Meet Phoenix and Pepper The Beautiful Gentle Tamaskans

Our Dogs of the Day Help Foster Cats and Kittens Get Adopted

It would be hard to ignore dogs as gorgeous as Phoenix and Pepper if you passed them on the street, but it’s even harder to ignore these stunning photos of them juxtaposed against the tiniest of kittens- And that’s exactly the point! The photos are courtesy of their talented owners Michelle and Dan Fox of DM Fox Photography. They definitely help  the foster cats and kittens get adopted.

pepper and foster kittens- our dogs of the day help foster cats and kittens get adopted

Pepper + Foster Kitten

How they started fostering cats and kittens

Michelle and Dan Fox wanted to make a difference by fostering and after Michelle was on the wait list for 2 years to adopt Pepper and another year for Phoenix, fostering a 3rd dog felt like a lot. Hearing that the Toronto Cat Rescue was in desperate need of fosters for kitten season, they decided to give cat fostering a go – and the results were adorable!

adorable foster kittens

Tamaskan Dogs of the Day help foster cats and kittens get adopted

“Our first kittens were 2 ginger kittens who were around 5 weeks old. They were not afraid of the dogs at all. Pepper wanted to mother them (she likes mothering small animals). Phoenix was actually a little afraid because she’s been scratched by a cat on the street before but then she was ok once she knew they just wanted to play.”

Pepper is almost 4 years old and Phoenix almost 3. Both dogs are Tamaskans. Michelle told us that people always mistake them for huskies or husky mixes but explained that there are a few noticeable differences: Tamaskans are taller in height, less fluffy and they don’t have as high energy. Both dogs are around 75lbs which Michelle said is small compared to some of their other litter mates (who are closer to 100lbs). To find out more about the breed, read our article here. You can follow them on Instagram @pepperphoenix.
 phoenix and kitten
One of the reasons Michelle and Dan think it has been easy is because both the dogs know how to read cats from interacting with outdoor cats on walks in the past.  They know when to back off when the cat/kitten tells them to with hissing or other classic cat behavior.  Michelle says they’ve been lucky too because the cats/kittens they’ve had have also been pretty relaxed.
“We’ve never had a skittish cat and the kittens we get are too young to be fearful.  The dogs are also pretty calm and respond to ‘leave it’ if we feel that the cat is getting bothered on the rare occasion.”

Michelle’s advice on introducing cats and dogs

“Kittens adapt easily so they either have no fear of the dogs or if they do, they get over that in a day. Cats will take longer to get over a fear of dogs or sometimes not at all. Our current foster cat isn’t afraid of anything so she has been good with the dogs from the start. We had one foster cat who stayed upstairs most of the time. He tolerated them in the same room but didn’t like them near him. He was a cat found on the street.”
pepper and kitten
We asked Michelle if they’ve ever had a foster that just didn’t work out and she told us this:
“We have never had to give back any fosters because of the dogs. We only had the one who didn’t really like them and he had his own space to avoid them if he needed. I would say if the cat is already fine with dogs (like it seems their current foster cat is) then it’s easier to introduce the cat to the dog for the reason that the dogs are bigger and can stand up for themselves.  With the kittens, there is constant supervision as they are so tiny and so active.  The fosters are never left alone with the dogs when we are out (they are separated) but it’s easier when they are cats to supervise interactions.”

phoenix and kitten

phoenix and kitten

Pepper and kitten

Do you have dogs and cats in your home? Do they get along?

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