Last night, as I sat on the couch reading a book I looked at my rescue dog snoozing beside me. Lucas is a Shepherd Mix, we’ve had him for four years, but he is getting up there in years. In the short time we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him, his muzzle has gotten grayer and his once muscular physique is now less so and his skin has become more like something you’d see on a Sharpei. We agreed to foster Lucas from an organization called New Hope Dog Rescue whose mandate was to rescue dogs from the local pound that were slated to be euthanized by paying their adoption fee and finding them foster homes. Lucas had been at the pound for 14 days (it was suspected that his actual family surrendered him because they no longer wanted him), after that point if the owner hasn’t claimed their pet, it is either deemed adoptable or euthanized. Due to Lucas’ suspect lineage and his age, he was slated for euthanization. Thank goodness for organizations like New Hope, he was given a second chance. We agreed to be a foster family because we were dog less, as our two dogs had both recently died and we felt, although it was too soon to get a new dog, we could give a foster dog a roof over it’s head while it waited for a forever family. I remember I had requested a small to mid size dog, as we had two cats. In walked Lucas, solid muscle, a rather burly boy, one blue, one brown eye and rather menacing looking compared to my Sheltie we’d recently lost. My first thought, “Hell no, that’s not coming to live here, he will eat the cats!” Lucas walked through the house and sniffed, ignored the cats, this was after two weeks of being caged up as we were the first stop from being sprung from the pound. I took him out to the back yard and what transpired next softened me and was the reason I checked my bias or prejudice at the door, He rolled in the grass sniffing and wriggling for a good twenty minutes, in pure delight and abandon, so happy to be free. I decided he could stay, and we’d see how it went. The next day I took him to a conservation area for a walk, he saw a grouse and a squirrel,very exciting for a dog that had been caged up and took me off my feet. Up in the air I went and down on the ground I landed, Lucas dragging me by the arm down a rocky slope, as I bashed up my entire right side, partly my fault because I wouldn’t let go of his leash in fear I’d loose him. But not a great start to a new friendship. As days became weeks, he barked incessantly if left alone, made lakes of drool, but we persevered as his foster family. And then we found out we were moving, I looked at this dog, who’d been bunking with us for 9 months and thought, ‘now what?’ Well, there were no foster homes available, Lucas would have to go live at at a kennel until someone wanted to adopt him, and I knew in my heart he wouldn’t show well or would attract the wrong kind of person who wanted a guard dog in the yard to look menacing. How could we do that to him, with a little Gravol, because Lucas was an anxious mess in the car, he made the 17 hour drive with us to our new home. It took him less than a month before he had an incident and made a hole in the wall when I left him alone for a few hours one afternoon. I was so afraid the Hubby would say he had to go, I enlisted the help of my brother-in-law to cover up his transgression. He eventually settled into our new home, he’s become more relaxed and has basically adopted us, he trusts us finally. And here we are today, I think about his journey with us and I am so thankful for what he’s taught me; not to judge a book by it’s cover, sometimes you have to persevere to get hooked. I wonder often what the beginning of his story looked like, but all I know, is I want the final chapters to be a very happy ending.