August 26 is National Dog Day, which encourages ownership of all breeds—from mutts to purebreds. The aim is for every dog to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life. On the flip side, rescuing Fido can boost the mental and physical health of the humans who intervene.

One of our own magazine editors, doggy do-gooder Jennifer Paton, got the itch to foster after seeing a friend’s Facebook post. Though not looking to add another dog to the mix, she and her husband, Matt, saw the value of fostering and offering a loving home. They took the leap with a local animal rescue.

Scanning photos of a litter of young pups, Jennifer was instantly drawn to the only girl. After completing paperwork, she and Matt were approved as foster parents. 

On pickup day, the puppy—whom they named Isla—got her first shots while the family received a bounty of dog food and a loaner kennel to start Isla’s crate training.

“Unsurprisingly, all of us were smitten by the puppy’s sweetness,” Jennifer says. “But there were also some challenging moments as our two older dogs, Piper and Felix, questioned who the new little invasion was. And we quickly were reminded that puppies are a lot of work. Those tiny little teeth are sharp!”

How did this adventure in foster dog parenting turn out? Jennifer happily calls it a foster fail.

“We were given five days with the dog to decide if we wanted the first chance to adopt her,” Jennifer says. “After much conversation about what it means to own three dogs, we decided to make it official. There was a fee to do so, but it included several rounds of shots, her spay at 6 months and a microchip. We likely won’t be ready to foster again any time soon, but I’m happy we gave fostering a chance.”

Isla is wagging her tail, too.