David & Marlene Ware

After fostering and transporting for ATRA for many years, Marlene and David Ware teamed up with SOAR in the same capacity, and they haven’t looked back.

Why volunteer? For them, the answer is simple. “How can one not?” asks Marlene. “This is something not all families can do, but it’s needed.”

The Wares not only act as short and long term fosters and transport whenever possible, but they are also an active combined presence at auctions and other fundraisers, eagerly lending two pairs of very capable hands.

“We love being part of SOAR,” Marlene admits. “Because Lynn and Chris always put the dogs’ welfare first, their attitude matches ours exactly.”

David is historian of the Arkansas State Capitol, Marlene is head librarian at a local preparatory school, and together with their 13-year-old daughter, they usually play host to at least one four-legged member of the household. Currently that honor goes to Chester, a 7-year-old Wire Fox Terrier from Wire Fox Terrier Rescue-Midwest, for whom they also foster and transport.

Admittedly, balancing work, family, and rescue can be challenging at times, especially “living in a small house full of things that look like chew-toys to Airedales, but in reality are vintage books, cameras, musical instruments and fountain pens,” says Marlene, “and yet we keep working on the mix.”

“Fostering abandoned or needy animals is almost selfish in that the rewards are immediate and generous,” she continues. “Unlike many humans, dogs neither hide nor hesitate to show gratitude. Of course, they may show it by giving you a ‘bath’ when you least expect it or by offering to share a well-softened rawhide toy with you.

“We don’t always see these dogs at their best, but we do our best to be a good halfway house for them. When they leave, bound for new adoptive homes, they take a little of our hearts with them, but somehow the next ones help heal any lingering holes.”