"A Dog, A Heartbeat At My Feet"

It’s no secret around these parts that I’m a crazy dog lover. Where most bloggers have a “love story” page under their header, I have a page dedicated to Huckleberry. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but he won’t let me take nearly as many pictures of him. ;)  

And if you've been following for a while then you've probably sensed my passion for dogs through reading this post and this one. (Although I warn the last one is graphic.)

My love for animals is something that has just always been a part of me. Growing up, I tried to save every animal that I saw in need. I feed a baby blue jay by hand that had fallen out of it’s nest and begged my mom to let me take in any stray dog abandoned on our street. One of those abandoned pups, Haley, found her home with us until her last days.   

To this day Homeward Bound makes me cry and I worry about the horses that are falling down in war movies. I know to some it sounds silly, but I genuinely have a passion for animals. And it breaks my heart to see them mistreated and in need.

I obviously inherited this trait from my mother. While I was in high school, she began to foster dogs. Basically this means that when the local rescue had no more room for another abandoned, abused, neglected dog, she would take them in. She provided them with shelter, medical treatment, socialization, and love until they were adopted and ready for their new home. When that adoption day never came for certain dogs, she decided to keep them herself.
Maddie and crazy Jackson
 In college I volunteered at the local animal shelter. I quickly learned that what my mom did was draining –physically, emotionally, and even financially. There was such a need for volunteers and very little interest. The animals’ living conditions were terrible and the adoption rate was low. Honestly, the situation seemed hopeless. But week after week I went to the meeting and heard amazing stories from foster moms and dads about how the process had changed them, about how their lives were actually saved through the simple act of opening their homes and hearts to an unwanted mutt. 

I genuinely admired these people and were blown away by their commitment, empathy, and steadfast love for the cause they believed in: rescue every dog you can and hopefully one day there will no longer be a need.

Unfortunately, that need is still very much alive. 

Luckily, there are some amazing people who have dedicated their time and hearts to rescue some of these unwanted fur babies. One of them is Jen, the sweet and loving, girl-next-door behind the blog Konjo. Go ahead and read her explanation as to why she has a heart for dog rescue and the rewards she's discovered through fostering dogs.
"Dog rescue is my main passion. Growing up, my dog saved my life and showed me what love really is and before she passed away last year I promised her I would rescue dogs in her honor. It is what I have been doing ever since. I teamed up with a local rescue to help them out, and I recently started fostering for them since they are shelterless. Last week I said bye to my first foster as she went to her forever home. It was extremely difficult and I cried my eyes out, but receiving pictures from her new mom has made it so worth it! She sends me updates on the dog and pictures of them snuggling together. That's when I know I am fulfilling my purpose by allowing others to experience the love I have known from dogs and to bring their new best friend into their family. Learning the stories of the dogs we rescue each day as well as the awful statistics from shelters is heartbreaking. But seeing the dogs that we are able to save placed into loving homes and seeing the lives they lead from them on makes me happier than anything else in the world."
I think Jen is inspiring! And I am so glad there are people like her who are willing to give so much of themselves to animals in need! To hear more of Jen's story and to keep up with her fostering adventures, make sure to follow along, here!

And if fostering a dog is something you're interested in, check out your local animal shelter. They can help you get started on the right path!

Now go love on a dog!

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”
– Karen Davison


kelsey bang said...

this is so sweet! I love animals to! i feel very much the same way every time I see homeward bound. I always think of their poor feeties :( I have been wanting to adopt a few dogs sooo bad, but waiting to get a yard fence up, so they can have room to play outside and in :) you are amazing! i love that you volunteer at a shelter! i have always wanted to do that but nervous I would feel so bad for all the animals. :(

Anonymous said...

Great post! I hope this works to inspire others. I have a rescue dog I love to pieces...and my sister friends and I work very hard to promote adoption and get the word out. but I can't help but notice you promote adoption and foster yet bought your dog. It breaks my heart when I see a dog bought form a breeder when there are millions unwanted in shelters

I hope you chose adoption for your next fur baby!

Sarah and Stewart said...

I get seriously so upset when I see horses getting hurt and falling down in action movies, it's seriously the only thing I can think about! I've never had a dog before but dream of having one once we move to our new house, which has a nice sized yard. :-)

MorganHarperNichols.com said...

my husband and i had a rescue dog for sometime and we loved him! it was kind of interesting not knowing his background and him never being able to tell us, yet we still got to be a part of his life.
glad to have found your blog!
newest GFC follower,

Anonymous said...

I would like to foster someday, if we own a place (it's tricky when you rent because of landlord rules).
I can still hardly watch the part of Homeward Bound where Shadow can't get out of the pit.

Anonymous said...

I love this post! My family adopted a dog from the humane society when I was young and he was the best dog I think I've ever known. So smart and loyal - it was as if he knew we had rescued him! I also rescued a dog when I was in college that the humane society refused because she was "vicious" - she was an older dog who was very protective of her toys and who didn't like men, but as soon as you put the toys away she was a total sweetheart, and she grew to like men who were patient with her. I had to leave her home when I moved out west and my parents still have her - they adore her and would be lost without her :) When we get a house of our own we're planning to adopt a second dog :)

Ella-Lauren said...

We've always adopted our dogs from shelters. In fact our German Shepherd we saved from a "kill shelter" (those two words really should not be put together) - she's black-haired and a really big dog, people find her scary...and yet, she's the most gentle creature.

It's heart breaking hearing all of the stories about animals, how they've ended up in shelters and the difficulty of finding a home.

I respect and admire those that dedicate their life, time and money to helping...those people have the biggest hearts of all.

Corinne said...

This is SO amazing and I love reading that there are such sweet people in the world such as Jen and your family! Our family always ended up adopting puppies from litters that were dumped on the side of the road (we lived out in the country) and they ended up being the best dogs.
I definitely think that I would consider becoming a Foster Mom to dogs once we have a little more land for them to enjoy. Although I know once I took them in it would be near to impossible for me to let them go!

his little lady said...

I absolutely love this! I thank people like this who dedicate so much time to a great cause. So beautiful!
xo TJ