My name is Patty and I am a volunteer for PUP. I help with event planning and the monthly PUPDate. My husband and I have pretty hectic schedules and only occasionally foster dogs. That’s one of the things I love about PUP—there are plenty of things to do and each of us takes on roles according to our availability and comfort level.
In February, my husband and I had a stretch of time with no upcoming commitments, so we decided to foster a dog. It was February 4 and I picked the dog at the bottom of the list, a Dachshund/Min Pin mix. At 17 pounds, Laura said she would probably be a good hiker for us. We were so convinced this foster would be adopted right away, we named her Valentine in honor of the holiday just 10 short days away.
Valentine came home with us on February 7 and we immediately knew she was a sweetheart. She was very gentle and, as we soon learned, also very pregnant! Whoa!!! Unexpected detour for sure! I was shocked and told Laura that if she had to pick a single volunteer more ill equipped to handle this situation, it would be me. Not having children of my own, I was clueless. I mean, really clueless. But, I had many people within PUP to consult with. We had made a commitment to Valentine and although we initially waivered, we watched Valentine’s five puppies come into this world on February 24. We named them Java, Pinky, Stamper, Dipper, and Claire.
The puppies are now about four weeks old, and in that time we’ve watched their eyes open, their reactions to hearing sound for the first time, their first steps, and of this writing, their baby teeth coming in. Their personalities are beginning to emerge and they love to play with each other. They will soon find their forever homes and this house, with eight dogs at the moment, will be down to two. That will be a bittersweet day, but I would not change this experience for anything.
Laura often says that we don’t always get the dog we want, but we get the dog we need. Thank you, Valentine, for giving me this gift and letting me share in your experience. It’s one I’ll never forget.