FROM READERS: Stephens student finds comfort in fostering dogs from Second Chance

Monday, August 4, 2014 | 12:04 p.m. CDT; updated 1:40 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Molly Wallace is a marketing student at Stephens College.

Fostering through Second Chance animal rescue has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I love all animals, but dogs have a special place in my heart. I grew up in Jefferson City and always had dogs in my home. 

I learned about fostering when I was looking to transfer schools. I had been an unhappy student at Mizzou and I was looking for a change. It was while I was on an internship in Walt Disney World that I realized I needed to change schools. My older sister had attended Stephens College for all four years of her college career and loved it. Hoping to have a similar experience, I looked into the women's school. When I discovered that I could foster dogs at Stephens, it was a done deal.

Not only did I want to help the dogs, but I needed them to help me. I've always had anxiety about school; it's a part of what made my Mizzou experience miserable. When I would go home on the weekends, I found I was much happier when surrounded by my three dogs. I thought that if I could have a dog in my dorm, it would help to relax me and make my transition easier. 

My first foster was a little black dog named Tavi and she was as timid as could be. However, it didn't take long for her to warm up to me. She would snuggle in bed with me while I studied and was happy to relax while I went to class. I only had her for a week because she got adopted right away. Almost every weekend, I would take my foster dogs to adoption events at Petco, Lizzie and Rocco's, Mizzou, and the adoption center. 

I think the purpose of fostering is to get the animal used to a home environment. However, sending them to a new forever home can be hard.  I had a hard time saying goodbye to a dog I had become so close to, but nothing made me happier than knowing my foster would be happy and loved for the rest of its life.

I have fostered Tavi, Sadie, Georgia, Max, and Chica and each one has taken piece of my heart when they left me. I foster because it saves lives, one animal at a time and because I find a lot of happiness in it. Second Chance is a great organization for animals and people. I can honestly say I've never worked with a better group or better people.

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.

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