Ms. Pepper's Journey

Posted by Pia

How fostering a pooch can add a little spice to your life

I often talk about the myriad benefits of fostering an animal.  It's a great way for those who cannot adopt to get a furry cuddle fix and help an animal in need! It is also a great way for someone who is uncertain if they are ready to commit to a companion animal to test the waters.

I thought I'd share my latest foster with all of you, as she is quite the little treasure! Here is Ms. Pepper- the original Spice girl!

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With the ears of a rabbit, one blue eye and one brown, Pepper is like no pooch I've ever met!

1 With the ears of a rabbit, one blue eye and one brown, Pepper is like no pooch I've ever met!

I find her black nose with pink  nostrils to be quite fetching!

2 I find her black nose with pink nostrils to be quite fetching!

Pepper has had it rough in her short life. She was rescued from an abusive home, so she needed a little stability before we could assess her true personality and what kind of home would be a good fit.

3 Pepper has had it rough in her short life. She was rescued from an abusive home, so she needed a little stability before we could assess her true personality and what kind of home would be a good fit.

Some rest and time to adjust are among the most important things a foster home can provide, especially for animals whose time is up at a shelter and who may be a little shaken by the experience.

4 Some rest and time to adjust are among the most important things a foster home can provide, especially for animals whose time is up at a shelter and who may be a little shaken by the experience.

While with me, Pepper relaxed and daydreamed about what her forever home would be like.

5 While with me, Pepper relaxed and daydreamed about what her forever home would be like.

I even caught her reading some Freud.

6 I even caught her reading some Freud.

Who new she was so analytical?

7 Who new she was so analytical?

Professor Pepper is quite the pooch!

8 Professor Pepper is quite the pooch!

Deep in thought....

9 Deep in thought....

She also played with some new toys...

10 She also played with some new toys...

And enjoyed some good backrolls!

11 And enjoyed some good backrolls!

By fostering Pepper we were able to learn she was fine with cats.

12 By fostering Pepper we were able to learn she was fine with cats.

More than fine, actually -- I often discovered her lounging in the afternoon sun like a lady of leisure with my uber-tolerant rescued feline, Max.

13 More than fine, actually -- I often discovered her lounging in the afternoon sun like a lady of leisure with my uber-tolerant rescued feline, Max.

Her adventures with me included...

14 Her adventures with me included...

...meeting a giant version of herself...

15 ...meeting a giant version of herself...

...and a stop in San Francisco.

16 ...and a stop in San Francisco.

It turns out she had always wanted to visit and drive across the Golden Gate bridge.

17 It turns out she had always wanted to visit and drive across the Golden Gate bridge.

Here we are with Alcatraz behind us.

18 Here we are with Alcatraz behind us.

Knowing I'm able to help an animal in need makes it all worth it!

19 Knowing I'm able to help an animal in need makes it all worth it!

Rescue groups always have more animals they want to save than places to house them.  Contrary to what many people think, most rescue groups do not have a physical facility and they rely solely on fosters to be able to save the animals they re-home.  It's heart wrenching for these rescuers to have time run out for a wonderful adoptable animal before a home or foster can be found.  So fostering is literally the life-saving link in so many happy endings.

And fostering can take many forms.  Typically a rescue group will first do a home visit to assess what is a good fit for you, what other animals are in the home if any, and to hear what you are able to provide.  To find a rescue group in your area and learn about fostering opportunities, visit AdoptAPet.com

Next week I'll talk more about fostering and share the very happy ending to Pepper's journey to her forever home.

In Kinship,

Dr. Pia Salk.

PS: Remember to tell us your pet adoption stories for an opportunity to win a $10,000 donation to the One Hope Network shelter of your choice -- not to mention a trip to New York City (my hometown!) to see the Martha Stewart show!

Comments (4)

  • Good Morning F & S

    I missed you both yesterday, mom had to leave for meetings at 6:45 in the morning so now I have to catch up.

    First, love the pictures of chasing the donkeys. Sharkey since Franny isn't into chasing those buggers just give me a bark and I'll come run and play with you. Franny how could you not enjoy a good romp in the fields???

    Little Pepper you are so cute. Someone would be really lucky to have you as an addition to their family. I can't wait to hear your story and see the pictures of your new family.

    Zoe

  • Dr. Pia those photos of Pepper are adorable!! I especially Love the one of her spread out on the striped bedspread looking into the light...would make a great painting! Thanks for sharing all this information, will have to check out the links included.

  • Good morning Dr. Pia and a very good morning to you Ms. Pepper. You sure are pretty and very lucky to be taken away from an abusive place. You even went to San Francisco. My mommy was born and raised there and now she is here on the East Coast. Funny how life puts you where it wants you to be!

    It would be great to run and play with you in my yard. I have lots of swell toys and paper bags to tear up and great food. Hope we can meet some day.

    It is very rainy here today so I think I shall have a nap. Ms. Pepper - have a great new life. See ya later. Love, Gracyn.

  • I am a Pittsburgh artist specializing in pet portraits. I donate 10% of any commission made by a friend or fan of a shelter, rescue organization, or animal rights cause back to the cause. Please visit my website and see my work.
    Thank you!
    Ashley Reid

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