I have been blessed with a wonderful family. Along the way, after my children began their own families, I found a niche of caring for orphan animals.
In each animal shelter that I worked, my staff would discover my weakness for orphan animals. I was fortunate that my wife became a participant as a foster mother. There is no shortage of foster parents, so we always had puppies or kittens underfoot.
It is easy to fall in love with those under your care. My wife and I had a group of infant puppies that we kept in the bath tub… what a wonderful place for caring for infant animals. We documented their growth. One of the litter was a butthead and we eventually adopted him because no one else could love him like we did.
As the puppies got adopted, I made a deal with each owner that if they would share a photo as the puppy grew, I would pass on a baby picture of their new pet. Tragically, none of the new owners were interested in those baby pictures. I’ll just have to believe that they had good lives.
My staff in Virginia were unrelenting; they had me taking home kittens all of the time. It was always a big deal with our dog to see new kittens arrive home. The cats were not so thrilled, I think they worried that I was bringing home their replacements. I look back at taking care of my foster animals as a gratifying part of my life.
On Father’s Day, I will remember all of my children.