By Danni Duggan
Bud and I have volunteered with both wildlife and shelter animals since the mid 1990’s. We actually met volunteering for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, feeding and rehabilitating stranded seals, sea lions, otters, and the occasional dolphin. We bonded while waiting to do the 4:00 a.m. harbor seal feedings.
We have had the great pleasure of volunteering with Multnomah County Animal Services since 2012. We regularly volunteer in the dog kennels, at outreach events and parades, and we also host foster dogs in our home who need some time to decompress from the shelter, or to recover from surgery, or to be evaluated in a home environment. Fostering dogs and sending them on to their next place, wherever that may be, is one of the most rewarding things we do.
Bud and I started fostering for My Way Home Dog Rescue in 2017. What a tremendous experience it has been!
Below is an ode to the foster dogs we have known, loved, nursed back to health, and eventually let go.
Sweet Buddy lost his human mom, and her family needed help finding him a home that would love him like no other. Turns out that was a very simple request! This guy’s sunny disposition and capacity for love was so evident in his photos and bio that he got a terrific home within just days.
Odin (“Odie”) was an absolute delight, and he got the best home! He is cautious around children – they had something to do with his losing an eye – but he loves adults, and chasing squirrels, and carrying around stuffed squirrels like a proud and successful hunter. With his short legs he is no match for the real deal, and the squirrels know it. And they taunt him. And it’s equal parts funny and sad to watch him get toyed with by an army of tiny critters who run the fence line completely out of his reach.
Bailey loves stuffed toys more than any dog I’ve known. We were a “pit stop” foster home for him. He moved to another home closer to swim therapy to help build his confidence. He is quiet and contemplative. I hope he does great in his new home!
Lil Stevie came home for a quick grooming and a final vet appointment, but interest in him was so immediate that he stayed with us. He had adopters lined up within just a few hours of posting his bio on the My Way Home Dog Rescue site, and he quickly went home ready for new adventures and love.
This little character is Sissy. I loved her immediately. She is mostly blind, but you could see the wheels in her head mapping out her surroundings almost immediately. I felt terrible if I moved the ottoman a few inches because she clearly knew where it was “supposed” to be. She loved squeaky toys and finger wrestling and belly rubs. She went on to a different My Way Home Dog Rescue foster after me because he was considering adopting her. I hope that works out great because she is an absolute delight.
Gretel came home by accident. I met her at an adoption event. Her brother had been adopted (Hansel, if you’re wondering). Gretel was such a snuggle bug that when the time came to give her back to My Way Home, I couldn’t do it! Bud and I fostered her, thought long and hard about whether or not we would keep her, and ultimately decided that if we kept her, our household would be full and we would no longer be able to foster. She got a terrific home and now lives with a big dog and a little dog, just like she did at our house.
LilBit is a tiny terrier who is all heart. She came from the deep desert in Arizona with a current litter of puppies as well as her previous litter of puppies. Despite living outdoors with all the predators of the desert, she kept herself and her pups safe. She loves human attention and if she can keep a paw on you at all times to make sure you don’t go anywhere, that would be really cool too. Super nice gal deserves a super nice home.
Marley the Muppet is such a sweet guy! We had a terrific time hosting this guy for My Way Home while he recovered from some dental work. He scored a great home where he will be loved and doted on, every dog’s dream.
Cooper was a super silly cuddle bug who found a home very quickly. He was terrific with other dogs and very excited to meet new people. He was an absolute joy and we wish him the very best in his new home with his new brother.
Here is Bud and Fiona, waiting for their Second Chance Pet segment with KOIN 6 News Anchor Jenny Hansson. Fiona is a terrific pittie/hound mix who was a wonderful overnight guest. She was actually adopted by someone we know. She’s got a great life.
Beatrix was such a loving, sweet, kind, tremendous house guest! What a gentle and sweet soul. She got a great home across the river with a brother who loves to play with her morning, noon, and night. Seriously – does it get any better than that?
Maria was an overnight guest prior to her appearance on KOIN News Second Chance Pets. She got along great with our dog, and she loved all the squeaky toys she could find. Such a terrific and polite house guest!
Perry was our first foster dog through My Way Home Dog Rescue. What a delight! He was a nice, easy foster for a short while. Just a guy who needed a place to hang out until the right situation came along.
Raisin was with us the longest. 249 days. She was a hospice foster. An old gal. No teeth. Kidney failure. But wow did she integrate herself into our daily routine. She kept the two big dogs in line, and none of us would have had it any other way. We bonded thoroughly, and she is missed.
Oscar stayed with us overnight before appearing on KOIN News Second Chance Pets. He did great with our dogs and loved to explore the backyard. Someone saw him on KOIN and came and scooped him up within a couple of days.
Queeny was supposedly an ancient basset hound, but that girl could jump so high! She spent the night with us prior to her appearance on KOIN News Second Chance Pets. She was very quickly adopted and now enjoys the good life with her new family. She is apparently quite the sailor now.
