Puppy Love!

This weekend, we fostered puppies (through Dog Days of Charlotte) for the very first time. I cannot tell you how happy my heart is that we were able to do this and give those boys a place to stay, toys to play with and lots of love. If you’re not familiar with fostering, it’s a great way to get involved with rescues without adopting or donating money (although I’m all for adopting and give as much as I can to help those in need – including pups!).

On Saturday, I took the boys to an adoption event at Petco and they both got applications for adoption. I’m sure they will make those families very happy. But while I was at the event, I noticed how everyone cooed over the puppies and ignored the full grown adult dogs. It completely broke my heart, especially with Denver. Denver is literally THE PERFECT dog. He’s sweet, he’s up-to-date on shots, he’s heart worm negative, does well on a leash, what more can you ask for? I fell head-over-heels for this boy after spending the day with him. He gave me the sweetest kisses and he has such kind eyes. You can just tell that he’s going to be a loyal dog. I can’t believe he’s been in foster since August.

Bam Bam (also available through Catering to Cats & Dogs) was the other guy that stole my heart. (Yes, I was there with the puppies but they got lots of attention and both had applications before I starting hanging out with D &BB). This little guy is only 7 months old and so super sweet. He was so calm to be a puppy and just wanted me to hold him. He does well on a leash and being 7 months old, he’s pretty much grown. He’s the perfect small dog, with THE softest fur. I would have taken him home myself if I knew my husband wouldn’t kill me.

If you’re local to Charlotte and interested in getting involved with rescues or fostering or even considering adopting, here are some good places to start:


While all of these groups will gladly take you on as a foster for a weekend, a week, two-weeks or until the dog gets adopted, a good starting point is this Facebook page for Foster Charlotte Area Dogs. They post dogs daily that are on death row in the shelters and need out immediately, and just need a foster to step up. If you think you can’t do it because you’ll get attached or sad when they get adopted, think about the alternative: they’re going to die if someone doesn’t step up. Not to sound like a bully, it just the truth.

If you aren’t in Charlotte and want to get involved, just google it. Or even search on Facebook and you can often find groups local to you. If you insist on getting a purebred dog, please know that 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred and there are purebred rescue groups that can help you find your new best friend. Rescue groups will also help arrange transport to get the dog to you if you don’t live close by.

Give fostering a shot. A lot of times fosters fall in love with the dog and decide that’s the dog they want to adopt. Even if you only do a week or two, you’ll be saving TWO lives. One for the dog that was pulled for you to foster and one for the dog who now has space to live in an overcrowded shelter. If you foster puppies, while two are a handful, they keep each other company and ours slept through the night without crying AT ALL because they had each other.

It’s such a rewarding experience and at zero cost. You will get everything you need from the group you’re working with. Seriously, sounds too easy, right? It is! There are millions of dogs in shelters that will die this year, fostering for a weekend was the least we could do. I can’t wait to get more involved with these organizations.


Today is Giving Tuesday. A day to give back after we splurge on Black Friday in the stores and online on Cyber Monday. Okay, so maybe you weren’t out trampling other shoppers on Friday and maybe you didn’t peruse Amazon yesterday for deals, but you can still give something today. It doesn’t have to be monetary, and it doesn’t have to be a lot, but a helping hand to an elderly neighbor, a random act of kindness paying for the guest behind you at Starbucks or volunteering for a local charity can go a long way.


I was always grateful to hear of one of the neighbors helping my grandfather, whether it was helping him cut hay, hauling cattle or cutting firewood, it was nice to know that he had company and wasn’t doing all that manual labor on his own (even though he would assure us that he could). And while I’ve never had a stranger pay for my coffee, I do it every once in a while, in hopes that it will brighten someone’s day – and maybe that they’ll pay the gesture forward. I’m lucky that my company offers a day a year to volunteer in the community, as well as matches our charitable giving. One year we painted and cleaned at a new hospice facility and last year I helped sort socks and gloves for a 100% volunteer run charity. Giving doesn’t require a lot of money – or even a lot of time. Every little bit helps – whether it’s money or time.

In honor of Giving Tuesday – here are my top 10 charities to help out:

1. Isabella Santos Foundation – Charlotte, NC

      A kids foundation for Children with Cancer

2. Hands N Feet Foundation – Charlotte, NC

A consistent sense of warmth and comfort for the homeless

3. HopeMatch Organization – Charlotte, NC

Providing Holiday assistance to those in need

4. Hospice & Palliative Care  – Charlotte, NC

Improving the quality of life through hospice care

5. Greater Charlotte SPCA – Charlotte, NC

Helping to save (animal) lives from shelters, bad situations and unwanted homes

6. Ginger’s Fund

Fighting animal cruelty, and saving those who were cruelly treated

7. Dog Days of Charlotte – Charlotte, NC

Saving lives from high-kill shelters, transporting to rescue, boarding/foster until a furever home is found
    *while my husband hasn’t given in to fostering yet, I continue to support this organization in their efforts

8. United Mitochondiral Disease Foundation

There is no cure for this illness but a lot of hope for those who have it. My younger cousin has this disease and we’d love to 
    find a cure. Here’s a story on another child suffering from Mito and her mother’s hope.

9. Pretty in Pink Foundation – North Carolina

Providing financial assistance to support underinsured and uninsured people with breast cancer in North Carolina

10. The Birthday Project (North Texas) or Birthday Wishes (MA, RI, NY)

Giving Birthday parties to homeless children (remember what it was to be a kid on your birthday? Themed parties? Friends?

In addition to these amazing charities (with tax-deductible donations), I always recommend supporting your local agencies for the homeless, battered women, elderly and children in need.

  • ARC – providing care to those with intellectual disabilities in NC
  • Urban Ministry – bringing the community together to end homelessness
  • Charlotte Rescue Mission – helping our homeless
  • Friendship Trays – delivering nutritious meals and a welcome moment to our ailing neighbors
  • Clean the World – not local, but offers hygiene kits to kids in areas of need (clean water!)

Sometimes people just need a helping hand to get back on their feet, or to see that there is still kindness in the world. Today is a great day to show someone that you care.

I shared more than 10 organizations, but I am passionate about all of them. I may not be able to give a ton to each of them, but I can give something to all of them, whether it’s a donation today, an hour here and there, or a Christmas gift for a child in need. I’d love to hear about the organizations that you are passionate about! Please leave a comment to share – and spread the word on social media about #givingTuesday!


“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank