By Amy Sell
Almost two years ago my life changed. It all started in May, 2013. I started receiving emails from an old high school friend about dogs in need. Their situations seemed urgent and sometimes sad. It intrigued me. I thought about fostering, but also wondered how I could give up a dog or not get attached. I thought I would cry while adopting them out. But still, I wondered if I didn’t help these dogs, who would? At the time I was in a relationship and asked my boyfriend what he thought about fostering—he was against it, stating that it seemed like a “selfish” thing to do and that I probably wouldn’t be able to let the dog go when adopted. I was stunned, but didn’t want to argue about it.
Fast forward two months…my boyfriend and I broke up and after receiving emails on a weekly basis about dogs in need, I felt I couldn’t stand by much longer and wonder. I had to know. I had to know if I could love a dog enough to let him or her go when I knew the time was right—to save a life and see what fostering was like. So with much trepidation, I sent Tiana an email asking to foster Wade, a 2-year-old tan lab mix. Instantaneously I felt relief—like I was doing the right thing, but I was still nervous about what I was getting myself into.
Two days later Wade was scheduled to arrive at my apartment. Man was I nervous! I was shaking like rattle snake’s tail! My soul mate dog, Peyton, could tell, but I knew he would love the company. He’s such an outgoing, nurturing, and playful guy!
A woman named Kristin arrived with Wade and two other dogs. She was so friendly and very excited, but she could tell I was nervous. A few minutes later Tiana showed up to take one of the other dogs as her foster. Peyton met Wade and instantly accepted and loved him; I brought him into my home.
As days passed I noticed two things—Wade was a big sweetie and that caring for an extra dog is not a whole lot more work than caring for one. Wade kept Peyton active and they would chase and wrestle around the house. It was sweet harmony. Even years later, I can spot that bond of the perfect pack.
I had Wade as a foster for about a month and a half. I’ve never admitted it, but there were times I forgot he was a foster; however, it always came back to mind that I can’t get attached. When Tiana contacted me because someone wanted to adopt him I knew I had to see it through and experience what it would be like to give up someone I cared so much for.
Tiana and I both went to Georgetown to meet a couple who owned a mountain home—a perfect place for a sweet dog like Wade to run and play. I had knots in my stomach the whole way wondering if I could go through with the adoption. The minute I met the couple the questions changed. It wasn’t, “Can I go through with this?” or “What will it be like to give up a dog?” Instead, the question was, “How can I not let Wade go on and have the best life and family?” To let go is sometimes a tough decision, but reaps the most beautiful reward.
It has been a crazy two years, but I wouldn’t change a minute of it! I have learned so much about rescuing, animals, and relationships. Fostering and working with PawsCo has become so much of who I am and something I feel so passionate about. Recently I told Tiana that she and Kristin have changed my life and made it so much more beautiful and complete. I didn’t realize early on the profound effect that Tiana and Kristin would have on my life. I am so blessed by the gifts of PawsCo, fostering, and volunteering with amazing people; each has had a beautiful impact on my life and the way I see the world.
Visit our foster page to become part of this amazing experience.