Fostering Without Even Fostering

Sometimes you don’t even have to bring a foster dog home from the shelter to find it a home.  I love when that happens! A few days ago my friend Jodi was at the shelter helping out and posted a picture of her daughter and this adorable pup that had been there a few weeks.



I couldn’t believe he had been there for weeks. Usually, dogs that look like this are snatched up in a day. But it turns out this poor boy was limping and might need to have a leg amputated.

I thought about taking him home to foster after his surgery, but with upcoming travels, wasn’t sure I could commit to his recovery from an amputation. Still, I wanted to help, and was thinking about how when a woman named Heather sends me this message on Facebook:

I know you foster for CAA and they have dog listed on the lost pets page as in foster care. I visited the shelter last week and met him but was told he was pre-adopted. I left my information for them to call in the event he wasn’t picked up but didn’t hear anything and assumed he was picked up. I should have called! Can you help me find out if he really is in foster care and still available? I would love to adopt him if he is! Thank you for any assistance you can provide!

She attached a picture of a really cute little poodle. I told her I’d look into it and quickly found out the dog had, in fact, been adopted so I wrote her back with the news. I also sent her a picture of the pup above adding that he was currently available. Something wrong with back leg and may need it amputated. He’s only 9 months old and I’ve heard he is sweet as sugar. Needs a foster or adopter…

I figured she was probably pretty focused on the one that got away and wouldn’t be interested in a dog facing a possible amputation. But she wrote back that she would love to meet him. She had just lost her dog, Beau, an older fluffy guy, three weeks earlier and said the house was too quiet. (Beau had been a rescue who came to her with a total of five teeth and had spent his last 18 months in congestive heart failure). Heather said she knew Beau would want her to give another dog a great home.

I reached out to Jodi to find out the scoop on the leg. The shelter, it turns out, was sending the dog to an outside vet for a consultation to see if the leg could be saved. (Shout out to my friend Paula who created the shelter’s Sick and Injured Animals Fund, which often makes things like this possible through donations.) Jodi wanted to foster the dog but asked me if I could take him for a few days while she was out of town. YES! I said. And even better, I think I have an adopter for him. 

I connected Jodi and Heather via Facebook group message and Jodi asked Heather if she thought she was ready for a dog who needed to heal. You can heal together, she said, but I totally understand not wanting to commit to an injured animal. Just let me know what I can do for you. 

Heather’s response: I’m ready! I can’t wait to meet him! 

Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things about helping shelter animals find homes is people like this? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!

Heather added that after Beau, she wasn’t phased by much. I’ll do whatever is needed to make sure he’s happy and knows he’s loved.

And so this happened today:



And the best news of all, is that the pup, who Heather has named Bailey, is going to get to keep his leg after all. She picks him up from his surgery tomorrow and will bring him home to recuperate in a soft bed among toys and frozen Kongs stuffed with peanut butter and kibbles to keep him busy while he’s on kennel rest.

That is one lucky little scruffy dog.


If you would like to donate to help dogs at Companion Animal Alliance, the open-intake municipal shelter in Baton Rouge where Bailey has spent the past few weeks, please visit their donation page:!donate/ctzx. And thanks!