Okay, first of all, I owe you all an apology for turning into a crazy puppy mother for the past few weeks. I tried to restrain myself but I did go a bit overboard with the photos + posting. Honestly though, fostering that dog for two weeks was the best thing I did in 2013. I saved a life. Sure, Rutherford is a PAWS pup so he's guaranteed life, but he's not guaranteed a good + fulfilling life.
I am a total dog lover. I grew up with a yellow lab named Lexi + she was my best friend. I've wanted a dog of my own for a while but know that my current work/social life would make that tough so I've tried to be patient. A few months back I made the mistake of liking PAWS on Facebook + not long after that I saw a post about the Holiday Foster Program. I had almost two weeks off from work with no travel plans so I jumped at the opportunity to foster.
It was a weird process. I found out on Friday afternoon that I was approved + would be picking up my pup at 11 am the next day. They didn't ask too many questions + I didn't get a ton of instruction. Looking back on that first day makes me 100% convinced that my fostering gave Rutherford a second (well third) chance at finding a forever home. You guys have no idea what it was like the day I picked him up. Let's just say that Rutherford didn't have the best track record. He had "biting" tendencies + acted like a total weirdo in the shelter. The trainer really tried to scare me into thinking he was too difficult for me to handle. I don't blame PAWS for this or his original owners, I blame his temporary adopters who returned him after a short time + had such nasty things to say. I think any bad behavior Rutherford displayed during his time with them was a total reflection of what awful dog owners these people were.  
I had faith in this dude though + took Rutherford home with me. He wasn't an easy dog by any means, but he was a typical energetic Labrador that needed ample play time + attention. Shelter life was rough on him so it took a couple of days for him to chill out a bit + settle into my home. Maybe he was a little weird around other dogs + some people but he was loving + incredibly well behaved. Many of his weirdo tendencies improved over time. We were total buddies + I absolutely fell in love with that dog.
I've always said (actually my mom always says it but I agree) that I would never give money to an animal charity over a charity that could help humans in need but I'm so proud of myself for donating my time to a pup in need. Rutherford never would have found a home with the report his temporary adopters provided. I got to spend quality time with him + showcase his true behavior. Now I'm certain he'll not only find a home but I think he'll find one that is a good fit.
This experience was so fulfilling but saying goodbye seriously sucked. I actually didn't even really get to say goodbye. That part was weird. I miss him so much + I even cry occasionally when I think about him. I have a bit of guilt knowing that I'm going to bed every night in a comfortable warm bed + he's stuck in a shelter around dogs that he does not like. I haven't visited him yet but I plan to in the next couple of weeks. I'm not entirely sure if that will make things better or worse.
I've spent a lot of time researching dog walkers + money crunching. It would be really tough for me to do alone. I was going to set a goal for myself to adopt a shelter dog by the time I'm thirty (three years from now), but that's a tough promise to make when you're unsure what your job + personal life are going to be like at that time so I've revised my goal a bit. If I don't own a dog by the time I get pregnant I will adopt one. It's quite sensible actually. Not only are dogs great for children + babies but at that point in my life I will most certainly be settled + up for the responsibility associated with owning a pup. All around win.
I hope some of the things I've shared through my experience with Rutherford has changed some opinions a bit on shelter dogs. Before this I was fully prepared to pick a puppy from a breeder but this experience totally changed my mentality. Shelter dogs not only have this mystique to them but adopting slightly older trained dogs can be a good option for some homes as well. Fear not though, most shelters have puppies available that are in need of a loving home too.
Thanks for your patience through this whole experience. I highly recommend trying fostering out for yourself if you have the time. I chatted with a girl at Kriser's who actually knew she wanted to get a dog of her own + just kept fostering until she found one that was the right fit. So that is an option too! More than anything though, if you or anyone you know is looking for a very sweet + loyal labrador I would love to introduce you to Rutherford. I hope so much that he finds a good home.
I miss you dude.


No comments:

Post a Comment