The Miller Family’s Foster Dogs

Maddie Geary, Staff Writer

Sophomore Grant Miller and his family have tended, cared for and found homes for four litters of puppies and a litter of kittens this past year. Patty Miller, Grant’s mother, gets the dogs from Tailchaser Rescue, which has multiple locations around the bay including Sunnyvale. Tailchaser Rescue is a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to find comfortable homes for animals in need.

Patty explains that she first began this hobby in the hopes of being able to successfully teach her kids the importance of responsibility.

“Responsibility is a huge life lesson that I want my kids to learn thoroughly. Taking care of puppies is a perfect way to teach this. Besides, they are cute and fun too,” Patty said.

The process of what the Miller family does is simple. Patty drives to one of the Tailchaser Rescue locations, depending on which one needs help. She picks up either the pregnant dog or the newly born litter of puppies. Any family who is interested in doing this can choose whether they want the puppies to be born beforehand, in the shelter, or in the comfort of their own home. The Miller family has done both, although they prefer to pick up the puppies after they are born due to a particular experience they encountered.

“I had just come home from basketball, and I went upstairs to look for my mom,” Grant said. “I found her with the pregnant dog we were taking care of. The dog was giving birth. The process was disgusting and scarring for me, especially when one of the dogs got stuck and my mom had to use her bare hands to pull it out safely.”

According to Grant, his mom handled to situation calmly and efficiently. “She didn’t even look that grossed out by the birth process,” Grant said.

The Millers take care of the puppies for the first four weeks. It requires a lot of time and energy to make sure all the puppies are healthy and safe. In addition to that, they need to make sure the mother dog is doing her job correctly. After a month, the puppies are eligible to sell to other families.

“At the beginning I was a little worried that they wouldn’t all sell,” Grant said. “Much to my surprise, puppies are high in demand due to my mom’s advertising. She puts up posters all around the Bay Area and attracts many potential buyers.”

Families interested in adopting one are required to meet the litter beforehand and handpick the one they like the most. “Families from all over the Bay Area commute to our house to pick out their puppy,” Patty said.

Adopting a puppy is not cheap. It costs about $300 to neuter a puppy and that doesn’t include medicine, frequent vet appointments and food along with the other necessities.