Welcome to my “Lucky Blog”, dedicated to my chronicles as a foster parent for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (LDAR) in DC. I hope that my musings will provide some entertainment as I share the joys and challenges that go hand in hand with dog fostering, and an opportunity for learning for both my readers and me. Most importantly, though, I hope to highlight some truly amazing dogs and the work of LDAR, in hopes to find some great dogs their great fur-ever homes.
I got involved with Lucky Dog when my fiance, Nick, and I started talking about adopting a dog before Christmas 2010. Each of us had one specific condition. Having grown up with a Jack Russell Terrier, Nick would not negotiate on having any other dog. Having grown up with rescue animals, I would not negotiate on our family pet needing to come from one. We both were able to compromise on these conditions and started searching online for our perfect new pet.
Some light, but consistent, searching on Petfinder.com eventually led us to Lucky Dog, who had a 1 year old Jack Russell Terrier up for adoption. I saw his picture, read his bio, and saw that he was in a shelter and needed a foster. Seeing this little guy’s face and feeling a need to help him in some way, I sent an e-mail to his Adoption Coordinator, Suzie, with an application, to inquire about fostering or adopting the little guy. My thought was that we wanted to be sure we were being careful about our decision to adopt and giving this pup the best opportunity at a great shot at life, so fostering seemed like a good way to test the waters of pet ownership.
When Suzie called me the next day, she explained a little more about what fostering involved, and also explained that fostering might put us in a position where we potentially fall in love with the dog and then lose him to an adopter…but Lucky Dog offered a 2 week trial adoption period for us to be sure we were doing the right thing, since we were adopting him sight unseen from transport, and needed to see how he would be living with my two cats. An interview, a vet/landlord check, and a home visit later, and Nick and I were approved to pick “Lyle” (the name Lucky Dog had given him) up up from transport. We weren’t sure how we felt about a dog named Lyle, but we were sure we felt so incredibly happy to get that approval e-mail (and I imagine PetSmart did as well, who got some great business that night).
How his story’s prologue landed him in a high kill shelter in South Carolina, I can’t even fathom. But I like to think Chapter 1 started being written on that cold winter’s day, when he saw snow for what I imagine was the first time and changed our lives for the better. On January 29, we picked up “Lyle” from transport, and it was love at first sight. in that moment, I was so glad that we decided to adopt instead of foster, and every day since then I have felt like the truly lucky one, for the work of Lucky Dog brought this amazingly sweet, playful, loving, silly, and sometimes challenging animal into our lives.
After spending a few hours with him, we thought Oliver, or Ollie for short, seemed more fitting of this little orphan boy who seemed unfazed by the shelter walls that had surrounded him before and had nothing but love for his new people and the world around him. We did, however, want to keep the namesake assigned to him by Lucky Dog as a middle name. Oliver Lyle Heun snuggled right into our laps and hearts, and if it wasn’t for the work of Lucky Dog, our lives might not be as rich, and sadly Ollie might not have his life at all. He was rescued by LDAR from a high kill shelter, as are all of the dogs that the rescue fosters and adopts out. Their second leash on life maybe gives them the title of Lucky Dogs, but truly I think the families they get adopted into are the luckiest of all.
As for all of the people that help to get these dogs into forever homes, they are 100% volunteer. There is not one single paid staff that is part if Lucky Dog. They all just want to make a difference and save some puppies, and commit their time and love to this organization’s success outside of their normal 9-5 jobs. I was in awe when I learned this, and wanted to help. So I reached out about volunteering and shortly after attended my first adoption event. It didn’t take long before I ended up with my first foster, and Ollie got to start paying it forward to the organization that saved his life.
Since this post has gone a little long, I will move into “my life as a foster” and showcase my foster pups tomorrow (because let’s be honest, that’s why you’re reading in the first place), but I did want to share how I ended up here and how passionate I am about this amazing rescue, fundamentally built on kindness of the human spirit.
To learn more, meet the Lucky Dogs, and get involved, visit http://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/ and if you have about 15 minutes, check out a great video that really highlights the amazingness of LDAR’s mission at
Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for the best part of this blog: foster puppy stories!
Hugs and Puppy Kisses,