One foster hero prefers to foster senior pit bulls and pit bull mixes

Note: This story was originally published on Jan. 17, 2023

Foster dog resort

Candie Schwartz is intrigued by the bonds between dogs and humans. She's had dogs ever since she can remember and likes to "have a pack of them at all times," meaning (to her) at least two or three pups. In the past year, Candie has fostered about 10 dogs, all from the Pet Resource Center. Some have visited with her for a day while others stayed for months. She considers her home in Brandon to be a "dog resort." Equipped with one acre of open land for dogs to run freely on, a pool for cooling off in, and lots of dog doors, Candie's canine paradise is ideal for foster dogs to enjoy a vacation from the shelter.

Giving dogs a break from the Pet Resource Center and a chance to experience the outside world is important to Candie. She also feels good about relieving any potential overcrowding at the center. According to Candie, anyone and everyone should give pet fostering a try. "You don't have to be a dog person," Candie said. "Just take them to a park for a couple hours."

Lucky dogs - Grace and Theo

Candie prefers to foster senior pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Currently, she is hosting Grace, who is thought to be a black and white Australian kelpie pit bull mix. Grace has been staying with Candie and her dog, Theo, since early December. It's likely that Grace will stay with Candie and Theo until someone adopts her.

Theo, who is also from the Pet Resource Center, is about 11 years old. Candie's best guess is that he is an American Staffordshire terrier. She adopted him in 2019 and has since trained him to assist with her emergency response volunteer work. As a therapy K9, Theo accompanies Candie on wellness checks in disaster areas. After Hurricane Ian ravaged Cayo Costa and the surrounding area, Theo deployed with CandieĀ and her disaster response team to Pine Island. Together, they went door to door, providing much needed comfort to those hit hardest by the storm.

Unconditional love

When asked why she fosters dogs, Candie did not miss a beat answering. "There's nothing more rewarding than the unconditional love and acceptance that a dog shows you when you give a dog space to be a dog."

Candie is also struck by the difference between how a dog rides in the car from the shelter with how the dog rides back to the shelter. The change in a dog's body language and character is significant. According to Candie, "it's like seeing the weight of the world lifted off a dog's shoulders."

Image Caption: Candie Schwartz (center) smiles as her dog Theo comforts a Hurricane Ian survivor on Pine Island in 2022.
Last Modified: 2/12/2024, 2:04:50 PM

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