Meet our foster families
The backbone of any rescue is it’s foster homes. These selfless animal lovers open their hearts and homes to dogs who many times are not house or crate trained, have behavior issues and often medical issues. A dog can be in foster care undergoing vet work or training for months before it is ever listed on the TBR website. Sometimes we have dogs at a foster home for well over a year before the perfect home is found. It is a special person that can give that much love and affection to a dog while nurturing it back to health and providing necessary training only to let it go when the right home is found. It also may be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime. A fellow dog rescuer, Diane Morgan, wrote a poem to her foster dog that pretty much says it all.
I am the bridge Between what was and what can be.
I am the pathway to a new life.
I am made of mush, Because my heart melted when I saw you, Matted and sore, limping, depressed, Lonely, unwanted, afraid to love.
For one little time you are mine. I will feed you with my own hand I will love you with my whole heart I will make you whole.
I am made of steel. Because when the time comes, When you are well, and sleek, When your eyes shine, And your tail wags with joy Then comes the hard part. I will let you go–not without a tear, But without a regret. For you are safe forever– A new dog needs me now.
by Diane Morgan
DEREK AND LEANN TENBUSCH
Derek and I just started fostering in 2013 so we are newbies. We have a soft spot in our hearts for beagles as we had a beagle, Taime, for 18 years. We adopted her when we were in college and she lived with us in Michigan, California and North Carolina. We lost her a few years back. We both work at home so our situation is ideal for fostering. We help out a bit with the social media side of TBR so some of the posts you see on Facebook and Twitter are from us. The first picture is us with our foster SPANKY at Beaglefest 2013 and the other picture is our old lady Taime when she was 18 yrs old.
I began fostering back in 2005. I knew I wanted to foster and I already had a beagle so I thought I would start with a dog I was familiar with. Little did I know that many years and countless dogs later I would still be actively involved. Opening up my home and heart to my fosters has been a blessing I could have never imagined. They have taught me to believe in forgiveness and healing. My first foster, Stuee, had lived a horrible life of abuse before coming to TBR. He had every reason to hate people. However, he loved everyone he met and showed me that our past does not have to dictate our future. I have seen dogs transform before my very eyes. My second foster, Wren, was the most shy dog I have ever met. It took months before she would allow me to touch her. Then it happened. She trusted me. She went from a terrified dog hiding under my deck to a sweet cuddle bug that curled up next to me whenever she had the chance. Fostering is a two way street. While we give love and care to these dogs they give us unconditional love and teach us life lessons. Yes, fostering can be challenging at times. However, every email from a happy adopter reminds us that our work enriches the lives of not just the dogs but of the people who adopt them.
DAN AND TINA SAVARESE
Dan (Santa), TBR Alumni Henry (in Santa’s Arms), Tina (sitting on floor), TBR Alumni Sampson (in Tina’s lap), TBR Foster Lil’ Buck (under Tina’s right arm), TBR Guest dog Lady (Chihuahua in Tina’s lap), TBR Treasurer Mary Price (Elf), TBR Foster Jesse (In Elf’s arms), TBR Alumni Roxie (bottom right)
Dan rescued Junior, his first beagle, in 1994 as a stray. Years later after he met his wife Tina, she found her first beagle (J.J. aka Junior Junior) abandoned on the side of the road. After Junior passed away in 2009 this couple dove right in to TBR by becoming, adoptive parents, foster parents and eventually board members.
MARK AND WHITNEY WALKER
Mark and Whitney Walker first met while walking their dogs on a trail in 1998. It was love at first sight (between Mark and Whitney’s beagle, Winston, at least!) Winston was rescued from a laboratory, but the minute he came home, he knew he was meant to live as a king. When he passed away in 2012, we couldn’t even look at another beagle without tearing up. We adopted a border collie mix named Duncan. He is a great boy, but he would much rather swim and chase a Frisbee than snuggle. We started peeking at the TBR’s website, and when we saw Pete (TBR alum Cody), we knew we had found our boy.
The day we adopted Pete, I took our daughters to his foster’s house. They were so excited about Pete. But his foster mom, Eleanor, made a big impression on them, too. Over and over they asked me about his foster mom. They wanted to know if she missed Pete, if she had a new foster, if she was the one to teach him to sit? This fascination soon turned into interest in our fostering. So once we got the boys settled and reasonably trained, we started to foster. It has been so rewarding for the entire family. Our dogs love having another playmate. The kids are proud to be helping, they love the different personalities of the dogs, they love meeting the other dogs at adoptathons, and most of all they love when the dogs get matched with a forever family. Mark and I are just happy to show the beagles how they were meant to live- like royalty.