There are many great reasons to foster, but none state it so eloquently as the post below, written by the organizer of Safe Hands. Your decision to foster directly impacts Safe Hands’ ability to save lives. Hobart is happy and alive today, because someone opened their home, to foster him. Foster parents are often asked “How can you bear to let them go?” The simple answer to this question is that if we don’t foster, many loving and lovable dogs will die. Adopting a rescue dog is wonderful. Fostering dogs changes lives.
Hobart had given up. He had waved the white flag of surrender. He had tried the key of his faith in one too many locks where it did not fit. He handed over his last ray of hope, relinquished his will to live. Unable to find a place to belong, unloved, unwanted, Hobart was at the end. He was about to fade away.
This is how I first saw Hobart, set on top of a dog house, held up but hunched over, eyes down. He looked so resigned, so vulnerable, abjectly dejected. This is how, yet again, I felt my heart burst into a million pieces. Hobart’s photo arrived at a low time. My own faith and hope were on the ebb and not the flow. This rescue thing, it ain’t easy and it’s not always pretty. Some days those things take a toll. Some days it seems like a bit of respite would be good.
I read something recently about behavior. All living beings do things because it feels good or because it feels less bad than the alternative. Behavior really boils down to something that simple. So I did what I simply had to do. I picked up the phone to learn more about this disappearing boy. It was the least worst alternative to doing nothing at all.
I learned that Hobart had shut down. He was not even eating. He had a badly infected wound on his leg. He simply lay, curled up, waiting for the end to come. His kennel mate and loyal guardian stood watch, lying next to him to keep him warm. She tried to offer him solace and comfort but he was beyond the ability to believe there was anything to reach for. New pictures came; they revealed just how much he had wasted away. His eyes were void of anything at all. For Hobart, giving up and letting go was the least worst alternative he could see.
More than anything I wanted to tell this sweet boy that I was sorry he had been cast away, so sorry that he felt so unloved. I wanted him to know he was loved, right now. I wanted him to know that he, Hobart, was worth fighting for. I wanted him to know somewhere was the perfect family who needed him. They would know how special he was and if he’d just hang on and let us, we’d be sure to find them for him. I believed that someone in our rescue family would feel the same way. I believed that we would find a way to give Hobie back his life, his spirit and joy. For Hobart, we had to try.
Teresa and Randall began a fevered effort to convince Hobart that something better really did await. Teresa bought special food and she and Randall worked to get him to eat. They kept him warm, pet him, gave him attention and affection and worked to rally enough of his spirit to fight just a little bit longer. I posted out his photos. And Tom and Shawn said yes. They said yes and then set about preparing for his arrival like that of a mighty king. They cooked special food and made him a special, soft and warm bed right next to their own. They said they were honored to be able to care for him. I am honored to know amazing people like them.
So with much anxious waiting, fanfare and finally relief, Hobart made his way to Safe Hands. He arrived at his foster home and his key of faith fit in the lock. He found his hope waiting for him like a ray of sunshine on the big comfy bed made just for him. His will to live was waiting with a big bowl of boiled hamburger and covered him like the soft blanket he slept under that night. The next morning Hobie was smiling in his sleep. Yes, baby boy, this is real.
Hobart is all healed now, both in body and spirit. He is beautiful inside and out. He is playful, a bit mischievous and very, very happy to be alive. Hobart knows he is wanted. He knows he is loved. It shows in his smile. He radiates, he glows. And now Hobart has found that promised forever family. He will have two doting parents, a canine brother and lots of room to run and play outside. By this weekend, he will be “home”.
This is why I LOVE our rescue family. These are the miracles that make the pain, the heartache, the times we don’t win worth it all. These are the miracles that all together WE make happen. Rescue often isn’t easy and sometimes it isn’t pretty, but sometimes it is very, very beautiful.