By Christie P.
Growing up, my family had two dogs and two cats. Having pets as part of the family felt like a necessity and created so many memories that it assumed my children would have the same privilege.
By the time my children were born, I had a darling pair of cats, named Duke and Dutchess. I loved them dearly, but my youngest was allergic as an infant and started breaking out in hives constantly. We knew we had to give our beloved kittens away, but it was one of the hardest things we had ever done.
On the road to their teenage years, the boys had asked many times to adopt animals but my job kept me so busy with travel that I didn’t see how we could be responsible pet owners. That’s when we decided to start helping out at Greenhill.
Originally, we were going to volunteer, but we were all busy during the days Monday through Friday and our weekends were unpredictable at best. We did, however, learn that Greenhill had a foster program. It turns out, the foster program was a win/win situation for us. Not only would we get a constant stream of kittens that were recommended to stay in a small portion of the house, but we would be helping to nurse and socialize young animals who would be unable to survive without caring attention.
Giving back our first set of kittens was terribly difficult. I cried for hours after giving them up, and missed them horribly each time I walked past the space where they had been. Fortunately, I realized very shortly after that my ability to host and return kittens was what was allowing other people to adopt them. Because of the work my family was doing, a young girl would meet her best friend, a recent empty-nester would find a perfect companion, and a bachelor can find a companion to greet him when he gets home from work.
That said, I have to admit that we have now officially become “foster failures.” We ended up falling in love with a singlet that we were caring for and, now that my job duties allow me to be home more, we decided to add MacDougal to our household. Even so, we still intend to continue fostering into the future. We truly enjoy taking care of these little bundles of joy, and they have brought so much love into our house. The whole family agrees that deciding to foster is one of the most gratifying risks we’ve ever taken.