Foster Testimonial – Ashley and Maeby (“Maebs”)

Maeby, or Maebs as she is better known, came into my life after a difficult foster situation. I was heartbroken and unsure if I was ready for a new foster. However, my best friend had picked up a dog from the pound, pulled by the rescue, texted me a picture, and told me I had to come meet her. The picture was of a scrawny, little 8-month-old brown brindle pittie who she named Maeby. Maebs was in need of a foster, so I went to meet her at the 4 Luv facility.

The second I met Maebs, I fell in love. She was sweet, well mannered, goofy, and a total love bug. I texted the foster coordinator and said I was bringing her home for the weekend to see how it would go with my resident dog, Maks. Maks, also an 8-month-old pittie, had been a bit picky about the dogs she liked. The minute I brought Maebs home, it was love at first sight between the two of them. They had an instant connection that was hard to deny.

I thought for sure Maebs would be a quick foster; she was friendly with all living things she met, potty trained, kennel trained, and basically a unicorn. However, one week passed, one month, two months… At four months, I received an email that someone was interested in her. I had grown pretty attached to Maebs, as had Maks. They were practically inseparable. But she had an interested adopter so I needed to see it through.

Of course, the adopter fell in love with Maeby and decided to adopt her. She was adopted for nine days. Nine very long and sad days. I hadn’t had a hard time letting go of any previous fosters, but Maks and I were both clearly upset that she was gone. On the ninth day, the adopter texted and said they loved her, but their resident dog was not happy having another dog in the house.

As soon as Maebs was back with us, I immediately adopted her. Or as we in the rescue world call it, I “foster failed.”

From there, I continued to foster and become more involved in the rescue. Maebs would tag along with me to volunteer events. I got permission to bring Maebs with me for my building shifts, and it started to become clear that she is a very special girl.

4 Luv asked us to evaluate new dogs coming into the rescue. We usually do not allow building volunteers to mix dogs, meaning that they cannot introduce dogs to each other without close guidance. However, when we started introducing Maebs to some of the rescue dogs, we found that even dogs who were normally not good with other dogs felt at ease and comfortable around her.

After seeing how Maebs interacted with the building dogs, I started fostering more “difficult” dogs. Some of these were labeled potential “one-ders,” meaning that they are not friendly with other dogs and cannot live with them. This makes them harder to adopt. By spending time with Maebs, she taught them how to interact without fear or aggression. Eventually, they would reach a point where they could interact with dogs outside my home.

After a few years, my other dog Maks’s tolerance for new dogs decreased significantly and thus I had to stop fostering dogs. However, Maebs and I continued to do building shifts to give the building dogs social time, evaluate new dogs coming into the rescue, and help out in any way we could. We have had two dogs just this year, Owen and Lexi, who were on the verge of being labeled “one-der” dogs. While we couldn’t foster, Maebs and I would take them home for kennel breaks and spend as much time with them as possible. She has such a calm demeanor about her that they were instantly comfortable with her. We slowly started introducing them to other dogs while Maebs was around to give them confidence and direction as to how to properly interact with other dogs. Both Owen and Lexi have been adopted and have been successfully introduced to other dogs in their adoptive homes.

There was once a dog who had escaped from a veterinarian clinic and was loose for over a week. He was shy, scared of people, and wouldn’t let anyone get close to him. When I turned Maebs loose out there, she found him, befriended him, and he allowed me to get close enough to grab the leash he was dragging.

Maebs has been a “volunteer” with the rescue for almost 10 years now and has truly saved many dogs’ lives. By being such a great helper dog, we have been able to accept dogs into the rescue that we previously would not have. If you routinely check out the adoptable dogs page on our website, you have probably come across her in a picture with an available dog. She was also a blood donor at RREAH and donated a gallon of blood before she retired.

Maebs is my heart dog. My one in a lifetime dog. She has helped save so many dogs and has made a huge impression on everyone who meets her. I am so lucky to call her mine, and I thank 4 Luv of Dog Rescue for bringing her into my life.