Kim Rose knows how to have her cake and eat it too…well, providing that cake is a dog friendly one!
Although she was raised in a multi-dog household, Kim never knew what a pit bull was until a bully breed puppy entered her life and quickly became her soul mate. Her name was Flex, and she motivated Kim to become the most responsible dog owner she could be.
“Sadly, I was often faced with the unwarranted stigma attached to the bully breed in general and my dog in particular,” explains Kim, “and I found myself vigorously defending them both. When Flex passed away from cancer at the early age of 6, I was devastated. But her death galvanized me into action. I decided then that I would devote myself to helping pit bulls in any way I could.”
After discovering HugABull, she and her husband adopted Tava. But soon, adopting wasn’t enough for Kim. She wanted to do more. “Fostering fell into my lap,” she says, “with Tava playing ‘dogmother’ to all of the other HugABull dogs we’ve welcomed over the years, starting with Honey in 2010. Fostering is easy for us. Not only do we enjoy bringing these dogs into our home, but they fit perfectly into our active, outdoors lifestyle.”
Raising her two boys, aged 4 and 2, around dogs, Kim is teaching them how to respect a dog’s space and how to care for them. The result is that her sons are actively involved in such “age appropriate tasks” as feeding, brushing, and training. But, for her, one of the most gratifying aspects of fostering is when they are out in the community and someone stops to ask the boys about their dogs. “These are foster dogs who were rescued and need families,” they eagerly explain. “We’re looking after them until they find their families.”
In addition to caring for her human and canine “kids”, Kim also does home checks with potential fosters and adopters, and transports dogs on Vancouver Island. AND she works as a full time nurse and part time photographer. Are you breathless yet? She modestly admits that balancing everything is “BUSY” but rewarding. She has volunteered many hours photographing our various events, including taking Santa photos and doggy portraits for our annual calendar, and even hosting a HugABull photo fundraiser in her hometown.
A vocal advocate for the bully breed, Kim ignores the occasional “crazy dog lady” comment and focuses on the positive reactions that she, her dogs, and her fostering elicit. “People are interested in what I do and why I do it, often saying they could never foster. That’s when I encourage them to visit our house, to meet and interact with our dogs, and to watch them playing with our two boys. I urge them to see for themselves why these extraordinary dogs are often called ‘nanny dogs’.
This is why I got involved,” Kim concludes. “To change people’s minds, one person at a time.”
Written by Nomi Berger