Adopting with T.R.A.I.N

It was the face of a brown fluffy lhaso apso that showed up on my facebook news feed that led me to fostering dogs. My mom had been looking for a dog at the time and I thought she would fall in love with this guy if I could just foster him for awhile. TRAIN rescue was bringing him from a puppy mill, a long with several other dogs, and needed a temporary home for him until a permanent one could be found. This particular puppy mill breeder usually just destroys the dogs when he’ done using them. The vet tech had to euthanize seven fairly young dogs in one day. That takes a toll on a person. She eventually found people to network with. When I first saw Finn, even though I have 7 years of experience in the animal care field, I remember thinking, “I may have gotten in over my head.”  He was not brown, he was a whitish/gray color. The brown was the from the dirt and filth he had been living in. That was after 3 baths. He still stunk, was a shaggy mess, and had urine stains all over his fur, and he was TERRIFIED. He wouldn’t look at me or anybody. I immediately brought him here to work and gave him a bath. Later that week our groomer Lori groomed him and oh my gosh, what a difference. TRAIN got him neutered, vetted, and a dental cleaning (his teeth were very worn from chewing on his kennel).  As a foster you are just a loving temporary home. You are not responsible for the financial aspect of their care.

Finn had lived kenneled his whole life. He fell on grass because he didn’t understand how to walk on it and couldn’t take stairs. It was just very sad for 4 years of his life he never got to just be a dog. The first time I saw him run around and play was amazing. The first time he took stairs was a celebration. He was very sweet, but very terrified of people, but he loved dogs and other animals. I watched him blossom. I loved him, he trusted me. The first person he had ever trusted, and I didn’t know how I was going to be able to let him go. I had Finn for 3 months until a wonderful couple adopted him Halloween weekend 2015. I knew this family was perfect, but the thought of them walking away with him while Finn looked at me wondering where I am tore me up. And that final day they walked out with him, I sobbed. You can explain to an animal that you loved them, you’ll always love them, and these people will love them too. Like I said, I sobbed. I had intended for Finn to be for my mother but I knew with his issues he needed somebody more educated on how to care for his type. He got that, and I still get picture updates often.

My heart was broken. Fostering is hard. But eventually I took another, and I loved that one too. And now it’s a high for me. Saving lives and matching them with loving homes. It’s my passion. I am more involved with TRAIN now. I am in charge of the social media aspect, I mail out applications, answer questions. Finn turned into much more for me than a dog maybe for my mom.

I encourage people to consider fostering. It is extremely rewarding. It can hurt. But it hurts more knowing if we don’t help these babies they end up with their lives taken away. We can’t save them all. We want too, and we try. But it’s day by day one by one.

You can get more information about the rescue I work with and apply to foster by visiting

To: Santa From: An Adopted French Bulldog

Dear Santa,
My name is Dani and I am a 2 year old French Bulldog. This will be the second Christmas I get to spend with my family. My very first Christmas, when I was very small, I spent in a tiny cage in a puppy mill with my birth mommy. I don’t remember it very well, but I do remember that it was cold and loud from all the other dogs barking all around me. My Christmas present came early the next year as I was adopted by my forever family in November of 2014. They are the best family I could ever ask for. I have 2 big brothers, also French Bulldogs, named Chopper and Angus, and a Mommy and Daddy that love me and give me the best of care. I get fed a delicious meal twice a day and I also get lots of treats. Daddy tells my Mommy she gives me too many and thinks I am getting heavy, but I don’t agree. I have so many toys and I love to play with them with my big brothers. I also get to go on a walk around the park with my brothers every day. I know that I am a very lucky dog and every wish that I have ever dreamed for has come true. So Santa, my wish for this year is that any dog that finds a new home at Christmas is treated just as special as I am. They should be loved and cared for just like one of the family. I know it is a big responsibility to take care of us, and while we don’t always show it, we really are thankful for everything. Santa, I wish for people to really take the time and realize it is a big decision when they bring a pet into their home. We start out as cute little balls of fur but quickly grow, requiring a lot of time and care. Sometimes children and adults start to lose interest and patience and some of us end up in a shelter, missing our new family and the fun we had. So Santa, you don’t have to stop at my house this year because I have everything I could ever need. Use that time to place one of us that is not as fortunate as me with a family just like mine.

Thanks again, Santa!