Foster Highlight: The Dahlstrom Family

We appreciate our fosters and have asked them to share their stories.

Foster: Tara Dahlstrom

How long have you been fostering? 

We have been fostering, as a family of four, since 2021.

Was there something specific that made you want to foster?

Yes, we adopted our dog, Stone, just before the pandemic. We adopted him sight unseen from a local shelter, but they did put us in touch with the foster, so that we could learn about him and be sure that he was a good fit for our family and that our family was a good fit for him. I loved hearing her input and just couldn’t believe how hard she worked and I was really inspired.

What impact has fostering had on your life? 

Fostering has made me more patient. It has taught me how best to interact with animals. It has made me a better dog owner, a better foster and a better mother. I learn patience from the baby animals, and my kids learn responsibility. And that dogs or cats aren’t just cute, they’re work, but that it is the most rewarding work one could hope for. Dogs and puppies especially, teach us resilience, and unconditional love, which the world could use more of.

Do you have a funny or special story or a special foster to share?

We have so many, it’s hard to choose honestly, but we had a tiny black dog (notoriously one of the hardest to get adopted for several reasons) born with a jaw deformity, who was such a sweetheart. We ended up finding, through a friend, the most wonderful family one could imagine. Buzz was a love and needed a lot of love back. His current family has gone out of their way to be sure he has the best life. He summers on boats and he winters in a lovely home with a big yard and a friendly dog next door. My daughter still talks about him to this day, and we’re excited to dog sit for him later this month. I run into former fosters all the time and the excitement they show when they see me and the photos I get from their forever homes makes goodbyes that much easier. Because it’s usually not goodbye but “see you later”

Is there anything else you would like to add or include? 

The number one comment I get, when I say I’m a foster, is: “I don’t know how you do it. We would keep them all” and my answer is, if that’s how you feel, this is your calling. It’s hard to see them go sometimes, especially the ones who really impact you, but if you love those pups and all the pups that much, you can see the bigger goal. The more you help find homes, the more you get to save. Eyes on the prize. Loving homes for all the animals. That’s the goal.