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Fostering Bri… And Other Dogs

Serial Fosters Help The Community

By Catherine Dine and Andrew Kaczmarek

It all started during Covid. Come Labor Day 2020, it was clear we wouldn’t be going back to the office for a while. Both of us had pretty demanding schedules, being in our mid-20s and working in finance and consulting, but we realized that working from home would allow us the time to foster a dog.

We often frequented the dog-friendly coffee shop at the end of our block in New York City, where we learned about a local foster agency, Social Tees. As we ventured into fostering, we never imagined that it would become such a large chapter in our lives, let alone one that has unfolded seven times over.

Each foster holds a special spot in our hearts, but for this story, we will focus on our foster #4, Bri (short for Briana). Bri, with her endearing giant pointy ears and playful spirit, arrived in our lives as a 7-month-old pit mix. She and her sister journeyed from Tennessee to New York, and while her sister got adopted within the first few weeks of being in New York, Bri spent about seven months between two foster homes before finding her forever family.

We had Bri for about three months, from January 2022 to March 2022. We cherished every moment with her, from her quirky love for pink toys to her sassy yet irresistible demeanor. She loved to play dress up with mom and play rough with dad. She also loved monitoring what was going on outside as she perched on the couch looking out the living room window. We loved her so much and saw the potential for her to be an amazing family dog, but no applications were coming in for her. 

Bri loved the attention. She would give big hugs and kisses to anyone who would look her way, but there was one neighbor that she became particularly interested in – Sean-Patrick Hillman. We knew this neighbor from walking our previous foster dog and knew his love for dogs as well as his extensive experience in animal rescue. After many meet and greets, we could tell that he seemed extremely interested in Bri. The timing wasn’t perfect as he and his wife wanted to take some time after their two previous dogs had passed away - but Bri worked her magic and stole their hearts. Bri was an energetic and strong dog that would require some training, and Sean-Patrick and Kylie were up for the challenge! We knew that they would be a perfect match for Bri. While we were sad to see Bri leave our home, we were extremely happy because it also meant that we would be able to see Bri grow up living right next door.

While we don’t get to see all of our previous fosters after they get adopted, we are reminded of them in so many ways - photos around the house, custom mouse pads, and the random Apple TV photos that pop up. We have come to love the fostering lifestyle, but it’s not always easy! As many people do, we fell in love with our first foster dog. Unfortunately, she did not share our love for New York City with all of its sudden loud noises. That led the rescue to deny our chance to adopt her. We were heartbroken and didn’t think we could go through that experience again. However, after some time passed, we agreed that we were ready for another dog in our lives. A comment we hear a lot is, “I could never foster because I wouldn’t be able to give the dog up.”

We understand this feeling completely, but have learned that once you have the experience of helping more than one dog, it becomes a very fulfilling job. With time we realized that fostering was an opportunity to help more dogs find their furrever home and to share ours with more pups!

Fostering has been a perfect match for us as we love dogs but also have pretty busy work and travel schedules. While we know we could make our schedules work with a dog, we have grown to love the flexibility fostering does allow. Fostering has also given us the invaluable experience of working with dogs of all different breeds and ages. Our story is a testament to the incredible impact that fostering can have on the lives of animals, families, and communities. There are countless dogs out there waiting for their chance at a loving home, and fostering is the bridge that connects them to their forever families. We are so proud to have played a small part in that, and in Bri’s life.