Written by: Jill Monahan
Foster Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator, Board of Directors, Foster mom
Last Hope K9 Rescue
I am lucky enough to fall in love and get my heart broken dozens of times a year…I am a foster mom to homeless dogs with Last Hope K9 Rescue.
Having these rescue dogs in my life brings me indescribable joy. I get to watch them come off transport as insecure, timid animals and slowly blossom into happy, playful dogs. Sometimes this transformation takes minutes, sometimes weeks, sometimes months, but the happiness you as a rescuer feel when your foster dog finally plays or takes that deep, relaxed sigh for the first time is one of the best feelings. The ones that have been confined to the end of a chain or kept in a kennel for much of their lives want nothing more than to go on long walks with you, just happy they can finally stretch their legs. These same dogs are just as excited to cuddle up on the couch while you watch endless episodes of some Netflix show you’ve already seen a million times, as long as it means they get to be with someone who finally shows them compassion and love.
Out of my 30 something foster dogs over the past four years, whether I gave them a home for a few days or a few months, I have loved them all and learned something from each and every one of them. I have learned that I’m not much of a puppy person, that Pit Bulls are my weakness (despite the unfair reputation they have received), I’ve grown in my dog handling skills, and I’ve made lifelong friends. I’d be lying if I said saying goodbye to these dogs wasn’t sometimes excruciating, but at the end of the day I remind myself that they are going off to make another person or family whole, and that I have more dogs to save.
I still do not have a dog of my own. Fostering gives me the flexibility to enjoy the love and loyalty of having a pet without actually owning one. Someday I hope to adopt a Pit Bull I can train to be a therapy dog, one that will be able to help me breakdown the stereotype while also bringing joy to those who need it most. Until then, I will keep falling in love just to get my heart broken!