Three Years and Counting

Today, April 4th, marks three years of Mark (foster dad) and I officially dating. THREE YEARS. It seems crazy when I think about how long we’ve been together because on one hand it feels like just yesterday we were in college together and on the other it’s hard to really remember what life was like before each other.


Because we started dating in college, a lot has changed in our relationship. When we first met I honestly didn’t have any clue that this (dogs) was where my life would take me. I hadn’t started interning at the humane society yet so my focus was still on horses through my Animal Sciences degree. We were just two college students totally enjoying the opportunity to spend nearly every waking minute together – I as a junior, he as a sophomore. When I began my senior year, my focus started shifting to working in a non-profit thanks to my heavy involvement in Relay For Life. He was in the business school so he helped me tackle the job search and really think about what I wanted to do after college. I graduated and began working at MCHS, and he stayed behind at Maryland, just thirty minutes up the road.

Our first summer together, August 2010.

Our first summer together, August 2010.

It is often the case that a college student and a young professional have a tough time staying together because they live in two different worlds. Add some foster dogs in there and you’re sure to have a tough situation on your hands. But for some reason, Mark and I were able to stick it out. Despite the fact that he lived in a house with his fraternity brothers and I lived with my parents working 9 – 5, we made time for each other. He graciously accepted each foster dog I brought home, and he and his roommates welcomed them all into their house when they needed to. We both made sacrifices. But Mark knew that helping dogs was something I loved, so despite the fact that it’s pretty much the opposite of anything on a college student’s agenda, he made it work.


To be honest, Mark’s a huge part of the reason I am the dog advocate and foster parent that I am today. He pushed me to pursue my goals and get involved in things I thought might not work out (I’m a wimp that way – if I’m nervous I’ll be unsuccessful, I’ll often skip out on the opportunity). While it was my idea to start this blog, he was the one that said, “Okay it’s time to start this NOW and stop saying you’ll do it tomorrow.” It was true, I needed the push. And look where it’s come? I remember the exact place we were when I told him I’d finally created Peace, Love & Fostering: on the highway. He was excited, enthusiastic and supportive – just like always.

Our trip to San Diego after I graduated college in 2011.

Our trip to San Diego after I graduated college in 2011.

We’ve grown up together. Fast forward three years from the weeks we started dating and now we’re both working full time, we’re fostering dogs and we’re doing all sorts of other “grown up” things together. I love the partnership we’ve created with Johnnie, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us. Love ya, foster dad!

mark4Note from Johnnie: Foster dad is awesome! He loves me, even though I can sort of be a brat puppy sometimes. On that note, want to adopt me? Email! Xoxo, J Cash.