After fostering dogs for a long time, you learn to pick out which dogs are extraordinary. I believe all dogs are special, but sometimes you meet a dog that just stands out from the rest. And this post is about those extra-special dogs, my “top two”.
My number one favorite dog is named Levi. I had him the longest of any of my foster dogs – 4 months. He had good pictures, he was an awesome dog, but nobody wanted him. He received very few applications in his time with me, and none of them worked out. His only problem was separation anxiety, which can be fixed.
He is such a relaxed, happy dog. While he loved to go out and play and run and wrestle with Nelly, he was also perfectly content to spend an entire day lounging around the house with me. He was constantly trying to convince my cats to be his friends, but the cats didn’t think so much of that idea. He did manage to make friends with the younger cat, but my Buddy remained wary of him.
My Nelly is very picky about what dogs she will play with, but Levi was also one of her favorites. I have a “no playing in the house” rule, but Levi was constantly trying to get her to play inside. It’s all he wanted to do, play! He would grab her neck scruff and gently pull on it, or paw at her, or nudge her with his nose until she gave in and played with him.
After those 4 months with no luck finding him a home, he went to another foster home further south in my state. There he was adopted by a lady who has added me on Facebook and says I can visit him if I am ever near. She posts a lot of pictures of him, and I can tell he is very happy there!
Another favorite of mine is a recent dog, adopted in May, named Riley. Riley was found wandering in a wildlife refuge, where dogs will often get shot if they are caught harassing wildlife. He got lucky – he simply jumped into a person’s truck when they came through, then came to rescue. Riley had a bad leg, it appeared to have been broken and healed crooked some time in the past. He didn’t let it slow him down!
Riley was a near perfect dog, his only real behavior problem being that he was obsessive about herding people by nipping at them. I worked with him on it, and waited patiently for the right adopter to come along – someone with Border Collie experience. Eventually I got an application that was up to my expectations, and they adopted him. They loved him and continued to work with him, and tell me that his nipping is now a rare occurrence. His adoptive mom says he’s “the best dog in the world”.
We rejected about 20 applications for Riley before finding his perfect home.
Few things make me happier than knowing a dog I’ve fostered is in a loving, happy home.
18 thoughts on “I Play Favorites”
Fostering is such a wonderful thing to do. Many dogs would not find homes if they stayed in shelters. Bless you 🙂
Thank you. 🙂
Some people have a hard time dealing with other people’s foibles. The work you do matching troubled pups with understanding people is invaluable. Thank you.
Wow, 20 applications! Goes to show some things need patience and waiting for a little bit. Good job there 🙂
Yes, he was very popular with the applicants! He was a blue-eyed, rough coat, beautiful tri color…so many people wanted him! But I don’t settle for just anyone. 🙂
You do amazing work! I LOVE border collies, but I know how hard it can be on them to have to go through shelters where people don’t necessarily understand their character and don’t know how to help them… Keep up the good work!
Yes, and shelters can be very hard on them because they’re so sensitive to stimulus, especially sight and sound. A BC is always better off in a foster home than in a shelter! But then again, I think that probably goes for most dogs.
I know, I used to volunteer at a shelter and have my own heartbreaking BC experience… I’d love to foster some BCs later on (I’m studying to be a vet at the moment)
I love fostering, I hope you are able to do it in the future!
What a fantastic blog and beautiful pictures. What you do is fantastic.
Plus Levi looks very much like my collie Mai, except she is black and white, with folded (though very oversized) ears. So his story really got me! Keep up your amazing work!
Thank you! Mai is beautiful!
Great stories and fantastic portraits. Definitely hits me square in the chest.
What a beauty Riley is. And very good photography – don’t doubt yourself.
Great work if you can do it and have the time and space. Well done …
Thank you! Yes, Riley certainly is gorgeous.
You take such beautiful photographs of dogs that really capture their spirit! I enjoy your posts!