The Dogs That Steal Hearts

With so many dogs in the shelter, it’s easy to not get attached to many. Every once in a while, though, one comes along that just grabs your heartstrings between their paws and doesn’t let go. You become emotionally invested, and your every wish hangs on wanting this dog to find the perfect home. For me, in the past two weeks this happened with a dog named Ruby.

You may remember her from a post about taking her on tv. She is an absolute dream of a dog. I took her to an event on Wednesday night, and she wowed the crowd by being calm and gentle to everyone she met – and of course being totally gorgeous. I dropped her off at the shelter that night with my heart aching at the thought of her spending the night alone in her kennel.

While it’s scary investing so much love into a shelter dog, it’s also really refreshing. It helps you remember that every face back there is a loving animal with so much potential – a thought that is easily lost as you go about your daily job and fight for “homeless animals” as a whole, as opposed to each as an individual. These dogs show up, kiss your face, and remind you why you do what you do.

I know what you all are thinking: next foster! next foster! But Ruby is actually spoken for with at least one solid application – yay! Plus, I’ve got a visitor coming next week. . .

Happy St. Pawtrick’s Day!

Last night we held one of my favorite fundraising events for the animals at our shelter… St. Pawtrick’s Day! It’s a fun, laid back event where people come to eat, drink, and hang out — all with their pooch! It was held at Dogtopia, a daycare/boarding place we have a great relationship with, and featured a Doggie Brew Thru (chicken & beef broth!), a doggie bar from the store Bark, and a craft beer tasting – for the humans – from a local microbrewery called Baying Hound Aleworks. The turnout was great:

(Can you guess who my favorite party goers were?)

Hope you all have a wonderful & safe St. Patty’s Day!


Working like a dog

Working at a humane society, I’m allowed to bring my dogs to work (yay!). We have a few resident office dogs and a few who pop in and out when my coworkers feel like taking their pups on a field trip. I try to always bring my fosters to work with me because it alleviates the burden on my parents to watch them while I’m gone all day.

Some fosters handle it better than others. Otis was okay because he would sleep when I was at my desk, but if I left at all he would whine and I would feel horrible for disrupting my coworkers. Zabora wasn’t meant to be an office dog because she would never settle down in her little pen – she was always standing up and trying to break out and caused a lot of ruckus the whole time. It takes a special dog to be a good office dog; one who will be quiet all day and who won’t drive your coworkers crazy.

Baxter, I am happy to report, is a phenomenal office dog. He curls up in his pen, sometimes not even stirring when he has humans come visit him. I can leave my desk and he doesn’t even blink an eye. The only complaint I can think of is that he snores all day, looking so comfortable in his fluffy bed that it drives us all crazy with jealousy! Nothing like staring at a pile of deadlines and turning around to see this:

If he does decide to wake up and observe, he doesn’t really do much more than this:

As soon as we get out of the car in the morning to head into the office, Baxter starts wagging his tail. I think it is the best part of his day when he gets to say Good Morning to all the shelter staff who greet him back with just as much enthusiasm. He is a happy dog to everyone, but so many of the staff members here have a special appreciation for his joyful attitude because they saw him on day one.

Baxter is really spoiling me in the fostering department because of how “easy” he is at work (and at home and on adventures and in every other aspect). It’s going to be tough for future fosters to live up to the standards he has created. But for now, my coworkers and I will enjoy the extra brightness in our day that Baxter the office mascot brings us for as long as he gets to be with us.

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

Blog Awards!

You know what’s so fun? Winning awards!

Our Waldo Bungie passed on the Kreativ Blogger award to us last week. Thanks Turk, Rufus, & Ginger (even though we know it was your mama who did it). The Kreativ Blogger Award instructs that you tell 10 unknown things about yourself and then pass it on. Inspired by the recent Two Pitties in the City post where they revealed a little more about themselves outside the dog world, here are some random things about me:

1.  I have my motorcycle license. Current ride (when the sibs don’t steal it for college) is a Ninja 650r.

2. I’ve ridden horses my whole life. I did eventing (the same kind of competition they do in the Olympics) all through high school with my Thoroughbred named We Jammin’ (her show name), aka Marley (her barn name). I don’t do it much anymore but I’m hoping I can pick it up again soon.

3.  Valentine’s Day is one of my most favorite holidays! And no, not only when I’m dating someone. I just see it as an excuse to show my friends and family how much I love them. The chocolate is a nice bonus, too : -)

4.  I am fascinated with dog behavior and I try to learn as much as I can about it. It’s pretty amazing how dogs give us so many signals about the way they are feeling, and most people don’t even realize. It’s helped so much with each of my fosters.

5.  I didn’t step foot inside a gym or run more than a mile until my freshman year of college, and now I’m signed up for my 5th half-marathon. I learned I love running! Not sure if I’ll ever manage a full marathon though.

6.  I’m 5’ 10’’ but my favorite pairs of shoes will always be 6 inch heels (one of which pictured below, but there are many more)… and my cowboy boots.

