She doesn’t know it, but she stole our hearts.
When Candy came to us she was an overwhelmed, anxious, nervous, and excited fur ball. She didn’t know if she was coming or going. She used the stairs in our house as a safety net. This poor girl had been kept in a crate for three years, her whole, small life. The sad reality is, is that looking through the railings on the stairs probably felt like home to her, nervously peering through the gaps to see us standing below.
We would love to have a second dog. But for financial reasons, it’s just not possible. Fostering gave us the ability to welcome and nurture a dog without having to worry about vet bills and purchasing the food. We could give Candy confidence, some training skills, gain much needed muscle and the chance at a new start while she awaited her forever home.
Everything was new to her, everything was overwhelming. She didn’t even know how to climb the stairs. A leash? Forget that. Candy was a puppy, at three years old. She had boundless energy, snuck garbage out of the trash can, peed inside and hovered around us when we cooked. She was our shadow. I forget the amount of times she climbed those stairs. Every movement we made, she made. She wouldn’t leave our side. But slowly, she started to gravitate towards her own space. She slowly stopped following us about as much. After a while we started to miss our little shadow!
It was hard to forget what her previous owners had put this poor girl through. Her paws were stained from urine, i couldn’t stop imagining this beautiful pup lying in her own mess for days. She had a funny walk from being crated in a crate that was too small. That’s all part of fostering though, recognizing that this dog is in a better place and that everything you are doing for this dog is the best thing.
Although i know it’ll be hard to see Candy leave our home, we know she’ll go to a new home which will love her just as much as we do. As much as we affected Candy’s new beginning in life, she affected ours. She gave us patience, she gave us happiness, she gave us laughs, she gave us cuddles and affection. Every new experience for her; like walks on the beach, catching sticks and chasing critters turned into a new experience for us. We loved taking her to all these new places, we loved experiencing them with her and getting to see her grow.
To see her flourish in such a short amount of time, is amazing. She no longer sleeps on the stairs. She happily hangs out in the living room with the rest of us. You no longer see how small she was from lack of food. She sits and stays before she is allowed outside (most of the time!). She no longer has accidents. Of course she still has some learning to do, we knew that wouldn’t come over night. She’s still an excitable pup and likes to know where we are. But to know that we helped build her confidence and gave her all these new experiences is a pretty amazing feeling. We feel so fortunate that we were able to foster, and to care for a dog that had been neglected so badly and for so long.
I’ll always remember Candy, as our first foster dog who stole our hearts.