Faith, Trust, & Foster Pups

Helping dogs on the road to forever, forever finding ourselves as we walk that road with them.


Learning “Forever”: by Balton

This past weekend was Wags n Whiskers weekend, a big dog event that happens in Shirlington every year…I remember it well, because it was the last weekend I went to Lucky Dog adoption events before they got hard for me.

Wags ‘n Whiskers is also where I met my “forever” family. When I moved in with this family, they signed a form and got me a new collar and leash, and an ID tag with a new name. I figured this place would be special because it was so official looking with the paperwork, and I wanted to hold onto it for as long and hard as I could.

I think maybe I tried to hold on too hard, and I got to be really scared of the things outside my “forever” home. I got scared the scary things would hurt them, or that they would hurt me. The “forever” family took me to a vet who kept touching me in ways I didn’t like, and strange people kept coming up to so fast that I didn’t know what to do but bark and lunge and tell them to please give me space. The vet called me some choice words, among them that I was “aggressive toward everything” and “aggressive without warning”. He said that I was “dangerous to my family and to the public.” He said things like that I shouldn’t be allowed to go to the dog park (one of my favorite places on Earth) and that I should not be approached when eating.

That A word was used a lot, and if I’m being honest, it still hurts my feelings when I think about it.

My “forever” family kept trying to force me to meet new people after a few days. I kept getting scared and asking the new scary people to go away as loudly as I could. I thought maybe the “forever” family couldn’t hear me or didn’t understand me, so I yelled louder. My “forever” family said they were afraid of me, and the scary vet called them to say they should return me. He said that I would turn on them without warning. I didn’t know how to show them that I was really the most afraid of all, and just wanted for them to help me feel safe. They started calling me the A word that the scary vet did, and they said they couldn’t keep me anymore.

I started to think forever wasn’t really anything special. Or maybe I just didn’t understand forever after all.

I got bounced back to the foster care system, and after a few days in doggy daycare, I got picked up to go to another house by a lady, a man, and a little dog.

I worried that like the homes that came before it, I wouldn’t stay very long.

But I stayed. I stayed longer than I ever had stayed in a home before. It was a foster home, but it felt the most real out of the other homes I went to before. When I barked and pulled to get at the scary things so they would leave us alone, they didn’t act afraid of me. Instead, they tried to help me learn that the things weren’t scary, but until I could really learn that, they would work to protect me from them. When they brought me to daycare to play with friends, they came back for me.

Sometimes they made mistakes, but I forgave them. Sometimes, I made mistakes, but they forgave me.

I started remembering that smiling is my favorite.

It’s been a year since I went to my “forever” home, and for awhile after that, I didn’t believe much in forever, but the foster lady kept saying she was going to help me find it. Then one day, the foster lady came home and gave me a new collar. She said that I deserved forever, and said that she would teach me forever. For real forever. And she said I could call her Mama from now on.


Trainer people say that dogs learn best when you show them what you mean, and then pair it with a word after they learn the action. I didn’t understand forever at first, but I sure do understand it now.

I think maybe that’s because my family showed me what it meant before they gave it a name.


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There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Well, we closed on our new place last night and Nick and I are officially home owners. We celebrated with a visit to the new place (the Greenie that Ollie left on the stairs during the walk through was thankfully still there) and per his mom’s suggestion, a bag of M&Ms (which Ollie asked us to share, we told him no for his own good). 

So moving date is Saturday for us, and as we settle into our new home sweet home, there are lots of Lucky Dogs coming up to DC and looking for theirs. A few I would like to highlight:

Rugby is here and looking for his home!

Scruff face cutie pie Rugby arrived to the DC area on Saturday, and according to his overnight foster was absolutely wonderful. This playful pup loves everyone he meets and also loves to snuggle. He also played very nicely with his overnight foster sibling on day one and was very happy to show himself off at Lucky Dog’s adoption event the next day. He’s currently in foster care and is accepting applications for his new forever family! How could you possibly not want to have this face greeting you when you come home from work?
Rugby will be at Annandale Petco this Sunday from 12-2pm(located at 7434 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA). So come on by to meet him!
And Arriving Next Week: Jethro and Sabrina!
Um…hello? Just look at those beautiful markings and that happy little face, do I need say any more? Jethro is a beautiful boy who we believe to be a Border Collie mix. We are absolutely in love with his beautiful markings and adorable ears. At 9 months and 45 lbs, he may still have a little growing to do, but we don’t think he’ll get to be more than 50-55 lbs when full grown. Jethro passed with flying colors when tested with other dogs and children, so he would love to have a canine or human sibling to play with. If you want, we can see how he does with cats too! Border Collies are by nature very intelligent and active dogs, so be prepared to keep this guy entertained and well exercised, as bored border collie can very easily get into trouble. With his daily dose of play time, training, and mental stimulation, Jethro will give you a lifetime of happiness.
Sabrina the shepherd mix is 8 months old and has one ear that sticks straight up and the other is “dog-eared” a bit :). As you can see by her picture, she is smiling because she was just told Lucky Dog is springing her from the high-kill shelter she was in, and she’s headed north next week! Being a young dog, Sabrina will still have some left over puppy energy and need love, positive training and daily exercise (really, ball, tug, a trip to the dog park or a nice run with her human parents will do) to help her grow into a well-adjusted adult. She in turn will impress you with her smarts and steal your heart with snuggles and puppy kisses at the end of the day! Currently weighing in at 40 lbs,  this beautiful blonde girl still has a little more room to grow and will probably end up weighing 50-60 lbs when she is full grown. Sabrina gets along great with other dogs and children, so would love to have a canine or human sibling to play with. We don’t know how she is with cats, but can find out if you have household members of the feline variety!
Jethro and Sabrina get into town next Friday night, November 4 and will be at Home for the Holidays at Reston Town Center on November 5 from 11am-4pm, where I feel confident that their beautiful faces will get adopted. If you would like to get approved to adopt them before the folks at Reston Town Center get to see them, fill out an adoption application on this page and email it to me at so we can get you on your way!  
In other happy tails reading, Brownie, our adorable 1-year old pit bull mix, was featured as’s Adoptable Dog of the Day yesterday, and is now currently an internet celebrity getting networked to the masses! We hope this will help him get into a forever home, and we can’t thank enough for offering the opportunity for rescues all over the country to get their pups featured. Check him out and stay tuned for more featured adoptables.
In the mean time, if there is someone you know interested in adopting Rugby, or fostering/adopting Sabrina and Jethro when they get to town next week, please let me know and pass along their information. Let’s find these guys a home, because we all know “for the holidays you can’t beat home, sweet home.”
Hugs and puppy snuggles,
Lynn, Rugby, Jethro and Sabrina