Lisa and CoulsonA student in Vatterott’s Vet Tech program, Lisa Merrill loves animals. She learned about Gateway Pet Guardians through our partnership with the college, where homeless animals receive medical care and socialization from students during a short stay before entering foster. Lisa took a leap of faith and filled out an application, and within a month has already opened her home to two foster dogs!

Lisa’s current foster, Coulson, is the most adorable, unique little dog. Lisa fell in love with Coulson because he is cute, but also because she had heard his story. Coulson’s owner passed away, and his world had been flipped upside down. Everything for him was scary and new. Lisa wanted him to experience stability and love again, and didn’t hesitate to open her home to the adorable little dog. She picked him up for foster, and so began their journey together.

Coulson has acclimated to life in the Merrill household quickly. Lisa, her husband, and her 3-year-old daughter try to show him as much love as possible. After Lisa’s daughter goes to bed, Coulson will curl up in her lap while she does homework. He’s the ultimate study buddy! And he loves sleeping in bed with the family. He will burrow under the covers and curl up next to any warm body he can find.

Lisa’s favorite thing about Coulson is how sweet he is with her daughter. He will constantly give her kisses and she gives them right back. He has never snipped at her or even growled, which is one thing any foster worries about with a loud and rambunctious 3-year-old daughter. Every morning she runs into their bedroom just to see Coulson.

In the Merrill household, fostering is a family affair. Lisa’s daughter loves to help out and feed, brush, play, and show love to the animals they bring into their home. It’s a win-win! She learns lessons of responsibility and to value all life and the animals receive care and love.

For those considering being a foster, Lisa says, “Why not? When you foster, you save lives of animals and show them love they might have never had. You help the animals grow and they help you grow in return. It teaches your kids to care for other living things. Sometimes it can get hectic with kids and dogs running around, but to see how happy they both are at the end of the day makes it all worth it. If you are worried about the cost, Gateway Pet Guardians provides toys, food, and kennels that you can use for your foster. It may be scary or nerve-wracking, but everyone at GPG is there to help you and they are so welcoming. I can personally say that being a foster has brought so much joy into my life knowing that I am helping animals in need as much as I can.”

If you would like to help animals in need like the Merrill family, consider being a foster today. Learn more by visiting www.gatewaypets.com/foster. If you are interested in welcoming Coulson into your home as a permanent resident, visit www.gatewaypets.com/adopt!