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True Story of Beagle Fostering

From Starvin' to Marvelous

One family's reason why they foster with a rescue group

By Valerie Blettner

"Starvin' Marvin" was the name appropriately given to a beagle some unknown but kind people rescued from near death in October of 2001. Starvin' Marvin was so weak and malnourished that he had trouble walking. What little energy he had was used on a tail wag for the kind people who scooped him up and took him to the nearest vet's office.

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The vet called Triangle Beagle Rescue (, a local rescue group for beagles. Starvin' Marvin was boarded and cared for at the vet's office. His picture and description were posted on the Tribeagles' web site in hopes of finding a foster family or a permanent home.

I happened to be surfing the Tribeagles' web site when I saw Marvin's posting.

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Marvin wearing an Elizabethan collar after his first eye surgery

My husband, Lee Richardson, and I have been fostering beagles with Triangle Beagle Rescue for a little over a year. We have three permanent dogs, two of which are beagles, and we already had one foster beagle at our home when I saw Marvinís picture.

I immediately emailed my husband at work to ask his thoughts on taking on another foster dog. It was silly to ask when I already knew his answer. Of course we would welcome another beagle into our home. So without waiting for his response, I emailed the Tribeagles' president, Susan, and asked about fostering Starvin' Marvin.

Starvin' Marvin had already gained five pounds in the week he was at the vet's. One of the Tribeagles' board members, Sydney, called him a "diamond in the ruff" when she handed him over to me. Now, not only did Marvin need to gain more weight, but also he needed to be neutered and have eye surgery for a condition called "Cherry Eye". Our first job as a foster family was to give him LOTS of love and get him healthy enough for surgery.


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No longer Starvin'
Simply Marvelous

Marvin had to endure a second eye surgery to correct his Cherry Eye. Another Tribeagle board member, Mary, suggested that his name now be changed from Starvin' Marvin to Marvelous Marvin. The new name stuck.

Needing to update Marvin's picture and bio on the Tribeagle web site, I told Susan that if I were to use one word to describe Marvin it would be "happy". Marvin is always happy.

Healthy and happy in his foster home, now all Marvin needed was a permanent family. Because he was so playful and affectionate, we thought he would be perfect for a family with children. There was a lot of interest in Marvin from the web site. And then we found the perfect family for Marvelous Marvin...loving parents, two boys, age 10 and 13, and two more beagles at home!!!! It was love at first sight with Marvin and his new family.

Every beagle, like every person, has his/her own individual personality. Matching the dog's personality and needs with an adopter is one of the extra benefits from adopting with a rescue group. Time and care are given by the rescue volunteers to place each dog in the right home.

When Marvin left our home with his new permanent family, we felt a hole in our heart. Marvin had been with us for 3 months. We loved Marvin. He came to us when he was Starvin'’ and left when he was Marvelous. It was a wonderful feeling. We love fostering. As Lee once said, "I like being a halfway house for beagles."

We fatten them up, mellow them out, and ship 'em off.

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The sweet face of Marvin


For a FABULOUS list of Beagle Rescue groups, please visit


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