As any of my regular readers know, my wife and I have been building a new life in our soon-to-be retirement town in the mountains of North Georgia. One of the areas we’ve focused on is volunteering with a local “no kill” pet rescue charity, Tri-State Pet Rescue. Every Saturday, we can be found at “The Barking Lot”, working to get our rescue dogs adopted by loving families. It’s rewarding, and we really feel like we’re becoming a part of our new community.
A few weeks ago, my wife fell in love with a small dog who had a sad story. In short:
She fell in love.
Today, she writes about it. I’m very excited to present to you the FIRST EVER GUEST POST FROM MY WIFE! I trust you’ll feel her emotion through her words, and perhaps you’ll even be motivated to considering fostering rescue dogs yourself! Without further adieu, I present to you my wife of 29 years, writing on a topic she feels deeply about, and one which will likely shape our future retirement.
Fostering a dog was never on my radar. We had a “mean” dog at home who didn’t like strange dogs coming into “her space”, so fostering was never ever an option. All that changed about a month ago when I was volunteering at the Barking Lot. The Barking Lot is the area in Blue Ridge that our rescue organization uses every Saturday to bring our dogs to help them get adopted.
This Saturday Animal Control showed up at the Barking Lot with a few dogs of theirs for us to try to place for adoption. The officer opened a cage door on his truck and before my eyes was this Chihuahua mix shaking like a leaf in a hurricane.
On closer inspection I realized he was sitting in his own urine and feces and my heart broke.
This little guy was beyond terrified.
I quickly scooped him up, gave him an impromptu bath and held him most of the day. When he wasn’t adopted that day, I knew there was no way I could put him back on that truck when Animal Control returned. So that was the moment we decided to foster Paco!
Our big hurdle was our one “mean” dog. We brought Paco home and kept him in his crate for the sniffing intros with our dogs. We soon realized that the “mean” one was actually acting friendly. We soon took Paco out of the crate and thankfully “meanie” took to him right away.
Paco quickly became this charming wonderful antic-filled bundle of joy who was impacting our home. After a couple of days with him I knew what was on the horizon…heartache for me.
He was stealing my heart and I wasn’t sure I could handle that.
I almost called our organization’s director to ask to put Paco on Transport. Our organization drives or flies dogs to other areas of the US that have strict spay and neuter laws which leaves them with not many rescue dogs for people to adopt.
I thought the quicker he leaves the less pain I will feel.
But before I could act on my selfish impulse I had a wake up call.
You see, as with any charitable endeavor, this was not about me or my feelings, this was about Paco! It hit me then and there that we were his “bridge” to his forever home.
Here with us he experienced a safe environment. He learned that couches were to cuddle on and food bowls were always full.
He was realizing what if felt like to be a part of a family.
He finally knew love!
Paco recently was adopted by a wonderful lady and in two days I must deliver him into the arms of his new Forever Mom.
Yes, there are tears now as I write, and tears will certainly fall on that day and probably many days after, but they are so worth it.
You see, Paco needed me to get him to the next chapter in his life and I needed Paco to help me see outside of my life. Thank you Paco for teaching me what it means to be a foster mom and showing me that giving of my heart is never a bad thing.