Posted on

Community Supporting Rescue

Community. Supporting. Rescue

These words will be an ongoing theme covering various aspects of the Falco’s Friends programs. Falco will tell his story in this series as well. We feel very fortunate to have shared our lives with this amazing creature. He remains in our hearts today and his legacy remains alive in his namesake, Falco’s Friends.

When someone asks about the non-profit my husband and I founded this year, I sometimes find it difficult to find the words to explain what we do and why Falco’s Friends was created. This series will explore the experiences of who we were, who Falco was and how he Forever changed us. Falco’s unconditional love is the heart of Falco’s Friends.

Falco’s Friends was created in honor of our precious Falco, who we lost unexpectedly to a very aggressive cancer. Before we lost him in the Summer of 2017, we thought we had all the time on the world. Falco was in his prime- very active and healthy.

This loss had a powerful effect on our life paths. In retrospect, Falco’s entire life seemed to have profound impact on many paths and many people. He was one of those extra amazing old wise souls who just radiated peace and love everywhere he went.

Already very active in rescue, I doubled my efforts after losing Falco. Maybe I was trying to stay busy or even find the magic connection that only Falco could provide. During this time frame ( fostering no more than 2 at once) we cared for 4 puppies and 3 adult dogs while also caring for our own pack of 5. We were a full house!

We learned so much about the rescue world and about ourselves during this time. I learned that in some ways I’m not an ideal foster mom. I become so emotionally attached that I struggle when it’s time for our foster to move on to his or her Forever home.

During my first puppy adoption after losing Falco, I was almost inconsolable after saying goodbye. Adoption day is the day we are all working toward. It is the day- when a foster moves into a loving forever home- this is a day to celebrate!

I’ve grown and now prepare myself throughout the foster experience for adoption day. This helps but- it’s still tough to say goodbye. The rewards far outweigh any discomfort I may experience. To me, it is worth every single late night, potty training, puppy breath filled moment of fostering.

Can you imagine the most rewarding moment? What would that moment look like? For me, when I receive photos of my former “foster” with their new forever family. The love and joy is so evident in these pictures. This makes my heart happy and is truly the gift of fostering.

This emotional journey is so powerful. Many times I would sense Falco’s presence, his calming energy comforting a nervous animal or comforting me with unconditional love.

The foster experiences are always beautiful memories. Despite this, at times throughout the process, I would feel helpless and overwhelmed. This feeling resulted not from my fostering, but from countless stories and images, desperate pleas for help for all the other animals in need. I could not shake these images from my mind. My attempts to understand what I was only now seeing led me down an entirely new path.

Next: crisis, grief, transformation, Falco’s Friends creates a new mindset and fosters hope.