A post by the momma:
I have a confession to make.
A big confession.
Up until January of this year, I had never stepped foot in an animal shelter. Never, ever. I've been in rescue for 3 years, but I had never been the one to physically go to the shelter.
You sit on a throne of lies, foster momma lady.
Sounds crazy, huh? Well, my rescue typically works with a shelter in Kentucky and we receive our dogs on a transport every other week, sometimes every week depending on adoptions. We also work with a volunteer who started our rescue that moved to Tennessee. She takes dogs in, sometimes pregnant or new mommas and their puppies, fosters them until they're healthy and happy and ready for their trip North.
While we mostly help the south, we do help locally. But, here's why the majority of our dogs are not local dogs. We live in an area very heavy into adoption and rescue. There are so many rescues in our area, I can't even count them. Countless rescues, low kill shelters and many, many, many helpful organizations to promote adoption. Our shelters have high adoption rates and therefor, high turnover rates... meaning less dogs needing rescue or foster homes and very few dogs euthanized. My Corbee came from a local shelter. With some health issues, the shelter reached out to some rescues for help. Homeward Bound and my friends Heather and Jen stepped in and took him in December of 2009. 10 days later, I joined the rescue and took him in as our foster, and soon to be forever, dog. When I took over the intake for the rescue two years ago, I had wanted to do more locally. We helped out dogs we were asked to help out, either from the shelter or local emergency vet, but it wasn't satisfying my need to help out the local pit bulls.
An old photo of Corbin when he lived at the shelter.
In December, there was a raid on a farm only an hour from our area. 50 pit bulls were taken from the property. The news said our local shelter was taking in most of the dogs, so I emailed our contact there and asked if I could help. She informed me that they were only getting 2 of the dogs, so didn't need help there, but was interested in taking our help for some other pitties. So, one Monday night after work, I grabbed two rescue friends, Heather and Alida, and went to meet 3 dogs to consider for our rescue. I had planned on taking the dog into our home as a foster, but Corbin's back issues flared up right before our visit to the shelter, so Heather stepped in and offered to foster.
Corbin's twinner and fellow foster brother extraordinaire, Emmett.
We met 3 adorable, happy, wiggly female pit bulls. All of which had hung around the shelter for various reasons: mouthing, fear, and waiting for her milk to dry up from her last, and final, litter of puppies. We decided on one that would fit best with Heather and Emmett and went to leave the shelter. As we left, we walked through the kennels... Heather pointed out which kennel Corbin called home and my heart broke for each and every dog jumping and barking for their chance. Then my eyes landed on one handsome fella... he was sitting quietly at the gate of his kennel, starring up at me with these big, brown, loving eyes. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I looked at his name and laughed. "Diggy Wiggles."
Are you talkin' about ME?
I thought about Diggy all night. How his eyes pierced my heart. A classic "I walked into the shelter and there he was" story. So, the next morning I emailed our shelter contact and let her know we decided NuNu would be the best fit out of the 3 we met the night before. She responded a short while later and let me know that NuNu was a great choice and she'd be glad to see her leave the shelter, however, there was one more dog she'd like us to meet before we made a final decision. He had recently become very jumpy and nervous at the shelter and she didn't want to see a good dog develop issues because he was stuck in a kennel. His name was Diggy Wiggles.
Just going to close my eyes and pretend I'm smooching my forever family.
Heather, Alida and I brought Emmett with us that Wednesday to see how he and Diggy got along. Diggy was perfect and I couldn't figure out why the shelter was going to let us have him. I was in love. This goofy, wiggly, bundle of goodness was just fantastic. So, home he came with Heather. I was so jealous, but glad we were able to save him. I saw so much of Corbin in Diggy... the sadness in his eyes sitting in that kennel, longing for human affection.
Diggy Wiggles and Sophie Sofa Snuggles are best of friends!
What a feeling it was to walk out of the shelter with Diggy on the other end of the leash. To directly answer his plea for help, for a home, a bed, a hug, freedom. I am also happy to report that 2 out of the 3 other dogs we met have been adopted and are happily with their forever families! Diggy and Sophie are still waiting to find their perfect place.