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Helping Each Dog Find Love Again

Cheri Greene is one of Agape’s extraordinary foster parents whose tenure with the rescue spans over a decade.  A cherished part of our foster team, Cheri has made a difference in many dogs’ lives over the years and this month, we recognize Cheri for the amazing impact she has made bringing families and dogs together through fostering.

Prior to 2013, Cheri was volunteering her grooming services to Agape (a talent she still offers our dogs in need). Around that time, her daughter found a small dog and when it had no owner, she asked if the dog could come into the Agape program.  “At the time, no foster homes were open, so I stepped up to be his foster,” she recalls. “That was my first foster dog. Now, it’s 10 years, 26 foster dogs and lots of memories later!”

Twenty-six fosters!  That is a lot of dogs whose lives are now better because Cheri was their foster parent, not to mention the lives in the community who have been touched by her dedication.  Though she’s learned something new from each and every foster who’s passed through her home, three are most memorable. “My second foster BeBe had a cute little personality and a sassy little wiggle walk. She knew she was the queen! BeBe had lots of allergies that her forever family helped her overcome. It was so wonderful getting updated pictures showing her beautiful, healthy coat. I’ll never forget Waffles’ adoption. He walked to the car with his new family and their dog and never looked back to say good-bye.  He knew he had found his people!”

She says her last foster, Edy, “will always hold a special place in my heart. She definitely was one of my most challenging fosters. Edy was a senior pittie, covered in mammary tumors and growths, and saved from a flooded shelter in Florida during Hurricane Ian. She had a special love of destroying pom-poms on hats and taking car rides. 🙂 Unfortunately, Edy was a hospice foster and after 6 months of her best life here, she peacefully crossed the rainbow bridge.”

Cheri’s favorite part of fostering is watching the transformation that occurs once her foster dog settles in and feels comfortable in her home.  “After the pup has been with me for about two to three weeks, they begin to relax and know they are safe. It’s wonderful to see their personality start to come out. I also love seeing them find their forever family.”

Some people ask how a foster parent can possibly let their foster dog be adopted? A seasoned foster parent like Cheri has given up her foster dog literally dozens of times.  She knows it can be emotional, and also knows why letting them go means saving another dog’s life. “For me, it’s like taking care of a friend’s dog,” she says. “I know he’s not my pup and I’m just caring for him until his family comes home. Every now and then, you meet a foster dog who becomes your heart dog and he stays forever. For me that’s only happened once … it was my sweet Rocky, my foster fail! Sometimes you do create a strong bond with your foster, and it’s a little harder to say good-bye. But you know the dog is going to a great home that is the best one for him.  And that’s what fostering is all about … finding the dog an amazing forever home.”

Cheri has enjoyed her foster experience with Agape and shares why she feels that way. “Agape has created a program that helps ensure a great process, foster parents are supported through every step, and adopters are well-vetted and matched with dogs.  For me, it is so rewarding helping each dog find love again.”

Cheri, we are grateful for your decade of foster service to Agape!  Thank you for your dedication, compassion, love, patience, and time.  We cannot save lives without amazing volunteers like YOU!

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