Back in March 2014, I was mourning the loss of the unborn child we lost. He would have been 4 years old, and if he was anything like his parents, he’d be talking and asking 10,000 questions. Little did we know that a few states away our saving grace was being born. A promise of a brighter future was taking form.
Zach, our foster fur-son, was taking his first look at the human world in the middle of nowhere in California. No one knows when he was born or to whom. All we know is that he was found roaming the streets as a puppy and was stuffed in a crate at the rescue shelter, left up to the fates. Life being what it is, a series of fortunate and unfortunate events, brought him to the attention of Rescue Pup Volunteer Allicia. It didn’t take long for her to become his fairy godmother and save him from impending doom. Without the proper social skills, Zach could become a dangerous dog, another statistic at a kill shelter, and Allicia made sure this didn’t happen. After many fundraisers and countless hours of training, it seemed the pit/lab-mix puppy was on his way to recovery and safety. He was in a foster home.
For the next year and a half, Zach was in an out of foster care. He almost got adopted a few times but his needs were too great for those giving him a chance. More training, schooling and therapy was required to build up his confidence and discipline. His Godmother kept pounding the road to find solutions and funds to address his problems. Sadly a year and 6 months later, Rescue Pup had come to a crossroads; they needed to place Zach in a loving home and his last foster was not a good fit anymore for him. Time was running out, and the volunteers worked around the clock to find the puppy another foster home because he risked being put down if he couldn’t cope in a shelter.
This was around November 2015, and I was blissfully engaged with walking and training my fur-nephews Dasher and Dexter, who were staying with us until my sister’s house closed escrow. I was unemployed but already had a job offer in place, and the company the canines provided was a welcomed change to my routine. As I fell in love with my youngest nephew Dexter, a lab-pit mix (he is definitely a Labrador Retriever, chewer of expensive tastes when bored), I considered to rise to the challenge and help a dog in need. My husband however hated the idea of becoming a pet owner due to his previous experience owning and boarding his parent’s German Shepherd named Thor. The cost was a burden he wanted to avoid. However I started to check on local rescued that needed assistance. My friends highly recommend that I considered adopting a furru best friend.
Fate intervened and in a haze of estrogen and hormones I read a webpage that listed Zach. I didn’t get too excited about his post but I decided to check back in case other cases were posted. Three days later the almost 2 year old puppy was listed as Urgent: At risk of euthanasia. My heart started pounding and tears rushed down my cheeks. Why? He looks gorgeous and is well behaved. He needs an adult and no dog home. That’s us! I still get emotional when I remember the moment I realized his life was at stake. Dasher and Dexter started to check the premises for issues and cuddled right next to me because they could feel my pain and anxiety. Life told me to help save him. I clicked on his info and found his facebook page. Sure enough his pictures made him look IDENTICAL to Dexter!! My husband got home and he could hear me sobbing. We. *sigh* Must. *snort* Save. *sigh* Him.
Panicked but calm, my husband looked at the screen and saw Zach. We always joked that I was Wonder Woman and he was Batman (or some days Green Lantern), and this dog was dressed as the missing member of our Holy DC Trinity. Taking a step back to assess my state, he agreed to my plea of fostering him. Someone needed to save him; Zach was asking for a hero. Life one uped him and sent him two instead. 😀 The rest is history.
Four weeks ago, I caught my husband telling Zach that he loved him. My heart melted as I hadn’t seen either of them so content together. They belong to each other as much as they belong to me. We are a family. Ohana. My mom and sister welcomed him automatically and in the same standing we give D&D. We all vowed to never leave him behind. He is the Stitch to my Lilo, as he is unique and a challenge that always makes us better, stronger, and whole. Even though there are moments when his barking drives me crazy or his night terrors wake us up in the middle of the night (he runs in his sleep), we can’t find many reasons to not keep him. The pros exceed the cons every time we discuss the subject. Here’s why:
Zach is very cautious, kind and smart; the child we never had, the one we mourn to this day. He approaches the world with distrust and only opens up to those humans that are worthy of his time and effort. An introvert like me, demanding like my husband. We are honored that he chose us too. I’ve caught him sticking his nose into boxes and articles he would have NEVER dared to touch when he was brand new to our home, always asking questions with his eyes and answering them with his nose and paw. He has found his den, his dream came true too when he embraced us as his pack.
Because we don’t know the exact date of his birth, I decided to give him the same birthday our son was projected to have: March 20th. Coincidently, March 20th will mark 100 days with Zach! It seems only fitting that a date that made me feel so distraught is now a day of celebration. These past two years brought us closer to each other in unimaginable ways, and once our paths crossed, our lives were challenged for the better. He completes me in ways no other human could because he erases the pain caused by the holes of my heart and soul, even the one he’ll create when he is no longer with us. All dogs should live forever. I love you Z!
Depending on the behaviorist’s evaluation and training, we will formally make the decision and announcement that we will adopt him. Our reservations are very reasonable and center around finances and boarding restrictions, which we are working through. Thank you kindly for the donations and to those volunteeering in the future to babysit Zach. Once we have a network deep enough to care for Z, and a plan to move, we’ll sign on the dotted line. Keep your fingers crossed and your tails wagging!