Why Foster

Why Foster?

…because every lost, abandoned or surrendered dog deserves a loving place to stay until we can find them their forever home.

Click here to complete an application to volunteer to help or to foster a Bichon FurKid.



My story starts because of a beautiful boy now known as Bean. You see one of our dogs had just passed away and we were looking to replace her. I stumbled upon Bichon Fur Kids and found Bean, fell in love and adopted him. After adopting Bean I had spoken with Marti who asked if I would be interested in fostering and I repiled I would have to think about it.
My immediate thoughts were I could NEVER do that. I had a thousand reasons in my head why I couldn’t be a foster parent. But for some reason the thought never left my mind, maybe I could do this, who knew?
One day I remembered Bean’s foster mom. She had three dogs of her own, three or four children, one a 9 month old baby which she managed to carry around with her all the while dealing with us and the adoption process.  I thought if she can do thi s I certainly can. What if someone had said I don’t have the time or it’s too much work or it would be too sad to deal with?  Maybe my Bean would never have made it out of the shelter.
He was at one time someone’s neglected, throw away dog. He is now my joy, my laughter, my companion.  I have people all the time asking me how can you do this? And my answer to them is how can I not? Yes, sometimes it’s hard…sometimes the rescue babies are sick or scared or have issues and need Beanshiloh1TLC. But one thing they all have in common is that they need love and help to find their forever homes.

The reason I foster is to see a sick, neglected dog become well!  To see a once unloved, scared dog have that spark come back in his eyes!  To see him live in a comfortable home where he will run,  jump and play again!  But most of all,  it is to see the smiles and joy on the faces of the people who make my foster fluff their new family member.  It’s then I know that I have been a small part in giving back to fur kids who can not make their own choices and have to rely on others for help.

Laura and Lynden Melton

Foster parents


I would like to be a foster parent too!


Sometimes we are touched beyond words by a person, or in our case, a wonderful dog who needed our help.  Little did we know that we needed him also.

We first contacted BFK when we lost our bichon, Skippy, after traveling the country.  We really didn’t want another dog, but thought that perhaps we could foster to help them.  I contacted Marti, and she said she had two girls;  a mother and daughter, Hope and Faith who needed love and kindness.   Michael and I agreed to foster both of them.  Marti told us they could not be separated because they were mother and daughter. Needless to say we flunked fostering 101.  We love our girls and so did our big lab Skylar.   We fostered other fur kids and good homes were found for them.

Recently we received a call that BFK had a dog who was about 8 years old and that he was found lying in the street.  Gabriel had cataracts, a limp, and they needed us to give him a temporary home.  They guessed he was about 8 years old.  Little did we know how that would change our lives.

His name is Gabriel, we call him Gabe.  He didn’t wag his tail or smile but had a limp (just like me).  We spent time getting him to eat, drink water, use the dog door and trust our pack.  I thought we were doing something special for him, but now we know Gabriel has given more to us with his joy, smiles, tail waggings, and kisses.

Michael and I would encourage all of you to open your hearts to help save these wonderful little dogs.  You think you foster to save them, but you are in for a wonderful surprise.  It goes both ways.

Please open your hearts and experience the joy that fostering can give!

Diane and Michael Gavin
Skylar, the Labrador
Hope and Faith, rescued mother and daughter
AND our wonderful guy Gabriel

I joined Bichon FurKids in August as a volunteer foster parent. My original intentions were to adopt a little young female puppy for my two year old male Bichon named Cody as a companion. In September I received a call from Marti to help with a group of seven male puppies ranging in age from 6 to 18 months. I agreed to help – thinking that this would be good practice for the female when she arrived. I drove down to Carlsbad on a Tuesday night with the intention of helping to socialize these puppies. I arrived at her house to find volunteers helping in every way. Some were cleaning the puppies, some were soothing the dogs – and some were there just for moral support. I quickly chose the smallest male I could find that had been shaved and cleaned.

Foster Homes Needed

Each week we rescue numerous fur kids and they all need loving families with whom to transition. That allows us to get to know the dog, find out how it interacts with other dogs, cats, children, men, if it likes to ride in cars, go on walks, is independent or a lover… all the things that we then tell you about the fur kid when we write his or her bio.

If you can help us by fostering for a week or two (that’s usually all it is because we have a waiting list of families looking for a rescued dog) please email marti@bichonfurkids.org or call 760-525-5556. We appreciate the caring families in Southern California who have opened their homes – and hearts- to our fur kids.

