An e-mail came from a previous adopter, telling us about a dog that needed help. The dog had been abandoned by its owners and taken up residence at a neighbor's house. The neighbors were unable to keep him, and he was in danger of being shot (an all too common method to get rid of unwanted dogs in rural areas around here with no animal control). We wanted to help, but there are always too many dogs and not enough available foster homes. Fortunately one of our volunteers made arrangements to get him into an area shelter temporarily until he could be adopted or we had an opening in a foster home. And so I drove out after work one night and met the family that had been taking care of him, and brought him home with me for the night.
I called him Jack, in honor of another Yellow Lab named Jack who has his own blog. My past experiences with labs have always included a lot of wild behavior. So I figured since I already have three fosters who like to engage in wild puppy behavior, it would be easy to take Jack to the shelter in the morning where I knew he would be very well cared for.
But Jack surprised me. He is probably only a year or two old, but he wasn't wild at all. He rode calmly on the front seat next to me for the 45 minute drive home. He waited calmly in the garage while I went inside to get him some food and water. Then he ate dinner, and relaxed in the grass in the front yard while I went back inside to take care of the other animals. He never barked or made a sound. He was affectionate and loving. He spent the night in Rachael's room with her and the cats and was just about perfect. I could hardly bear to take him to the shelter the next morning. If I knew he'd been vaccinated, I probably would have kept him as another foster. But I have to be careful who I foster right now since Ziggy was sick and he could have left some dangerous germs behind for unvaccinated dogs. So I dropped him off at the shelter the next morning, with strict instructions pleas to keep me informed on how he did.
Jack has now been named Rolo, and I'm pretty sure he will be adopted rather quickly. He's getting a lot of love and affection from shelter workers and volunteers, and tomorrow he goes to his first off-site adoption event. It'll be at a different location than I will be with Ziggy, Rachel and Kirsten, so I won't get to see him, but I really hope he finds his forever home. It's a far cry from almost being shot. Sometimes people question why so many volunteers do this, day after day, without pay, and with all of the hassle and heartache that can come along with rescue. But this is why. Each one we save makes it all worthwhile.