Last week, I was awarded foster custody of a beautiful pit/lab mix puppy named Zach. He has been in foster care for as long as he can remember and the organization Rescue Pup out of Bothell, WA has gone to great lengths to save him. Can you believe he has his own Facebook page, Project Zach, and a hashtag! (#projectzach)
My husband and I decided to foster Zach because he was scheduled to be put down on Dec 13th. Between the emotional rollercoaster that is this month for me – it’s the 7th anniversary of my wedding and of my grandfather’s passing – I couldn’t accept that this little guy was going to lose his life. He looks identical to my fur-nephew Dexter which made the hit to “the feels” even greater.
Usually, I expect my husband to say no and be heartless about situations like these. He calls them impulse decisions but he has yet to show me when I have gone wrong in one of my quests to help someone in need. After helping a barrage of people who may not be as grateful or loyal, I thought it was about time I did something good for someone that would appreciate it. Zach has in many ways exceeded my expectations and has in fact shown more respect and love to us than a lot of our friends and family.
I say he is introverted because of social anxiety issues. He spent most of his first months inside a carrier crate and was not introduced to other dogs. Eventually, he was thrown out and wandered the desert towns in California where he was found and rescued. I am sure worst things have happened to him and I can only imagine how much he has suffered. For now, I take solace in the fact that in the last year of his life he has been given training, meds and lots of love to correct the damage. It takes him a while to warm up to people but once he does, oh man he is just a riot!
Like most introverts, Zach has a few subjects and interactions he likes the most and shies away from the rest. He gobbles up kibble or treats, loves cuddles and petting, barks at loud noises and crinkly sounds, and enjoys a good game of fetch. He is smart, nerdy even, and figures out most toys, puzzles and routines easily. Legend has it that he recognizes when a PS4 is turned on or off, bringing the ball to the player when they pause or are done with the game. My husband adores this move and provides him with an enviable ball throwing exercise schedule in between levels. When he is done socializing he will leave the room and spend some time alone. A dream dog.
If he could speak, I bet he would have some cool stories to tell. He has traveled from California to Oregon and then up to Washington, accumulating fans along the way. Over 1,500 people follow his Facebook page and a good percentage have donated to keep him alive and in foster care. The outpouring of support and well wishes on our journey to foster, and soon, adopt him has been overwhelming in a cathartic way. They don’t know Zach was most likely born in March, which coincides with my angel baby’s projected birthday. He has given me something good to celebrate during the times I do most of my mourning. In many ways he has saved us too.
After 4 days of foster parenting, we have decided we are adopting Zach, a process we will formally start once he completes his training, to provide him with a furever home. It didn’t take us long to realize he is ours and we are his hoomans. The Enginerds are now officially dog people! We are thankful for the opportunity to leave a mark on this planet; to positively influence the life of a sentient being, a kind soul. To the many followers of his story and to the people who have donated time, provided services and monies we are forever in your debt.
Our third player has finally arrived. My house is now his home too. 🙂