When I first brought Spade home from Big Dog Ranch Rescue, I’m not really sure what I was expecting. Fostering a dog has been on my to-do list as well as my 101 in 1001 list for a while. Well, that or just getting a second dog.
The opportunity arose to complete this goal when Hurricane Matthew was slated to hit South Florida in early October. The Category 3/4 storm was on track to hit West Palm Beach directly, and Big Dog Ranch needed fosters to help get the dogs safely through the storm. With over 2oo dogs at the rescue at any given time, and a hurricane proof facility almost finished, fostering was the best option for them.
I had heard of Big Dog Ranch before, and I have known people who have gotten dogs through them before. When I saw their spokeswoman on the CBS12 local news, I paused to listen. They were swamped she said, if you can open your home to a dog for the next week or so, please just come straight to the ranch.
I didn’t really think twice. Although I was recovering from rotator cuff surgery 5 days before, I’m a dog person. This is what dog people do, we help when help is needed.
I put Finn in the back of the car and I drove out to the main facility. I figured that they would want to make sure whatever dog they gave me would get along with mine. The dogs at the first facility all needed to be in only-dog situations, so I was sent to the temporary facility, where I picked up the last dog-friendly dog they had.
Spade, a two year old hound mix, was happy to come home, although he spent most of the first day barking. I’m not sure whether he’s been in a house before, but I did find that he really just wanted to be with me. He knew nothing, but didn’t ever go to the bathroom in the house, and he turned out to be incredibly goofy.
When the storm turned north, and the wind let up, I was left to take this sweet pup back to the rescue where he would once again fade into the background of the 300 available dogs. The more time he had spent in the house, the easier it became to live with him. He started to learn my routine, and the house rules. He played all day with Finn, who was getting used to the idea of no longer being an only child. And I grew accustomed to the extra cuddles in the morning.
When it came time to bring him back to BDRR I decided I would take an active role in finding him a new home. I have a background in marketing and a love for dogs. It seemed like it would be easy enough to combine the two and set this boy up a home.
I went through the volunteer orientation at BDRR so that I can attend events and work with the dogs at the ranch. I made Spade his own Instagram account, showcasing his antics and pleading for a new home. It just so happened that a shared post by a popular account led us to Molly, a 20 something who was looking for a companion for her puppy. Within 24 hours of the shared post, Spade had an approved adopter and a spot booked on a bus to Boston.
He was one of the easy ones. I have no idea how he ended up in a high kill shelter, but I’m grateful to have been a part of his journey to a new home. If I was ever going to foster fail, this would have been the right dog to do it with. Spade, now Theo, is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known.