7. I love the mountains and the outdoors. Aside from Maine being one of my favorite places in the world, I’d love to visit or even live in Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, etc. The wildlife, the scenery, the way of life – I love it all!

8. My favorite part of being an Animal Science major was how many cool things I got to dissect. I was the TA for a reproduction lab… you can only imagine what we got our hands on! (sorry if I just grossed you out…)

9.  I love snowboarding. My brother is super good, so he has been dragging me out for years now. I’m really grateful for it, because once you pick up on it, snowboarding is so fun!

10. I studied abroad in Greece my junior year, and it was the absolute best trip of my life. I can’t wait to go back, and would love to even learn the language. This picture is from Nafplio. Can you spy the doggy? I made an entire picture album of Greek animals.

As if that wasn’t enough, not one, but two blogs nominated Peace, Love, & Foster for the Leibster award: Our Waldo Bungie, and A & A Friese. Thanks guys! We’re so honored, and we loooove the idea of this award. The Leibster Award is a way to highlight the smaller guys; the blogs who don’t blog to many, but who are still just as deserving of recognition.

The way it works is basically the following:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks {with less than 200 readers} and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers and keep it going!

So, my five picks for both the Leibster Award AND the Kreativ Award are (drum roll please):

Waiting Between Trains: This is a new blog of a fellow Jasmine’s House foster home. They started with their foster Ozzie, who has since now been adopted! Now they’re fostering Poppy Rose, a too-cute, spunky pit bull something that will do so well in their home. I’ve loved getting to know Heather and reading about her fostering adventures!

Live Avec Kenji: This is my best friend’s blog about life as a first year graduate student living with her boyfriend and their new husky puppy (who I wrote about here). Like me, she takes a lot of pictures, and her subject Kenji is absolutely adorable. She talks a lot about their work with Kenji’s behavior and how they’re settling into their new “big kid” lives.

Positively Present: Okay, so I’m kind of cheating here. Positively Present is a blog run by a friend of mine and it talks about how to stay positive and live in the moment. I absolutely LOVE the message, it’s so inspiring! She has a few more (okay, a lot more…) than 200 followers – but! – she is attempting to quit her corporate world job and make this blog and this message her career, and I think that is totally awesome and I’d love to help her in any way I can. So I nominate her too.

– From the Pits: This is my friend’s blog, who also happens to be an animal shelter worker. She works as front office staff, so she sees an entirely different side of the shelter world. She gives a raw, real view on many issues that shelters face. She is also on a kitten fostering journey, which is a nice change of pace from the pittie faces I stare at all day!

Running with Squirrels: Another fellow foster parent with Jasmine’s House, Running With Squirrels just began their blog on McMuffin, their latest Jasmine’s House foster. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m already in love with McMuffin, their resident dog, and the pictures they take of them! I also love that so many Jasmine’s House fosters have blogs so I can keep tab on all the wonderful dogs in the rescue.

This was so fun to do, thanks again Our Waldo Bungie and A & A Friese. Sorry to take a break from Baxter for the day, but I promise he’ll be back again tomorrow for Video Wednesday!

2011 wrap up

In August, I joined the blog world. A lot happened before that, and a lot has happened since. It’s all sorts of crazy and exciting and unexpected and fun. Here is 2011 for Peace, Love, & Fostering in a brief review.

January – May

I was busy being a college senior at the University of Maryland. I interned at and then was offered a full time position at my dream job. I graduated with an Animal Sciences degree. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from my new opportunities.


A mere two weeks after graduating, I started real life (aka my full time job). I discovered Love and a Six-Foot Leash and subsequently all of my other favorite bloggers, organizations, and advocates. I rediscovered my love for pit bulls & pit bull type dogs, which was initially instilled when I had an internship at the humane society in high school. I slowly started learning about rescue, fostering, advocacy; the works.


I dog sat for Mandy & Dixie at the same time, proving to myself I could manage the full responsibility of caring for a dog, then jumped right in with my first foster Otis. Otis was only with me for two weeks. It was a good thing, because I don’t think I would have been ready for a long term foster so soon.  He was my first pit bull type dog (though much more American bull dog than pit, I’m sure).

Mandy (left) & Dixie (right) at the UMD Chapel.


August – September

Zabora! I co-fostered this bumbly little dog with Love & a Six-Foot Leash. I fell in love, but also learned enormous amounts with her – from screening applicants, to doing home visits, to even navigating how to advertise a [pit bull type] dog. This partnership set me up to be able to foster my first full-time foster on my own. Biggest thing I learned? How much of a knowledge vault Aleksandra is!


I kept my house open for Curious Georgia to live with us once Aleksandra’s family moved to Texas, but I ended up not being needed because she got adopted by the perfect family! I also, with the help of many, successfully pulled off my first fundraising gala for work.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Allen Photography.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Allen Photography.

