Some years ago we started to foster dogs. A neighbour of ours was fostering cats, and it seemed like a good idea, so we volunteered to look after abandoned or neglected dogs until suitable permanent homes could be found for them.
The first batch we received comprised a Labrador bitch and her four small puppies. She was called ‘Lassie’; I thought this an unsuitable name for a lab and suggested we change it to ‘Sally’.
Sally had a problem with her right front leg, which was badly injured near the shoulder. It had been broken – perhaps she’d been hit by a car – and not looked after. Her ribs were visible through her coat, and she was generally in very poor shape. The first night she snarled at us if we went near the pups. But once she realized that we meant them all well, she became very friendly and docile; soon she was running round the garden and keeping her pups in line.
The paw of her useless injured leg dragged along the ground – a vet advised us that it would become infected, and that the leg should be amputated at the shoulder. This was duly done – Sally was back with us the next day, and running around at top speed after another day or so, apparently relieved to be rid of the useless limb. She was an energetic dog, and never tired of chasing tennis balls. We used to take her for walks as well, and she was not shy about fighting with her arch-enemy – an Old English sheepdog from across the road – when she got the chance on a couple of occasions. Those were serious fights.
Good homes were soon found for the puppies, but we had Sally for a year or so. We were sorry to see her go in the end, but delighted that she got a great home, with a young couple who had a male Labrador. They brought him to meet Sally and the two dogs got on well, so they adopted her. They live beside a beach, and used to email us pictures of Sally swimming happily in the sea. She had fallen on her (three) feet.
We fostered various other dogs and pups for another year or so, but we didn’t really have proper facilities and, after some pups got out on the road, we stopped fostering … we adopted a couple of terriers instead. They fell on their feet too, and have a great life.
[I later found and added two pics of Sally to this post.]
These are a couple of the other fosterees.