The Gift That Definitely Gives Back

It has been a while since I’ve written about Honey, my rescue dog, now four going on eighty, between procedures and prescriptions. For readers unfamiliar with my ongoing Honey stories, here’s a synopsis.

In the throes of COVID in 2020, and with an adult son who unexpectedly now lived with us, I realized how much we “needed” a dog. So began our trial into fostering adoptable, displaced dogs.

We hadn’t lived here long at all and were still ripe with the loss of a beloved Labrador, but the three of us, I figured, could use a diversion. A glint of happiness that only a cat or dog can provide. In total, we fostered a shelter dog three times, conscious of the danger called “foster failure.” It is nomenclature that means the foster family decides to adopt after all, because they fall in love with the character that has just invaded their home and family.

Fortunately, all three of our fosters were successfully adopted. (One was returned to the shelter for failure to get along with a cat, but was subsequently adopted by another family.)

By then, the concept of fostering led to my inevitable desire to adopt a dog. A dog for whatever reason was given up and relegated to a two by four piece of cold concrete amidst other crying misfits. I dare anyone to enter the adoption area of any animal shelter and try to stay neutral on the topic of adoption or rescue. These creatures, all uniquely beautiful deserve better.

Honey’s pretty little face showed up on my screen one day while I was “shopping” for another dog to foster. I was smitten, and I made the bold move to show her photo to my husband, still fresh with hurt from our previous pet loss. I convinced him to go see her…just in case.

I won’t forget his hesitant words when he saw her website photo. “She’s kinda funny-looking.” Still, I prevailed and we dared to meet her. First in line, actually, at the adoption center of Brandywine Valley SPCA in Georgetown.

Well, you don’t visit and leave an animal shelter without an animal, especially if that animal you came to see is the most underrated and misunderstood friend you’ll ever make.

My husband was immediately smitten with Honey once he experienced her puppyness and unbridled enthusiasm to go home. Our home, she seemed to insist, and she has been ruling our roost ever since.

She passed the test without even answering any interview questions.

I am very pleased to share as a hopefully inspiring update that Honey is my husband’s best friend in the world. She is a stunningly gorgeous, hilarious and affectionate mixed breed rescue. Whoever abandoned her lost out on a beautiful journey full of potential and love.

This is a blog entry, which therefore expresses my personal thoughts on the subject of pet adoption. I will follow up with more information about local efforts and services for pet adoption.

And for all cat lovers: I hope I didn’t offend by being partial about my dog. I love cats just as much.

Cats are equally vulnerable to abandonment or surrender at approximately the same rate as dogs, according to the ASCPA. Cat adoption rates from shelters is also about par with canines. Regardless, efforts in this pet-advocated state of Delaware don’t go unnoticed.

Love your pet. They give you more than you give them.

Bridget FitzPatrick

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