Volunteers were unsuccessful in removing the three-year old King, a black lab, from their vehicle, but when I reached in to take him in my arms, King just seemed to relax his whole body and let out a sigh as we continued his journey to his foster home.
King was severely underweight, heartworm positive, had whipworm, a mangy coat, and entropion of his lower eyelids making his face appear puffy. He had been rescued from Louisiana, was afraid to leave a room, and wouldn’t enter the bathroom. The sound of thunder didn’t bother him but he would startle over strange little noises he didn’t understand, and kept a close eye on my whereabouts at all times.
As the next three months passed, our routine was limited to walking to the ocean at the end of the block to sit, then head back home for King to sleep some more to continue his healing process. When finally free of his ailments and receiving his medical clearance, the family waiting on King had adopted another dog, leaving King available again. As more days passed and no match for King (one of the best dogs I’ve ever prepared for their forever home), the words of the lead veterinarian from his entropion surgery who pulled me aside that day kept running through my head “This is very rare to witness the love this dog has for you.” I began to see what she and all my friends and neighbors had been telling me all along—”King really loves you.” And I had discovered I loved King, too.
I tried for hours to fight back the tears at the thought of not having King in my life. All that mumbo jumbo of not getting attached to a foster just went out the window. I contacted my adoption coordinator to let her know I was having a hard time thinking of losing King to adoption. She was overjoyed when I decided to adopt King for my own but still stay on as a foster home now armed with a solid four-legged assistant to help with the cause to get our fosters at GRRMF ready for adoption too!
King is a wonderful assistant, helping other rescues find their forever homes. I joined GRRMF with its dedicated volunteers, because life is better with a dog and I wasn’t ready for the long-term commitment of dog ownership after the loss of my dog years before, making fostering more like doggy dating.
Being a foster volunteer is a great reward in itself; especially the time one of my fosters bonded with a special needs child during a family’s adoption interview. At that moment, I had my motivation to foster forever. Meeting so many dog owners over the years, and listening to their stories about how their dog is such a good dog, I believe this to be true:
“Life is better with a dog” and “everybody has the best dog!”