Transylvania staff members find doggone good way to work from home

Denise Hall ’13 and her foster dog, Douglas

A big thing to consider when bringing a dog into your life is how to take care of it when you work a full-time job.

That’s not really an issue these days, though.

Some members of the Transylvania University staff have been fostering pooches from local shelters as they work remotely during the coronavirus outbreak.

This gives the dogs a nurturing place to live until they can find a permanent home — and it helps us humans feel less isolated.

Denise Hall ’13, assistant director for student success, took in an 8-year-old Great Dane mix named Douglas through the Lexington Humane Society. “Fostering is something I’d always considered doing but was never sure if I’d have the time to commit to,” she said.

Having time to spend with Douglas was especially important because of the patience and supervision needed when bringing a new pet into a home where there’s already a dog and cats. Her perseverance paid off: “Douglas has been a good houseguest and loves couch cuddles,” Hall said.

Janice Rajcan and Finn

She pointed out another benefit of taking one of these new friends into her home. “The experience of being fostered means they’re getting more personal attention and love, and in turn, the animals who are still at the shelter get more one-on-one time from staff and caretakers,” Hall continued. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Plus, Hall is used to meeting new people all the time through her work, “so it was a bright spot getting to make a new dog friend.”

Douglas found a permanent home Friday.

Campus Visit Coordinator Janice Rajcan’s family fostered and then found homes for four of five German shepherd-husky mix puppies through Camp Jean. The remaining one is named Finn. “Truth be told, we were all leaning on possibly keeping Finn because he reminds us of our dog that passed away earlier this year,” Rajcan said. “So, needless to say, we are having a fun and exciting time learning from Finn on how to be a great family to an adorable puppy.”

Alice Schaaf, who’s been fostering through the Lexington Humane Society on and off for 20 years, has taken in a Chihuahua mix named Dill. “Luckily, our permanent two dogs are used to the revolving doggie door, and everyone settles into a routine pretty quickly,” said Transylvania’s assistant director of international recruitment. “I am asked if it’s hard to give them up once they have been with us so long, but if my foster gets adopted, that means I can help another animal.”

Molly the beagle pup (left) was fostered by Madelyn Frost, Transylvania’s assistant director for residence life. Also, Schaaf’s foster dog, Dill, will be available to adopt at the beginning of May.