyone's hearts grow.

After a few months of fostering neighbors would go on their nightly walks and my front yard was the hot spot to stop. We'd be outside with a different puppy or two each week to visit and gush over. Towards the end of August, I got the email from PupSavers we were short fosters. It was Tuesday morning and we had 10 puppies who didn't fosters. I put a small blurb on my facebook we needed help at 7 pm and to go to Petco if anyone could help. I couldn't believe my eyes! 6:45 and in comes my friend Karen, then I see Sharon, Kelly Tammy and Rochelle. They each took two pups! They have all been consistent fosters since. Gone are the days of Gymboree, it's all about the puppy playdates now.

Is it hard to say goodbye on adoption day? Sure, until you see the faces of the young couple who has been waiting for a puppy. Or the family who is ready for their family pet. Or the truck driver who wants a co-pilot. Or the lady who lost her pet and is finally ready for a new one. We adopted our 7th foster puppy. He has been a blessing to us and I often think how lucky we are that Debra put him in the van. To think he would have been put down.
Fostering is a gift to everyone involved and I strongly recommend you find a local rescue to foster for. You won't regret it. 

Thank you Juliet and Marshall Family!  Your acts of kindness don't go unnoticed and I'm sure those adorable furry friends appreciate all that you do.  If there's anything I can leave you with, it's to remember that doing good for others can be fun and rewarding!    

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