Back to Mission Viejo I drove with this extremely shy, scared little boy who would only hide in the corner of his carrier. Upon arrival at my home I had to remove the top of the crate in order to get the puppy who we named “Conner” out of his box. He just sat in my lap with his head buried and shook. My family and I continued to hold and snuggle the little guy for the remainder of the week, while working with him on a leash for potty training. We paper trained him in a small environment during the day when we had to leave him – and Cody would sniff him and visit with him thru the fence. After week two Conner would cry when I put him in the kennel at night, as he could see Cody in bed with me. I decided to let him join us and so the “love affair” began.

After several weeks of communicating with Marti on “Conner’s” progress she was starting to talk about what type of family Conner would need. At that point I realized I was in love and hooked – line and sinker. There was no parting with this cute little fur ball. Even with his extremely shy ways we had bonded thru and thru. My boy Cody had completely accepted him as his little brother, taking him in and literally training him on how to use the doggy door, how to walk on a lease and how to trust two legged friends. We are a family now and couldn’t be happier.

Sure, I could have waited for the perfect female puppy for my family but the rewards would not even compare to the wonderful ways in which this little guy has grown and is growing daily. We still have a way to go – but boy is it worth it!! I guess you could say I am a failed foster mother but an extremely lucky adoptive one!!

Tina Parchinski – Rescue Volunteer

Dear Foster Mom,

This is Gizmo, and I am writing to say thank you for being my foster Mom and finding my new forever home. I love my new Mom and brother Murphy – well at least my Mom, I’m trying to be a good brother to Murphy. He wants to play and lick me, but I’m not ready just yet. Murphy ‘puts up with my growling at him’ when he gets close to my toy, but also comes running when I bark at something. I have lots of new toys and my favorite is a small red hard rubber ball. I go everywhere with it. Mom has to watch when I take it on walks because sometimes I lose it.

I also love to bark at the ‘condo cat’ and I want to chase him, but Mom tugs me back and signs to stop it. Mom says I have to learn not to bark at every dog or cat and be quiet like Murphy. I’m trying. I have learned to use the ‘doggie door’ and only had one accident. She is proud of me. Mom also says the hardest part was getting me to settle down to go to sleep at night. I kept her up many nights because all I wanted to do was bounce my ball off her head and have her throw it.

Mom now takes the toy box with all the toys and puts them away when it is bedtime and she gave me a ‘blankee’ to chew and snuggle with. I sleep on one of her pillows with my ‘blankee’ so I don’t chew the comforter anymore.

I’m so good now and sleep all night right next to her. My brother, Murphy, sleeps on the bottom of the bed or under the bed.

Just wanted you to know I am happy and Mom is too!

Gizmo and Family

It just takes one single person/family or child to make ALL the difference in helping a dog move from heartache to happiness. The last paragraph of this special poem captures it all – and makes my heart smile.
“When you reach your Forever Home, Your place to feel whole, The Angels SMILE & off they go, To save another soul!”

Over the years, I have fostered big dogs, little dogs, purebreds, and mixed-up mutts, and every dog has a special place in my heart. Although every rescued dog is different in looks and personality, all are eager to please and share the same need to love and be loved. Little Rudy was deemed “aggressive” and “unadoptable”; Wendy had been neglected her whole life and was a huge matted mess; Suzie had bald patches all over her body. And Mr. Bo Jangles is the latest of my fosters – a very energetic and happy little guy who is going to have a new bichon brother when he gets to his new home! 

I fostered all of these dogs – and helped each of them to find a loving “forever home.” In fact, Rudy found his forever home right here with me, and now he spends his days playing with his doggie brothers and sisters and helping each new foster dog learn how to be the best family pet it can be. For me, fostering means giving a dog in need a second chance. And the best part of it all is seeing the delight in the eyes and smiles of the adopting family when they take home their new best friend!

Kristin, Nigel, Rudy and the rest of the fur kids

Finding Bichon Furkids has been an awesome experience. I was trying to find an organization where I could volunteer and be part of a great team that helps animals in need. I am fortunate to work with people that care as much as I do for our little furry friends.

When I joined the organization it was to volunteer. I wanted to help out in any way possible. I did not realize I was going to fall in love….with Buster. Buster needed a foster family ASAP and I was willing to help. For three weeks I interviewed families to find the right one to adopt him (as we are very particular with our adoptions) but somehow things kept falling through. My husband and I decided we could not live without him. In the meantime our Blanca had become attached to Buster – and they were now the best of friends.

I appreciate the organization for being created. It has given me the opportunity to give back to a community in need. Thank You Bichon Furkids!!!

Carolina, Blanca and Buster Bump