Six years ago, my three daughters were scared of dogs and I didn’t necessarily love dogs myself. We were cat people and that seemed just fine. A puppy would be a lot of work and would the kids REALLY help me take care of it?
I had no idea about the journey we were about to embark on, and how that tiny little puppy would change our lives forever. We adopted Stella in 2014 and have since fostered over 200 puppies for Peak Lab Rescue. Fostering is something our family does TOGETHER. My daughters are 16, 13 and 9 so sometimes it’s hard to find an activity that everyone is equally vested in. Puppies are just that! In some ways, they have been a tremendous distraction to some of the pressures of middle and high school. Sort of like a mental break. We live by the mantra “puppies solve everything”. Don’t get me wrong, I still do most of the work when we are fostering puppies…but the girls can fully transition a litter of scared little fur balls who won't come out of a crate into a playful group of cuddle bugs in just a few hours. My girls know firsthand what a little love can do. Isn’t that one of the MOST important life lessons? In the last few years, we have transitioned to fostering pregnant mama dogs and birthing their puppies. I have watched my girls earn the trust of our mamas dogs so they can assist in the deliveries when the time comes. They’ve held puppies a few seconds old as the mama cleans up her new babies. They have witnessed the miracle of life, right here in my laundry room.
Fostering is not always glamorous, but it is always beautiful. We have lost puppies as well. And at times when I didn’t think I wanted my daughters to witness such a sad sight, it was then that I realized how strong they really are.
I can go on and on and on about everything fostering has done for my family. There seems to be a new life lesson with every group of puppies that comes into our home. And we uncover them together, on both the good days and the bad days.