Guest Post from Share The Love - Dog Rescue

Today I have a really special post from Stephanie, who blogs over at Share The Love. She has a special passion for helping animals in need, and today she's going to tell you how she got involved with dog rescue.
How we got involved in dog rescue
My first experience with animal rescue was in January 2008.  At the time, I had no idea there was such a thing as animal rescue.  I was a busy young single parent at the time (hadn’t met my husband yet), working full-time and living in a small rented condo apartment.  One of the first things I noticed when I moved to the area with my son was this beautiful grey cat hanging out on the front steps.  The landlord informed me that the cat didn’t have a home and had become the neighbourhood’s cat.  He would visit everyone’s condo and people would feed him.  He seemed quite content with his life.  One neighbour named him “Sam” and the name stuck, we all knew him as Sam the cat.

One very cold January evening, Sam showed up at my doorstep as usual, except this time, something was wrong.  His face looked deformed and his jaw was hanging on the side.  (My first thought was that he had been hit by a car, but we later found out from a vet that Sam had mostly likely been kicked in the face.)  I brought him in.  It wasn’t the first time he came in for a visit, but it was the first time I didn’t let him leave, and he didn’t like that.  He was obviously in pain and felt threatened by my resident cats.  He peed on the carpet.  He cried to go back outside.  I felt as trapped as him.  I started calling around to different animal shelters.  When I explained the situation, each shelter told me that Sam would be put down immediately because of the damage to his jaw.  I was devastated.

I did what any desperate animal lover would do.  I prayed.  And cried.  And made frantic telephone calls.  Finally, someone gave me the name of a lady who rescued cats in our area.  I felt like this was my last chance.  My last chance to help save Sam.  I called and there was no answer.  So I tried leaving a voicemail but mid-way through my message trying to explain that Sam was a beautiful happy cat that somehow got his jaw broken, I couldn’t talk anymore because of how much I was crying. I had to call three times to get the whole story out.  Finally, I received a call back.  She said “Welcome to the world of rescue.”

Long story short, Sam got surgery, his jaw was fixed, and he was adopted into a loving home.
Forward a few years, I am now living with my fiancé.  He comes home one day telling me he saw this very skinny cat crying outside at the local corner store.  Within an hour, we were back at the store, and there’s this sickly thin cat crying out for help to anyone who would have enough compassion to notice him.  We brought him home, gave him food, water, and a warm bed.  The next day we brought him to the vet and had him checked and vaccinated.  We named him Louis.  He was graciously welcomed into a local cat Sanctuary where he spent the few months of life he had left.  He later passed away from frail health (FIV and FIP), but we are thankful that he enjoyed a loving home during his last months on earth.
After these experiences, we felt compelled to help out.  In a way, we felt this was “our calling”.  I mean, everyone has a preferred cause to which they provide time and energy; some people volunteer for their local sports team, some get involved in raising money for cancer research, others spend their lives raising loving kids.

We chose to get involved in animal rescue.

More specifically, we got involved in dog rescue and in the last two years have fostered dogs in need, welcoming them into our home and taking care of them until they are adopted.  Since 2010, we have fostered 10 dogs.

A few of the dogs we’ve fostered.
Lulu (rescued from a puppy mill)
Monty (rescued from death row in a shelter)
Wilson (stray)
Clyde (stray)
Most people ask us “how do you let them go?”  Well, I asked myself the same question before we started fostering.  It’s simple.  You keep focused on your goal: giving the animal a better life for the sake of reducing suffering.  I’m assuming this goal is similar to anyone who works for a cause.  We do it to reduce suffering and to increase joy in the world.  The reward is that we also increase joy in our own lives.
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely story Stephanie, I hope you've inspired some others to consider animal rescue and adoption. If you haven't already, check out Stephanie's blog, aside from her critter adventures, she has a great "Vegan Tuesday" segment with lots of yummy recipes, as well as sharing pretty and inspiring snippets of her life, I know you'll enjoy it!