A “Foster Failure” that Wasn’t

Category: Spring 2018 495 0

First-time foster Cheance Adair found an unexpected blessing in a 3-pound package

By Christina Orlovsky Page

Cheance Adair is no stranger to high-profile animals. The longtime San Diego Humane Society supporter adopted Mouse and Wifi, two kittens who attracted media attention in 2014 when they were accidentally packed inside a Cox Communications truck as newborns and survived being shipped from Los Angeles to Chula Vista. She’d been happy to adopt, but couldn’t imagine fostering.

“I’ve said to friends who have fostered that I don’t know how they do it,” Adair says. “I don’t think I could have my heart broken that way.”

Yet in January 2017, when she heard about the 182 Yorkies whom SDHS rescued from a horrific hoarding situation in Poway, she knew she had to help. After making a donation, she found herself in conversation with a friend and SDHS employee who mentioned there was a pregnant pup in need of a foster home.

“Before I knew what I was doing, I blurted out, ‘Sure, I’ll do it!’ never thinking they’d actually pick me,” she recalls.

The rest is history. The next thing Adair knew, she was at SDHS immediately after Lina had delivered her three puppies. Staff handed her an exercise pen, bedding and other supplies, and she went home with four new foster pets.

“I was shocked, but I told myself, ‘I got this!’” she says. “They were so incredibly tiny—no bigger than my finger—but Lina was an amazing mother and we all fell in love immediately.”

Lina and her puppies, whom Adair named Midnight, Spot and Trey, joined Mouse, Wifi and Adair’s 10-year-old terrier mix, Jack. Day after day, Adair weighed the puppies, tracking their growth, and arranged meet and greets with friends she thought might provide loving homes once the puppies were old enough for adoption. She created a Facebook group so potential adopters to follow along with the pups’ development and, in doing so, built her own support system to help her through the puppy-rearing process.

Midnight and Spot were adopted at eight and nine weeks, which left Lina and Trey in Adair’s care. Once Lina was healthy after 20 weeks, she was adopted as well, and Adair became what she had come to expect: a “foster failure.” She adopted Trey, a little 3-pound miracle who helped her cope with the loss that followed.

“In June, Jack died of cancer,” she says through tears. “I tell you, if it wasn’t for the Pet Loss Support Group and the whole adoption process, I couldn’t have handled Jack’s passing. In hindsight, I believe this foster experience was prepared for me.

“Never before would I have pictured myself as the owner of a 3-pound dog that’s no bigger than my shoe, but this opportunity saved my life,” she concludes. “I recommend fostering to anyone who has the heart and the time. It’s amazing how these dogs get into your life and grab ahold of your heart.”

SHARE YOUR STORY: If you have an adoption story you’d like to share, email us at casey@sandiegopetsmagazine.com with a photo of your pet for possible inclusion in a future issue.


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