November – December

The first week of November I brought home Baxter. We are on a patient journey to find his forever home, and loving every minute of it. Fostering him is teaching me more about dog behavior, blogging, training, rescue groups, photography, advertising, prioritizing, juggling schedules, nutrition, and improvising – to name a few things. I can’t wait to find him the best forever home, but until then he is my perfect little buddy.

2011 has been quite the year. I have never been more excited about the direction my life is taking – it’s like a million new doors have been opened! I don’t have many specific goals for 2012, mostly because I have ideas upon ideas brewing in my head for, like a wise friend once put it, “figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.” All I know is I want to keep finding dogs forever homes, continue blogging, and become more involved in the rescue/advocacy community to learn as much as I possibly can.

Happy New Year everyone!

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

A Taste of Holiday Spirit — Bully Sticks

Like many of you read on Love & a Six-Foot leash yesterday, the very famous Handsome Dan held a bully stick drive to benefit the dogs at their local shelters. When Handsome Dan’s Rescue received many, many more bully sticks than they could have ever imagined, they generously shared the wealth. Three days later, a shipment of bully sticks showed up at the Montgomery County Humane Society.

Now has anyone out there hand delivered such a scrumptious treat to a bunch of shelter dogs awaiting forever homes? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It is so rewarding.

The activity level of the shelter immediately settles down as each dog gently grabs their bully stick and trots to their beds to savor the delicious snack. Soon you have a silent kennel with nothing but little sounds of chewing and happy dogs.

So thank you very much to Handsome Dan’s Rescue for Pit Bull Type Dogs for the bully sticks. Our shelter dogs sure loved them, and nothing makes us happier than seeing our animals so happy.

And thank you to everyone else who is thinking of homeless animals during this holiday season. Today is MCHS’s “Holiday for the Shelter Animals” celebration. Our volunteers will be spending extra time with the animals, and handing out the multitude of toys, blankets, and treats we received through holiday donation drives. Baxter and I will also be delivering the 200 lbs of kibble! Thanks to the generosity of the public we will be able to bring a little bit of holiday cheer to the animals, like we already started with the bully sticks. Santa CK Bax sure is looking forward to it!

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

An Update on Life + Kibble for [FB] Comments

For every person who “Likes” Peace, Love, & Fostering’s Facebook page* and then leaves a comment (say hi! say whatever you’d like!) between now and midnight on Dec 21, Baxter & I will donate 1 lb of kibble to the Montgomery County Humane Society!! Share with your friends so we can spread the news about adoptable Baxter while helping needy shelter dogs. Thanks so much!

So I realized that I haven’t really given you all an update on the general existence that is Baxter these days.  I always forget how far he has come until I stop for a second and think about what he was like the day he walked into my house.  I owe it to him to share a little of his progress.

You know how they say dogs take a while to adjust and settle in, and it can be anywhere from one week to a year? Well Baxter is a perfect example of this. Every single day he becomes more comfortable with something new.  Each time I think he is “adjusted”, he becomes relaxed with one more part of his life and proves me wrong — in a good way! Things I didn’t really expect he would do like a normal dog, he is doing.

He knows our routine now and looks forward to it. He knows that the food bowl means he has to plant his booty on the floor and not wiggle and scoot all over the place. He knows that when foster grandma comes into the room, if he looks extra cute he might get a few more kibbles (not on my watch!). He knows that, “C’mon Bax, let’s go to work” means get ready for the leash and the car. He knows that when we walk into the office his place is inside his pen. He knows to wait by the front window when I’m not home because eventually headlights will signal my arrival. He knows that if he is sleeping in my room and I leave but don’t go up the stairs, he doesn’t need to follow me. If I do go up the stairs he’d better follow because I might be gone for a while. He knows that when I make a big smile and lean towards him he is supposed to plant a big kiss on my face.

All of these little victories make me overwhelmingly happy. New dog owners should be aware that their new dog acting up, peeing in the house, being withdrawn, etc. probably has to do with the fact that they just don’t know how to deal with their new surroundings yet. Soon they learn boundaries and rules and what makes their humans happy or what makes their humans upset; and every dog has a different time frame for when they learn these things. This time frame doesn’t have anything to do with what kind of dog they are – a dog can be the best dog you have ever had (Baxter!!!), and just be a little shy or slower in becoming confident and comfortable.

It makes it fun; watching our lives with Baxter unfold. I can leave Baxter alone with my parents and everyone – Bax included – is at ease. I can tuck Bax into his crate at night and he sleeps happily until I drag him out of bed in the morning. I can be comfortable with him being in the other room without me. All of these are really things I wasn’t sure were going to happen when I first met him. Mostly because I’d never really taken on a long-term foster before, but also because Baxter had so much unknown about him.

He makes me feel so proud, happy, and fulfilled because of the dog he is growing into.  His forever family is going to love all of the same things about him that I do, and more, because they will get to experience the truest form of Bax as he lives with them for years and years.

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

*Up to 200 lbs of kibble. Multiple comments from the same contributor will only be counted once. If you already “Like” the page, just leave a comment and you will still be counted!