Farm to Family – Aspen

two dogs and a human
Fostering a former farm dog is a beautiful journey filled with hope, love, and a promise of a bright future. These special dogs, rescued by Brookline, are not always adult breeder dogs, however. Sometimes they are the unsellable pups that, if not rescued, may sadly become the next generation of breeders, themselves.

When we welcomed Aspen (FKA Oakley), a sweet 11-week-old, friendly pup into our home with the intention of providing temporary foster care, little did we know that she would change our lives in ways we never imagined. Fresh off the farm, I met up with Aspen and Brookline volunteer Maija, who provided Aspen’s rescue ride. For the final trip to our home, I placed a blanket on the car seat next to me for her, though she preferred to snuggle on my lap for the half hour ride.

a puppy after a bath in a towel
Upon arriving home, the first order of business was a much-needed bath. She particularly enjoyed the towel drying. Following her bath, she retired to a corner of our kitchen for a well-deserved nap, having endured a taxing first day off the farm.

From the moment this tiny bundle of fur trotted into our lives, her wagging tail and gentle demeanor stole our hearts. It didn’t take long for her to win over not only our affection but also that of our resident dog, Hudson, and everyone who crossed her path. Aspen was the epitome of a perfect foster dog—cute, friendly, and well-behaved. Every day brought new adventures and moments of pure joy. She seamlessly integrated into our family, forming an inseparable bond with Hudson and bringing a sense of completeness to our home that we hadn’t realized was missing.

a puppy with an older dog
After matching our first foster with her forever family, the thought of saying goodbye to Aspen filled us with a profound sense of sadness. We wrestled with conflicting emotions and, in the end, made the decision that some may view as a foster failure—we decided to keep her.

And so, our journey took an unexpected turn. What started as a temporary fostering arrangement blossomed into a lifelong commitment. Our “failure” as foster dog parents became our greatest blessing—a decision fueled by love, compassion, and the undeniable bond we shared with her.

a puppy with a pink binky in her mouth
While our journey may not have followed our original path, we wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, sometimes the greatest successes come from what others perceive as failures.