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Puppy Clings to Foster Mom Until She Chooses To Make Him Forever Family [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • Kelsea McDonough fostered three wary puppies, with Nash showing intense timidity. Their shared journey of healing led to an inseparable bond.
  • Despite initial challenges, Nash’s brothers, Novo and Noah, found forever homes. Recognizing their special connection, McDonough adopted Nash.
  • Their heartwarming story exemplifies the transformative power of love and patience, emphasizing the healing potential in fostering and adoption.

When Kelsea McDonough welcomed three 16-week-old foster pups in May 2021, she was aware of the challenge ahead. The trio, named Novo, Noah, and Nash, had been in a congested shelter and were “profoundly withdrawn,” as McDonough shared with The Dodo.

“I learned they faced euthanization by 3 p.m. the next day if not rescued,” McDonough recalled. “My entire being was set on rescuing them.”

Their traumatic beginning made them wary initially. However, Nash’s hesitance was distinctly pronounced.

“The moment I unlocked their single blue kennel, tears streamed down my face,” said McDonough. “They were grimy, underfed, and pressed against the kennel’s rear. They longed to disappear.”

It became clear to McDonough that Nash’s brothers, Novo and Noah, shielded him. In fact, when they were concealed behind her bathroom fixtures, Nash was almost hidden.

“Buried under Noah and Novo, Nash was shielded both emotionally and physically by his siblings,” McDonough noted. “The distress of their past affected Nash the most. His brothers were his guardians from their previous cruel world.”

However, Nash’s bond with McDonough began when she tried to take him outdoors, and he clung to her desperately.


“The bond between Nash and me was distinct,” McDonough reflected. “From him seeking refuge beneath his brothers to his attachment to me, I felt he was destined to be mine.”


Nash’s first trip outside. He didn’t know how he felt about the outside world yet so I kept him close and we took it slow. So proud. ♥️ #rescue #rescuedogsoftiktok #adoptdontshop #nodogleftbehind #rescuestory #rescuestory #shelterdogs #fosterfail ♬ See You Again (Piano Arrangement) – Alexandre Pachabezian

McDonough wasn’t new to getting attached to her foster pups. During quarantine, she fostered a pair for ‘A Wish for Animals’, leading her mother to adopt them.

“They’ve transformed my mom’s world,” said McDonough.

In January 2021, facing personal challenges, McDonough returned to fostering.


“After ending a 10-year relationship, I felt a void,” McDonough expressed. “Inviting someone into this emptiness was challenging, yet I believed in the power of companionship.”

Identifying Nash’s reluctance even as his siblings began adjusting, McDonough felt a deep connection.

“We, Nash and I, took longer than most to mend,” she mused. “Both of us needed time, patience, and understanding.”

Their collective healing journey began, with Nash’s brothers adjusting faster.


“We became a cohesive unit, mending our fragmented selves,” McDonough said. “From despair, we found solace and life in one another, experiencing pure joy.”

“With each day, they, and I, became stronger,” she added. “They started eating, playing fearlessly, and falling asleep only when cradled.”


One of my favorite memories. The boys got treats every night before bed & were so patient. They are just so good #rescue #adoptdontshop #rescuestory #rescueanimals #fostermom #shelterdogs #rescuedogs ♬ Experience solo piano – Ludovico Einaudi

When the trio began showing progress, McDonough sought permanent homes for them.

“This meeting wasn’t coincidental, and parting was heart-wrenching,” McDonough stated.


While Noah and Novo found loving homes promptly, McDonough and Nash’s bond grew, leading her to adopt him.

“Our connection was irreplaceable,” said McDonough. “His healing journey paralleled my recovery from emotional distress. On June 11, 2022, Nash became a permanent part of my life.”


This was day 3 with Noah. I don’t know that he’d ever been held before. He had a hard time looking at me and I just think they were still so unsure. But eventually he let me rock him like this every night. So proud of Noah, this was a big step 🙏🏼♥️ #rescue #rescuedogsoftiktok #adoptdontshop #nodogleftbehind #rescuestory #shelterdogs ♬ Je te laisserai des mots – Patrick Watson

Now, Nash revels in his activities like gamboling in meadows, mingling with Lou (McDonough’s shepherd), enjoying drives, and playing with toys, showcasing his newfound confidence.


While acknowledging the emotional toll of fostering, McDonough encourages the healing it brings.

“There’s an abundance of kind souls opening their homes to these pets,” she expressed. “Every rescued dog is a testament to the healing power of love.”