Fresh out of high school with her own place to live and an insatiable affection for corgis, Maggie Fast showed up at the shelter to adopt her first dog. She meant to go and simply select her corgi, but the way she tells the story is that something strange happened next. She uncontrollably blurted out to the shelter volunteer, “If you had to pick one dog that’s the least likely to be adopted, which one would it be?” That was Kodee.
A golden retriever/husky mix, Kodee had been returned to the shelter 9 times for behavioral issues. “I didn’t know what I was thinking,” says Maggie, “I was just a kid. But I did it. I had committed to helping that dog have a good life.”
Ever since adopting Kodee, Maggie has been on a path to helping dogs have good lives. A realtor with West + Main Homes, her motto is “Sell Homes, Save Dogs.”
Maggie has always been the go-to dog-person among her friends and colleagues. Everybody knows that if you have a question about dogs - adopting them, training them, rescuing them, or caring for them - she’s your person.
After college in 2008, Maggie started working at PetSmart. Originally, she really just wanted the dog food discount, but her passion for dogs led her to work up to dog trainer. From there, she started volunteering for rescues. As a trainer, Maggie found it frustrating to watch good dogs get rehomed for generally solvable behavioral issues. These frustrating training experiences added to her desire to save dogs, to help them find the good homes where they could thrive.
“I’ve always been obsessed with dogs,” says Maggie, “and when I became a realtor, I knew that I wanted to give back, and I knew I could use my business as a vehicle to help rescues. I also knew that having a career in real estate would allow me the flexibility to do that.” Maggie does rescue transports, plans events, and helps with fundraising. “To top it all off,” she says, “because we’re not crazy enough, we also foster.” In total, Maggie and her husband Josh have fostered 28 dogs. Local rescue organizations that are dear to Maggie’s heart include Taysia Blue Rescue, Do Over Dogs, and Lola’s Rescue.
There were some years when fostering wasn’t possible, though. Kodee, the accidental rescue, was by Maggie’s side for 13 years, living to be almost 20. During his last few years, Maggie didn’t foster for his health and safety. On October 28, 2020, Kodee passed away.
After taking time to grieve the loss, in January 2021, Maggie decided it was time to start fostering again. That’s when they began working closely with Taysia Blue Rescue, a national organization for rescuing Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. That’s where she got to know Mikala Wacker, the lead for the Colorado Taysia Blue team. As soon as Maggie met Mikala, the two clicked as friends. All the beautiful huskies (and the fluffy malamute) gracing the pages of this story belong to Mikala and her husband Jeremy.
Sometimes people ask Maggie, “Why huskies?” One of her favorite things about the breed is their independent spirit. She says of Kodee, “He was very much set in his ways. He reminded me of myself in a sense--don’t change for anyone, be your true self in your truest form.” Huskies are generally considered one of the more difficult breeds to train, which is another thing she has always really liked about them: the challenge!
It’s impossible to miss: when you meet Maggie, you encounter her giving and caring spirit. A spirit shaped by a willingness to follow your love where it leads you. And in Maggie’s example, her love for these gentle beasts continues to be a driving force in her life, spilling over into the world around her.