Member stories / Giving Back / Be Yourself / Moved By Good

For the Love of Dogs: A Tale of Hope

Words by Abbie Dyer on Mar 8, 2016 12:13:02 PM

When Amy arrived home from vacation to find her German shepherd missing, she was devastated. In the search to find her beloved pet, she stumbled across other dogs who were lost and met people who were dedicated to helping those animals find their way back home or make their way to a new home. The connections she made and the frequent visits to area shelters struck a cord and opened her eyes to the great need for rescue dog care.

A few weeks later, Amy's search finally ended and she was happily reunited with her German shepherd. But she kept thinking about her travels and all of the dogs she met who still didn't have homes. So she reached out to a woman she met during her search who fostered dogs. The idea was intriguing to Amy and with the help of this woman, Amy connected with a local rescue group. Her first dog was placed in her home a short time later and she's been hooked ever since.

 

Every Dog Has Its Day

Dog lover doesn't even begin to describe the scope of passion that this Lake Trust member has for the four-legged creatures that cross her path. Over the past 10 years, she's welcomed somewhere between 80 and 100 dogs into her home. 

She laughs and says, "I lost count a long time ago!"

In the four to eight weeks that a dog usually stays with Amy, she works with them on basic obedience.

"Our goal [as a rescue group] is to make them adoptable," Amy says of her work fostering for Echo Dogs White Shepherd Rescue* and Adopt a Pup.

The effort to make her dogs adoptable includes learning as much as she can about their personalities. She passes this knowledge on to potential adopters to help them decide if a dog is a good fit for their home. 

  • Amy and Dogs
    Spread the love. Amy gets ready to take her adopted German shepherds, Rue and Auggie, for a walk. 
  • Black German shepherd
    Join the family. Rue started out as a foster dog, but Amy adopted her after falling in love with her sweet disposition.
  • Playing Fetch
    Fetch! Amy leaves time in her day to meet the moderate to high exercise needs of her dogs.

A Network of Supporters

 

Foster care is so much more than just providing a temporary home. Volunteers at rescue groups coordinate fundraisers to collect donations, organize adoption day events and conduct background checks on potential adopters. 

 

Amy too participated in these behind-the-scenes tasks for five years as a transport coordinator. Donating 20-30 hours per week on top of her full-time job, she made hundreds of phone calls to arrange a chain of people to drive (or sometimes fly) a dog from the rescue group to their permanent home or to a foster home. Volunteers who simply share a common love for canines provide all of these rides.

 

 

 

Dogs Have Stories Too

 

Amy hopes that her work will encourage others to adopt from rescue groups or shelters. She reminds us that every dog, like every person, has a story. And this means that just because a dog is up for adoption doesn't mean that it has a bad personality. 

 

"Dogs in foster homes and shelters are not bad. They might not have fit the person who had them or maybe the person had to move or couldn't afford to take care of their dog," Amy explains. "There are perfectly good dogs in shelters and sometimes you don't know the story behind why they are there."

 

One great perk of adopting is having a large variety of dogs to pick from. With animals in every shape, size, color, and age, there's a dog out there for every personality and lifestyle. 

 

Amy sums it up nicely: "There's somebody out there for every person and there's a person for every dog."

 

She's taken in her share of quirky dogs over the years, from a sneaky escape artist to a flying fence jumper, but as a foster dog parent, she knows to be prepared for anything. Despite their oddities, the dogs almost always find a forever home.

 

 

 

Finding Their Way Home

 

Working with animals is always challenging because, of course, they can't communicate with us. Though money and time rank as the top obstacles, the emotional toll of caring for the dogs can be difficult. The needy dogs are always the hardest, she confesses. When working with a dog to build up trust or to help them heal from an injury or illness, it can be hard to let them go.

 

The heartbreaking situations and overwhelming need for help sometimes appear hopeless, but this knowledge serves as personal motivation for Amy to keep fostering and to maintain her current lifestyle so she can foster.   

 

"Stay involved," she advises anyone struggling with the fostering process. "When you're more involved in the rescue group, you're more motivated...you're constantly reminded of how great the need is."

 

Amy recognizes the good in those that are often overlooked and demonstrates the power that can be harnessed from giving second chances. By caring for the lost and forgotten, she's giving potential adopters a second chance at happiness too. Because Amy, more than anybody, truly understands the priceless connection that's made when you meet your new best friend.

Do you have a unique story you want to share? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

 

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SEE ALSO: Lake Trust Member Highlight: Emily, Owner of Kaya Coffee House   |   Lake Trust Member Highlight: Mike Arnold, A Silent Hero

 

 

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