The Many Rewards of Foster Care

Mary never planned on becoming a foster doggie mom but when her twelve-year-old mixed breed dog suddenly died she found herself needing to fill the missing gap.”When Lucy died, it was tragic for me. I really needed something to do, something that could occupy me and get my mind off the whole event,” states Mary with sadness in her eyes.
Her home, a smallish affair, is located in a lovely area of Texas hill country. And, clearly what the home lacks in size Mary makes up for in heart. She has been fostering dogs for almost ten years now and her current one, a little fellow that goes by the name of Tristan, is her one hundredth foster dog.
Mary continues her story, “You know, I never even thought about fostering dogs, my home is so cramped,” she states with a sweep of her arm gesturing towards the kitchen/dining room combo, “I just figured I didn’t have the room.”
Indeed, Mary’s place is petite: barely 950 square feet with a miniature eat-in kitchen, a living room, one bath, and two bedrooms, all contained within a dated mortar and brick exterior. Although the home is tiny, the exterior property is spacious. As we walk through the back door towards the enclosed one and a half acres of property Mary points out something, “Over there, is the dog pen that I built for new foster dogs. I like to put them in there when they first arrive, to get them used to the being out here before they run loose.”
We walk around the perimeter of her fenced in acreage, a good brisk walk, with Tristan following us, tail a-wagging. I can see the little guy is happy here and that brings me to the next question, “How do you keep from getting attached to the dogs?”
Mary stops and looks past the fence into the distance, “That is something I wondered about myself. I do get attached, very attached. But I guess I love them enough to give them over to good homes, sort of sending them on their way into a good future. That’s what makes it all worthwhile for me, knowing they will have a happy life, even if it is without me.” She looks wistfully down at Tristan, pats his head, and continues, “Tristan is leaving me this weekend. He has been adopted by a great family in San Antonio. They have two other small dogs for him to play with and best of all they have children. He really likes kids.”
Mary D. got started in fostering with a phone call to a local rescue agency. Within days her first dog arrived at her home, “I don’t know what I expected! I guess I thought the dog would be all bedraggled and forlorn, but happily my first dog was a gorgeous female blue heeler named Misty. She stayed with me for about three months and went on her way. I still get photos from her family. Misty is now twelve years old, the same age my Lucy was when she died.” Mary shakes her head, “When I think that if I had not been available Misty would never have reached 12 it makes me want to cry. But thank goodness she did, and hopefully she’ll live a lot longer.” Mary looks at me with a smile.
I can’t help but smile back because that is exactly what this is all about, giving a dog a chance to live its life with dignity and joy. Let’s face it, dogs need love just as much as food and water. Without it they will not flourish. Thanks to Mary and thousands of others like her, dogs who otherwise would be euthanized are reaching their full potential and are living out their lives with families that love them.

SecurePet Rides On Fourth of July Parade Float

SecurePet Pet Sitter Gyvel Young Features Adoptable Animals for A.R.F. During the Wimberley Texas Fourth of July Parade, 2008

This was about as much fun as it gets! Riding on the A.R.F. (Animal Referral Friends) float in Wimberley’s 2008 Fourth of July Parade, Gyvel Young, owner of SecurePet Pet Sitter Services is shown here with foster dog “Lizzie.” In her lap is also a new foster puppy, one of the many pets featured by the A.R.F. organization. Both dogs, along with all of the other dogs on the float, are currently available for adoption.

SecurePet Pet Sitter Rides in the 4th of July Parade

SecurePet Pet Sitter Rides in the 4th of July Parade

Young is the owner and operator of SecurePet pet sitting services and is an active volunteer in the local animal rescue organization. She feels strongly about the proper care and treatment of animals and believes that supporting local animal rescue and adoption organizations is as patriotic as you can get.

Decked out with many variations of Old Glory, the red, white, and blue A.R.F. float was organized and decorated by volunteers and patrons of the organization in an effort to promote public awareness of local low-cost spay/neuter programs. Later, photographs of all the A.R.F. foster dogs were displayed at the grand jubilee across from Brookshire Brothers, immediately following the parade.

It was a great day to show some local and national pride and to get the word out to the people of Wimberley that there are plenty of deserving animals right here in our own community that are in need of a good home.