I was planning to start with a post about how to get started fostering (coming soon), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was still a question I should answer first, for you and for myself, and that's "why blog?"
I apologize in advance for how absurdly long this post is. I promise they won't all be like this. Probably.
First, let's talk about why. My 5th grade teacher told me that she thought I should be a writer (previously I wanted to be a zoo keeper, which is also not that far off), and since then I don't think I really considered that I could be anything else. So when it comes to rescue, fostering, and all things dog, I always have so much to say.
Then there's why now. The past few months have been difficult for me, and I've been down on rescue at times. The rescue world is really tough. There is the obvious, the bad things that happen to innocent animals. Then there are constant arguments over philosophies and the ever enigmatic "right thing to do" in a situation.
I was really struggling with who we were, and who I was, within this complicated world. I began to wonder if it was time for a break. I was also conflicted behind the scenes with True's adoption. I had been identifying myself as a dog foster parent for so long—who was I if I no longer contributed to getting dogs out of shelters and into my home? (To answer a FAQ: we'll still take emergency short term placements but we're not fostering full time anymore.)
Then, we had our feature story for Real Happy Dogs. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that that changed everything for me. Seeing our story told in that manner, and the interaction and engagement with everyone who read it lifted my spirits so much. I began to remember the reasons I started Penny's IG account in the first place. Our story takeover on Sunday had me feeling so invigorated and recharged, and that's when I had the idea for the blog.
I love sharing how many times a day the girls make me smile and laugh, and knowing that we can make someone's day better with their ridiculous antics. I love, probably most of all, hearing that our story and our posts about the girls help people or inspire them to try fostering or change someone's mind about pit bulls.
There are also so many good people in rescue. There are so many volunteers, photographers, dog walkers, etc. who do this day in and day out without any recognition. I have made some amazing friends through the fostering community. I can't wait to highlight them all on this blog (we've already had some awesome offers for guest bloggers!)
Special shoutout to Milla of Real Happy Dogs...there are no real words for that professional lady (and mama) who dedicates so much of her valuable time to photographing, writing, and constantly updating these stories (and proofreading this blog post!). All of the women I've met (aren't women amazing?) inspire me every single day to not give up, and to remember the good in this world.
So the final answer to why blog is all of the ranting I've done above, and also one more thing that I specifically hope comes from whatever we end up doing here at HelloPigPen. I hope I can help people choose to start fostering. Especially now that we will have to take a huge step back having Gert, and as her health inevitably declines, I would love to know that somewhere out there, someone is taking in the dogs that I can't personally help. If we can inspire someone to take in a homeless dog, I will feel that I have achieved my purpose. So, I ask this: let me know what you need from me, and want to see from me, to get started on that journey. If you can't foster, that's okay too. Keep advocating, and spreading the word. And let's go on this weird adventure together.