Yesterday, I said goodbye to my sixth foster dog. His name is Mac, and he’s about 10 or 11 months old. He arrived at my house after being saved from a North Carolina shelter that was going to kill him in a gas chamber. He had just three days to live. He was emaciated, with not just his ribs but also his backbone and shoulder blades sticking out. And he had terrible diarrhea. His stomach must have hurt every minute he was alive.
After six weeks with me and my dog, Blue—also a rescue from a gas-chamber shelter in North Carolina—Mac grew into the happy, loving, healthy dog that you see here. He adored going with us for walks in the park and jogs on the local trail. He scarfed down no fewer than six cups of puppy food every day, along with one rogue batch of defrosting ground beef that he sniffed out in my kitchen sink. By the time he left us yesterday, I’d even managed to house-train him, crate-train him, and teach him both “sit” and “lie down.” Such a smart boy. So eager to please.
All dogs are special, but this guy really had a quality that bore straight into the core of my heart. Blue loved him, too. They romped around all day like brothers. I swore I’d only give him up to the perfect home—and then along came a lovely family with these two boys, an older brother, a big back yard, and a 4-year-old black Labrador who needs a playmate. It appears to be a perfect match. And so Mac is off to start his new and even more wonderful life with them.
I’ve already told Lulu’s Rescue to line me up for another foster puppy, as so many more dogs like Mac are facing death in the shelters and just need a place to stay for a little while until permanent homes can be found. Fostering is how my dog Blue was saved, too, and I talk about the process in my forthcoming book “Little Boy Blue: One Puppy’s Great Escape.” As I wrote in the manuscript, the number of dogs the rescues can save from the kill shelters is directly proportional to the number of foster homes where those dogs can be placed.
So yes, it’s tear-filled when I have to say goodbye to a great dog like Mac, but I’m looking forward to meeting my seventh foster dog a week from now. I hope I’ll play a role in him finding a perfect, permanent home, too. It feels great to be part of the solution.