A post by the momma:
It's hard to believe that 5 years and 1 day ago, our home was dogless. We weren't dog rescuers, we weren't dog fosters and we didn't know all that much about dog behaviors or dog training. We were just a young couple looking to own a dog of our own for the first time. A Border Collie mix, older, female... that's what we had in mind. Our journey to find that perfect dog was set to start on this day 5 years ago, hopefully beginning as foster parents to make sure our schedules would be accommodating for a new dog and that one fit into our lifestyle. Adam had never had a pet before, so this was all new for him. I grew up with animals of all species, multiple at a time. I knew it would be an adjustment, a learning experience. I was excited to start our journey of fostering and learning about the dog rescue world. I never knew the impact that day would have on my life, and 5 years ago, I would have never imagined the impact rescue has had on my life.
I swore I wouldn't come home with a dog that day... that I was just going to the adoption clinic to meet the volunteers and get some information. And, I firmly believed that when I walked out of my house. I walked into the locally owned pet shop and over to the adoption area. I was chatting with one of the volunteers when this crazy brown blur ran up to me, his foster mom in tow. She over heard our conversation about my interest in fostering. The brown blur was unfortunately going to be boarded for the holidays since his foster couldn't take him with her, then again after the holidays because her other foster dog at home needed hip surgery. I would love to say I looked deep into the dogs brown eyes to see his sadness about being alone for the holidays, but he never stopped moving. Instead it was my own sappy heart that couldn't bare to see that happen. We did, after all, have a home for him to come to. And, what harm would it do? He was just a foster dog.
I chatted with his foster mom a bit and realized she lived rather close to my house. She offered to do our home visit, so we left and headed to our house.
I made two phone calls on my way home. One to my mom, she's always my first call when I'm excited, sad, nervous, happy, anxious... I'm pretty sure I was experiencing all of those emotions. She told me I wouldn't be able to give this dog up and I attempted to convince her otherwise. Then I made the call to Adam. Not only did I lie about not coming home with a dog, I also went back on the type of dog, age of dog and breed of dog I anticipated adopting....
I was on my way home with a large, young, male, Pit Bull.
Hi, I'm Corbin.
Corbin stepped his paws into our home and ran around like a lunatic. He bounced off of walls, furniture, windows... heck, he was bouncing straight off the air in front of him. Adam gave me the "what are you thinking!" glance and headed out the door. His foster mom, Heather, did a check of our home and property and quickly left before I had the chance to change my mind. I stood at the doorway as she backed out of the driveway and thought "what the heck did I do..." That thought left my mind as quickly as it came, because I turned around to find Corbin contently curled up on my couch. I was thankful that he wasn't a maniac ALL the time. Heather came back a bit later with Corbin's crate and food. We were both relieved that he seemed to have settled in.
Our first night together.
I had never had any experience with a pit bull and I didn't quite know what to expect. Corbin seemed to just be a normal dog. A little high energy, but a normal dog. Adam and I took him to Adam's dad's house the next day. We watched Corbin introduce himself to everyone there, giving smooches when he felt necessary. I noticed how the comments about his breed became less and less as the day went on.
I'm a dog.
Corbin has taught me many important life lessons but the one that has changed my life most was that every dog is just that... a dog. Corbin isn't different from any other dog because of his appearance. He's different from all other dogs because he's a Corbin. Over these last 5 years, we have watched Corbin nurse and mold our foster dogs. He's coaxed them out of their shells, taught them how to behave and provided a great mentor and role model. He's guided them and played with them and loved on them, and when they were adopted, he grieved that they left our home, but always welcomed the next one as if they'd never leave.
Photo by Tracey Buyce Photography
Our journey with Corbin has been packed with excitement, anticipation, love, adoration, striff, training, and snuggles. Every day is a new day with Corbin. My childhood dogs came from breeders, so Corbin was my first rescue dog. Every day, I see his gratitude for the life he has. Those brown soulful eyes know the fear of not having a home. I'm thankful to his first owners who recognized they weren't able to properly care for him, I'm thankful for the shelter workers who recognized the shelter wasn't a good place for him to be, I'm thankful for Homeward Bound who took him in when the shelter reached out, and I'm thankful for Heather who agreed to take him into her home as a second foster dog. Had any one of those things not happened, we wouldn't have the amazing dog that is sitting on my lap as I write this. I know I would have loved any dog that walked through our door, but I thank my lucky stars that it was him. I can't imagine my life without his love and companionship.
So, cheers to the next 5 years, Corbee Doo!