Adventures in Babysitting

In November when we went to Montana for Thanksgiving, one of the things we did as part of our annual tradition was to pick a boy’s name and a girl’s name off of the charity tree at the mall in Kalispell. We also took some requests off of the local animal shelter’s tree and then we bought gifts for the kids and for the dogs.

As we drove home at the end of the weekend, we decided that one of the things we needed more of in our lives was meaningful actions like these.  It was a small thing, but it made us both feel good to do it. We talked a lot about what was important to both of us and we settled on volunteering to foster for the rescue where we adopted Konza. We’ve been so lucky to have him over the last 10 months and we decided that if we could help other dogs find homes, we wanted to do what we could, however small a part that is. We also felt that in some way that would honor Ilex’s life with us.

We knew it would be hard to have these dogs in our lives for a short while and then have to give them up. One thing that helped with the puppies was that we didn’t use their names much. We knew their new families would probably change them anyway, and not using them helped us not to get so attached. We also decided from the beginning that we would look at fostering as just babysitting for their future families. I wouldn’t think I could keep someone else’s dog because they went on vacation for a week and I had volunteered to dog sit, would I? This is sort of the same thing…their families just don’t know them yet!

Our first fosters were two teeny puppies named Dexter and Gizmo that we brought home just a few days before New Year’s Eve. They were around 6 weeks old at the time and just heart-breakingly cute.

They were with us until they were adopted, with the exception of a week long vacay with another foster family. They were exhausting! But, we (and Konza in particular) loved having them here. We were afraid that he would be jealous or that he would play too rough with them, but he was great…played with them just gently enough. He was a great babysitter, too and kept them out of trouble when we were not in the room. It was hard for all of us to see them go, but we were really happy that they both found forever homes. Konza searched the house for a day or two when they were gone, looking for the puppies.
Konza enjoying the puppies:
Ken took these great photos of them when they were here:

A couple of weeks ago we were asked to take in a one year old lab mix named Pia, who was having some problems at her foster home. The rescue gave me all kinds of warnings about being strict with her and laying down firm rules. I was worried she would be this crazy hellion, so I set up a pen in the sun room to keep her corralled until we could get her kennel from the rescue. So I was pleasantly surprised when she arrived and was incredibly sweet and calm.

Pia on her first day here

The one problem we’ve had with her since she’s been here is that she’s desperately needy and hungry for love. That’s only hard because we can’t pet Konza without her trying to get in between us and him. She has become a bit more confident since she’s been here, though and the two of them play together really well. I can’t believe she hasn’t been adopted yet, to be honest, because she is an amazing dog – loving, loyal, and already house and kennel trained. We’ve gotten used to having her here, so I know it will be hard when she goes, but we are hoping she finds a new home soon so that she can settle in and get the one on one love from a family that can commit to loving her forever. She totally deserves that.

Pia enjoying the snow at Fish Creek Park

Pia enjoying the snow at Fish Creek Park


  1. Oh my goodness I just enjoyed this so much! LOVED LOVED LOVED the pictures!!! If I could’ve hugged your blog I would’ve!

    • Thank you! It’s been a really good experience for both me and Ken. I’ve had a great time taking photos of them and just having extra doggies to cuddle. The puppies were a real handful, but it was so nice having little ones around. There’s just something about a puppy, you know?

Y'all leave a reply now, eh?