|Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue
Helping Labs Find Their Fur-Ever Homes
|LOVE . . . PATIENCE . . . COMMITTMENT . . . REWARDS
"We taught him "sit". He taught us patience. We taught him
"down". He taught us to keep things in perspective. We taught
him "stay". He taught us dogs can open doors. We taught him
"leave it". He taught us the value of a sense of humor. We
taught him "off". He taught us some dogs aren't meant to be
crated. We taught him "hug". He taught us there's nothing better
than sloppy kisses. We're not sure who learned more during
our six months together. But, we're so proud of what we were
able to teach Sparky…and we're ever grateful for everything the
Great Sparkdini taught us!"
-Peggy and Mary
I started fostering completely by accident, and my first foster
found her forever home...with me! I vowed never to flunk
again, but every dog that comes through my home has such
unique personalities, it's hard not to fall in a love, even if it's a
little bit, with each dog that comes to my home. There was
Moose, who taught my dogs to scratch at the screen door to
come in, the door hasn't been the same since. And Bif, the
goofball, who ate everything in site... books, hair brushes...
there are many reminders in my house of his stay. Then,
there was Max, who was the biggest chocolate lab I'd ever
seen. My daughter loved using him as a big pillow... and
that's basically all he ever did. My current foster, Champ, came to my home from a puppy mill. I
don't know that he'll ever be ready to find another home, but it brings pleasure to me to know that the
rest of his life will be lived in a loving home. He makes huge strides every day, transforming from
the cowering dog that would hide in the trees in my yard, to the dog who actually comes to the door
with the other dogs, and has learned to 'knock' to come inside. Sometimes it is hard to let them go
to another home, but I know that they'll be loved in their new home, and that makes it all worth it.
After losing my beloved black lab, Cheyenne to cancer, the house
seemed so empty without her. I was not ready to have another dog
on a permanent basis yet and I had been volunteering with
Brookline for awhile, so I thought I'd give fostering a try. My first
foster, Ralph, came from a shelter in NJ. Ralphie, or Ralphus, as I
called him was as cute as a button, but bigger and had more
energy than I was used to. The first couple of days were a real
challenge, but things got better as we got into a routine. One of the
challenges I had with Ralph was that he did not like getting into his
crate. When I would tell him it was time to "kennel up," he would
drop to the floor, roll on his back and give me that, "I'm too cute, you
can't make me" look. Anyway, I could make him… by sliding him across the hardwood floors to his
crate. This activity lasted a little while, but when he realized he would get a yummy treat once in his
crate, he eventually learned to go in on his own. That's my "Little Man." Of course, I knew it would be
hard to let him go, but when I met the couple who would be adopting him, it put my mind at ease.
Now he prances around his new neighborhood with his fuzzy zebra in his mouth and gets to play
frequently with some neighborhood dogs, something I would not have been able to give him. There
were goofy and happy times with Ralph, and also some frustrating times, but all in all, I found
fostering to be an EXTREMELY rewarding experience. No matter where Ralph is, he will always be
my "Little Man."
Candy was rescued from a puppy mill situation. She was skin and
bones when we first got her into our home for foster care and
weighed only 36 pounds. She was scared of everything—my
husband, the television and pretty much any noise. She was afraid
to come in our house, afraid to go up steps and afraid to eat. We
could tell that she had been abused and was very afraid of people.
She was so submissive and would cower. It took weeks to build
trust with Candy. But, we did, and she learned to live inside a
house, go for walks in the neighborhood and park, swim in the
stream and hang out with other dogs outside of a crate or cage.
The best moment of fostering Candy was when she decided that
she was a dog and began to actually play in our yard. She chased
A wonderful woman thought Candy was just perfect to be her own dog’s best friend and adopted A
wonderful woman thought Candy was just perfect to be her own dog’s best friend and adopted Candy.
She’s been living happily in her new home for months now and has proved that some dogs (even
puppy mill dogs) just need some time, love and patience to blossom.
(even puppy mill dogs) just need some time, love and patience to blossom.
Our first foster was Misty (Whiskey, really, but we gave her a
new name). She weighed 40 pounds when she should
have weighed 80. She was 4 years old, they said, and had
been turned out of her house as the result of a divorce. After
having been picked up by animal control 3 times, she was
slated to be put down, so it was an emergency that
someone take her in.
She came to us the day after being neutered. Smelling of
betadyne and surgery, Misty at first frightened Maggie and Tess our other 2 labs, but she came to
me and curled up in my lap when I sat on the floor. I fell in love. We decided to be a foster failure and
become an adoption success story.
I wanted to write this because so often, those of us with the best intentions bring a dog into our
homes only to find it won't work. Often the rescues in our areas are the best way to find a 'best friend'
because they give the pet a chance to go through the inevitable transitions they will face before
going to a family and their new home.
Misty presented us with challenges – but she’s now a happy, confident part of our family, always
interested in walks and getting her belly rubbed.
This is a success story, for us and for Misty, and for Brookline Lab
Rescue. Brookline has many successful rescue stories. I hope this story makes everyone want to
understand the love - and the responsibility - you bring into your home when you save one of these