Good-morning! I've been drinking my morning Cup(s) of Joe while having my pant leg chewed on by a 3 lb, black and tan bundle of holy terror. Or, as his adoption profile will read, a feisty and energetic little darling! Aren't all puppies? I just have one foster puppy right now, which is a nice and easy addition to my four rescued dogs. He came from a deplorable situation, as many foster animals do. When he was brought to me, he had fleas, worms and skin issues. It's often the foster parent's job to mend and heal. Some of the neediest animals I've ever had have been my favorite rescues. There is something really magical about being able to see an animal transform from weak and ill, to healthy, feisty and energetic, like the little puppy who is now asleep on my lap. Another magical transformation: He went from evil to angel in roughly 2 minutes!   To foster for Pulaski County Humane Society, first you must inquire at petfinder.pchs@gmail.com or leave a message at 573-774-0067. You will be asked what sort of situation you'd like to assist with; puppies, kittens, pregnant animals, adult animals, etc. It won't take long for you to be able to help. There are many destitute animals on a waiting list and more that come in via emergency situations. The more foster families we have, the more animals we save. There are constant opportunities to do good.   This Spring I was called to assist with a large group of puppies whose mother had died giving birth. I took 3 for around the clock bottle feeding. Every time I bottle feed an animal, it's like starting over from scratch. Getting the baby to take to the nipple or syringe is always a challenge. Those little puppies ran into a few problems along the way. I thought at one point I was going to lose one or maybe even all of them. Best Friends Animal Hospital helped sort out their belly troubles. Sometimes a simple issue creates a huge problem. For those little puppies, a change in formula remedied upset tummies and bloody poos.   It was a very stressful time for me, because while I stayed up and fed them every hour, my youngest (1 year old) daughter was having some serious tummy issues of her own. I was not only changing puppy bedding, but also washing baby sheets throughout the night. When you take on the responsibility of puppies, you have to be ready for anything but this turned into too much for me. My daughter needed multiple trips to the doctor and even the emergency room during this time. I got the puppies through the first few difficult weeks of their lives, until they weaned from the bottle. With all that was going on, I was finally ready to throw the towel in and place them in a new home. I called one of the ladies who is heavily involved in the Humane Society for help. She immediately got to work on my behalf and found another rescue friend to take the pups for me. I could now care for my baby, uninterrupted. Another part of rescue, is the amazing people you meet and quickly grow to love. We all network to help each other.   My daughter was later diagnosed with severe food allergies and those puppies went on to find wonderful homes. The woman who took them provided them with foster home #2 and saved my sanity, allowing us to visit them before their final send off. We always get attached and good-byes are often difficult. It's knowing that what we do makes their lives better and sometimes, even possible, that makes it all worth it. I've had so many great experiences as a rescuer. You fall in love with the animals and all of the wonderful, generous people who come together to make a difference for those who depend on human kindness.

I often think of the community of caring people I've been blessed to be a part of. We all come from different walks of life. Some of us are educators, some 'stay at home moms', some truck drivers and some, soldiers. The thing that ties us all together is the inner connection we all made at some point in our lives to animals. I don't think I'd be happy without the mountains of dog hair on the floor, that repeatedly send me into an irrational, furious dance with the vacuum cleaner. I don't think I'd be happy without the muddy footprints or the weekend wake-up calls from my dogs needing to go outside. How could I be happy without my 4 dogs dragging me along on walks while I push my double stroller? I'd just miss that horrendous breath, coming in waves of torturous heat, while I lay on the floor with them and my kids, giving belly rubs and tickles, while we all giggle (the dogs too, in their own way).   I love my rescue dogs! My little corgi/pitbull mix, Jelly Bean, can add humor to any situation with her Cheshire grin. She greets all people at the "sit pretty' position. I never trained her to do this, she was just made to be adorable. She came from an animal shelter in HI, where she was dumped, after living for 2 yrs with a homeless person on the beach. Ziggy, my black Shepard mix, lays his head on my lap, only to stare up at me with the most imploring golden eyes. He is very possessive of me, and will playfully chase away the other dogs if he is in the middle of being loved on. He "speaks" like Chewbaca, and he pounces toward you like a cat if you call him. He came from a kill shelter just before his time was up. Samson, my Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, is in constant wiggle mode. He won't hold his head still while you pet him. My husband insists that he is "petting you back." He was found living under a dumpster with his litter mates. He survived Parvo after his rescue. Then there is Petey, my oldest daughter's chihuahua mix. Petey is the fattest chihuahua ever. Because he is the quickest and smallest of my dogs, he is always the first under the dining table. We've had him on multiple diets but Petey's appetite cannot be suppressed. He always finds a way to maintain his voluptuous figure! He was brought to us originally as a foster dog. He had been abandoned with several other small dogs when a family had their house foreclosed. The people who left the dogs told the neighbors to use them for "target practice."   Only one of my dogs' ownership was intentional. That was Samson who we rescued in Hawaii at a shelter I volunteered for. Petey, Jelly Bean, and Ziggy are all what the rescue world calls "foster failures." Sometimes when you foster, you fail as a temporary home, and become a permanent family.