The past few weeks I’d been watching Dee intently work on her computer. As she pored over hundreds of photos of dogs and puppies that I’d never met, she would smile or laugh or shake her head. Sometimes I’d hear her say, “Ohhhhhh Lola . . . you were so patient with him . . .” Then she’d wipe her eyes and continue her search for the best picture to place into this thing she was calling ‘a presentation.’
Eventually, after all the printing of handouts, the practicing and revising, I saw that my “on your rug” and my green bandana had been added to the pile on her desk. Something was up.
The next day we all got up uncharacteristically early and hurried through the normal morning routine. “You’re going to have a big day today, Alvin – we’re doing a workshop!” Dee said as she clicked my riding harness securely. “Workshop . . . . workshop . . . ” I was trying to remember that word, “Oh yes! That’s when I meet new friends and get lots of attention and treats!” We hadn’t done a “workshop” in more than two years – since my sister, Lola, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I had a feeling that this one was gonna be tough for Dee . . . but very meaningful. The main message was about how to be an awesome animal foster family. I knew how important fostering was; it saved my life.
We had a wonderful time! The Animal Science students at Hunterdon County Polytech were so nice to me. They seemed to really be serious about helping animals – all kinds of animals. We helped them discover why it’s so important to volunteer and foster with rescue groups and animal shelters. (I loved being the “surprise star” of the role play activity!) Then we suggested things that an ‘ideal’ foster family could do – and more importantly, gave the students a checklist of things to consider so they could find the best match for a rescue group or shelter to help.
I think the students learned at least one or two new things during our time together, but let’s hear from them directly in the comments below!