Maggie May was blind and deaf with thinning hair and a “old gal” bark. She slept most of the time as her health was in decline. We were delighted to be her final stopping place before passing on peacefully.
Barry was such an old soul. He turned out to be an unexpected hospice foster, but we know that his final months were filled with love.
Rocky was such a gentle and dear house guest. We shared our home with him while he was preparing to go to a small dog rescue. He did not care for the shelter and all the barking, so our home was a welcome retreat for him.
Big Mac broke all the rules. Crate training? No thanks. Potty training? Maybe later. Don’t eat the bed sheets? Why not? But we loved having him with us. He found a gentleman who was ready to be his best buddy, and they are inseparable.
Brewster was another KOIN News Second Chance Pets dog. We fostered him for a little while after his appearance on TV and were delighted to send him to a very loving home.
Paulie and Davey. Two chihuahua puppies. These two dogs terrorized our kitchen in ways we never thought possible. We cared for them prior to their neuter surgeries, and they found homes very quickly thereafter.
Pip was another overnight guest in preparation for going on KOIN News Second Chance Pets. He was adopted very shortly after his appearance on TV, spray painted fur and all.
Elsa was such the pretty princess. She lucked out with a loving home and constant companionship.
Puddles was our first overnight foster in preparation for going on the KOIN News Second Chance Pets segment. Bud goes on TV occasionally and showcases a dog who could use the publicity. After appearing on KOIN, Puddles had someone waiting for him at the shelter before it opened that same day.
Lucy the lab was obese when we first started fostering her. About 140+ lbs if I remember correctly. She could barely walk. But she loved to play fetch. So we had to limit that for a while. She slimmed down beautifully on the right combination of gentle exercise and medication. She went to a great couple and now has a feline buddy.
Daphne was so much fun to have around. She was true to her rat terrier breed and gave a few of our evening garden visitors a run for their money.
Wendy was a great foster! We had to return her to the shelter when we had to go out of town suddenly and unexpectedly. Turns out her next foster family adopted her almost immediately and she now helps foster other foster dogs.
Old dog. Soulful eyes. You guessed it – foster fail. We adopted Maisey after six weeks of medical foster. We had her for three beautiful years, finally saying goodbye in 2017. We managed to clear up a life-long dual ear infection along the way. I loved this dog so much. That such a gentle, enthusiastic, optimistic, and loving dog could ever find herself in a shelter at the age of 10 will baffle me to my end of days.
Phoebe came in with a broken leg, but healed up quite nicely. She was a total cuddle bug, and she found a terrific retired couple who spoil her rotten.
Bernie was found wandering the Springwater Corridor. He was a very old boy. He was our first “hospice” foster. We kept him until it was time to say goodbye to this world. His last weeks were filled with love.
Carl. Gorgeous cocker spaniel with such a loving personality. He got a great family with a little boy who will no doubt join Carl in many adventures.
Dugan was a bit of a mystery dog. You never really knew what he was thinking. He hung out at our house for a little while, then he eventually found a home by the beach. Lucky dog.
Beatrice is another terrific poodle. She went to a home in the country to be a rock star companion to the family.
Dottie loves to play! She managed to get herself adopted while we were out wandering Peacock Lane one December. A great couple struck up a conversation with us from their car, and they patiently waited for her to appear on the Multnomah County Animal Services website. The called the shelter the minute her bio went live.
Tinker with her beautiful, soulful eyes. We “foster failed” and adopted her. She thought Bud hung the moon. She taught us that senior dogs are the absolute best dogs and everyone should have one!
Harold. Those ears! He was such a star athlete. Great fetch player. Smart.
Charlie (not an MCAS dog) was a lovable dodo that we nursed back to health and then he found a great family with lots of canine companions.
This sweetie was very scared in foster care. She was ultimately reunited with her owner.
Tessa the one-eared wonder. We came “this close” to adopting her, but she went home to a sweet little girl who loves her.
Reuben is still talked about in our circle of friends as “the best” foster dog ever to cross our threshold. He loved to go to the food cart pods with us and wag his tail at anyone who would look at him.
Coby got an active family with children who could run the energy out of him. This dog could strip the green off a tennis ball faster than any dog we’ve ever met.
Princess is now spoiled rotten, regularly, but a dear friend of ours. She is the tiny one, being checked out by Riley, our Chief Foster Activities Director. He has final say in all the dogs we bring home.
Interested in Fostering?
If you think you would like to share your home from time to time with a shelter dog (or cat), check out how to get involved on Multnomah County’s website. You can also contact My Way Home Dog Rescue if you think you would like to foster for them as well!
Many of the photos above are taken by us in our home. Some of the photos (the great ones, really), are Copyright Laura Hinrichs. Check out Laura’s amazing Shelter Dogs of Portland photography. Her patience during photo shoots is epic, and her photos absolutely help dogs find their forever homes much quicker.