Labs & More has a dedicated team of almost 300 volunteers at any given time.  This is just one of way too many stories in a given week around here, but its a good reminder as to why we do what we do.  Dogs are rescued off the streets every day, from bad situations, nursed back to health from the brink of death and brought to being a normal, well adjusted healthy dog.  This simply wouldn’t be possible without the support and constant care provided by our volunteer fosters.  Many dogs come in filthy, obviously unloved and in total shock.  Our loving, patient fosters provide gentle grooming, a soft bed, a safe home to sleep in, lots of nutrition and most important, comfort.  There are many stories of exercising, socializing and patient support given by our fosters that will warm your heart.  They then make their debut at the weekly dog adoption events – where you will meet them for the first time.

Many fosters, of course, grow attached to their foster dogs/puppies, and understandably so.  They love to see them go to forever homes of their own, but these moments are always bittersweet.  Every foster remembers the dogs that they’ve cared for – they’ve in many ways been a part of their family at one point.

This is Rascal’s tale.  (enjoy the video at the end *with the volume up please)

“When I first picked up Rascal from our boarding Kennels to foster I knew he physically needed some TLC just by the looks of his sun-bleached thick undercoat and skinny body. When I brought him inside my home, it was as if he’d never seen the inside of a house before and was completely shell-shocked. I knew he would need just as much mental TLC if not more.
 He literally could not walk on the wood floors and would almost fall over every time he tried because he was so scared. I took him to the backyard where he seemed to be most comfortable walking around but still would shudder and cower down if I started walking towards him. It broke my heart. After letting him explore a bit in the yard, I started what would be a 2 hour brushing event where I was able to get all of the sun bleached, matted hair off of him and looking almost like a brand new dog! He quickly settled right onto my feet and fell asleep while getting what was probably his first brushing ever. 
The next few days, I learned that his favorite place to be was on his big comfy dog bed in the living room. That was his safe zone. He wouldn’t get off of his bed to eat for a few days so each morning I brought my coffee and a nice bowl of kibble and we sat on the floor together and had our breakfast while he slowly learned to trust humans again. With tons of affection, treats and gentle words of encouragement, Rascal started to warm up more and more each day. He started to wag his tail when I woke up in the morning and would play with toys while on his bed. His sweet personality really started to show and the more it did, the more I wondered how anyone could ever mistreat such a loving boy.
 One day, all of a sudden, he got off of his bed and went to his water bowl across the room to get water and I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was walking on his own on the scary wood floors that he was nearly falling on just a few days before! This may seem like a minuscule event for any other dog, but it took about a week for him to get to the point where he would venture off of his bed on his own which speaks to how traumatized he was. By the second week I had been fostering him, he was running around in the backyard chasing me, chewing on sticks and playing with toys. It was truly such an incredible transformation to see and be a part of! This sweet boy went from not knowing what life was like inside a home and collapsing on the floor at the sight of someone coming up to him, to learning how to love the good life and being a family dog. 
When I brought him to his first adoption event, I had no expectation that he’d be adopted, rather I wanted to see how he would do at the busy events and to hopefully get him used to them. But to my surprise, he was adopted within the first 30 minutes! It was like he knew who his new mom was going to be by giving her one sweet little lick to the face she seemed to instantly feel the same way. After hearing about where he would be living (Big Bear), I couldn’t have felt more comfortable and happy that he was going to such a good home—one that was just perfect for him. I know it was meant to be. I’ll always miss Rascal (now Cooper) but am so grateful that I was able to help him trust people again and feel loved again so that he could find his forever home.”   ~Foster mom Ayla
When you take your newly adopted dog or puppy home, please remember the love and care it took to get them there, safely placed with you.  All of our fosters genuinely thank you for giving a rescue, homeless dog a chance – and a loving forever home of their own – it does take a community to care for those who cannot care for themselves.
p.s.  All fosters love updates!  Please share your journey with your new family member via Instagram, Facebook or by simply emailing us!
@Labsandmore | #Labsandmore | doginfo@labsandmore.org

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