FROM READERS: Fostering puppies brings out host dog's mothering

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:17 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Lynn Hurd's dog, Sasha, with one of their tiny recent foster puppies, Marley.

Lynn Hurd fosters dogs for Columbia Second Chance.

A little over a year ago, I decided that I was ready to have a dog in my life again. I researched rescue sites online and found Second Chance. I completed their adoption application and waited until I saw a dog I wanted. About a week later, Sasha was mine.

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A couple months went by, and I thought I would adopt a companion for Sasha. I had a couple meet and greets with great dogs, just not exactly what I had in mind. A Second Chance volunteer explained that all of the dogs Second Chance saves are housed in foster homes while they wait to be adopted. That's when I decided that maybe if I helped Second Chance save animals through fostering, a second special dog might come into our lives.

I began fostering in September of 2013, and found out that fostering is very rewarding. I decided to try fostering puppies and quickly discovered Sasha's "mothering" capabilities. She not only played with them, but she groomed them and became a model for the puppies as they watched and learned from her.

Second Chance worked with me to find foster puppies that worked well in my home and in my life. They provided the crates, food, treats, toys, bedding and vet care, and all Sasha and I had to provide was the temporary home and the love.

I absolutely love fostering. It is the most rewarding thing I have done in a long time. I only wish I would have started doing so years ago.

Sasha and I just finished hosting two young foster puppies, Marley and Bruiser, in my home. I have fostered more than 25 dogs, mostly puppies. Each one has a special place in my heart and, sometimes, they are hard to let go.

At the same time, it is so rewarding, and makes me feel good to know I have contributed to another dog finding a loving "fur-ever" home. I keep in contact with some of the adopters of my fosters and have had the opportunity to visit and see how some of those puppies are starting to grow up.

I haven't found Sasha's permanent companion dog yet. However, Sasha has loved many temporary companions!

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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