In June, we were introduced to the beautiful Mama Millie. She was extremely pregnant, and lived with a community member who asked us for help. We spent a few days working to secure a foster home for Millie so she could have her babies. But when the day came for rescue, she had already had them under a porch! We picked up Mama Millie and her ten beautiful babies, and they went to live in a foster home. Then, a few weeks later, they were introduced to the Duncan family.

On June 23, 2017, Rachel and Mitchell Duncan opened their home to this precious family. While they had no experience caring for mama and newborns, they were extremely excited to help Millie and her babies! Millie came in with tapeworms, ringworms, heartworms, and fleas, and is still going through heartworm treatment. And the puppies originally had fleas and a mild skin infection, but are now healthy and happy! It’s been a long journey, but one that Rachel and Mitchell will never forget. Rachel recounts: “Millie is the best mom ever—she is never grumpy with her babies and is super loving. She is very grateful for a soft bed to lay on and love from us. It’s been amazing to see her puppies grow from little balls of fur scooting on their bellies to 6-week-old rambunctious kids who never stop playing! These little guys love without holding back and follow us wherever we go. It’s been great to see them develop into their spunky selves.”

Millie’s puppies were named after Dr. Seuss characters–Zax, Mayzie, Sally Walden, Lolla-Lee-Lou, Wocket, Yertle, Lorax, Grinch, Thidwick and Sam-I-Am. You can imagine how difficult it was working with ten puppies, each eager to explore the world and their surroundings! Rachel says the most difficult thing about fostering ten puppies is getting into a daily routine. “With so many in one place, it was a little hard to figure out the best way to care for them, whether it was giving them baths, or changing their bedding. After a few days, we started to get a pattern down and got pretty quick at the chores!”

This past week, the puppies went to the next stage on their foster journey. They went to new foster homes in pairs, where they will continue growing, receiving veterinary care, and waiting to find their forever families. Mama Millie also went to a new foster, but two puppies stayed with Rachel and Mitchell, and will stay with them through adoption.

Watching the puppies move on to the next stage in their life is of course bittersweet. Watching them leave is difficult, but watching them learn and grow and thrive makes it all worth it. Rachel says, “Our favorite thing about fostering is seeing the impact we make not only on the dogs, but the families they go to. We love seeing the pups we care for go to the best homes imaginable. It is so fun to get updates about former fosters and to be able to say that you helped make that happen.”

We cannot thank Rachel and Mitchell enough for their dedication to this beautiful little family. And as Dr. Seuss himself said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” If you’d like to help make the world a better place like the Duncans, we’d love to have you on our foster team. Fill out an application at www.gatewaypets.com/foster. And if you’d like to adopt one of the Seuss puppies, learn more by visiting www.gatewaypets.com/adopt.