Olive and Cooper
My husband and I had the most wonderful fostering experience with TBR about a year ago. We had lost our “puppy” of 12 years in December of 2013. It was heartbreaking and our house was lonely. I knew I needed to bring new life into our house (even before I was really ready), and so we began the application process with TBR. Before we knew it there was a new litter of puppies and we would be taking Cooper (fka Mark) home in just 8 short weeks. Okay, at the time 8 weeks didn’t feel that short and I was impatient.
The wonderful family who had Cooper’s litter ended up with more dogs than they had imaged (10, yes 10, in all). With six puppies, Mamma McKenna, and a few of their own, the next dog needing a home put them in the double digits. If you had met Olive, you knew why they couldn’t say no! That is when we got the call to help out. Would we be willing to foster Olive until Cooper was ready to leave Mamma McKenna and come to his forever home? Why yes we were!
Olive is special but she was, well, broken. She was just physically hurt in too many ways to count. A broken pelvis, a dislocated hip, an injured tail…. And the list went on. But even though Olive was physically broken and on medication with limited medical solutions, her spirit was strong! She LOVED. We weren’t sure we could handle a dog with so many physical needs. We needed to carry her up and down the stairs; she needed to be carried to go outside, no walks for her, no playing for her. At first the situation made us sad and a bit angry that someone could neglect a dog to this degree. But we returned her love and slowly, over the next few weeks, we watched Olive heal. We watched the light in her come back; we watched her gain physical strength; we watched her start to show an interest in toys. It was amazing. When the puppy foster family saw her again, they couldn’t believe it was the same dog.
We had heard it was sometimes difficult to give up a foster. We had debated over and over again keeping Little Miss Olive. We had already committed to a puppy and we were excited to bring him home. Could we handle two dogs? Was it fair to Olive to bring a new energetic puppy into the home? Could Olive keep up with our lifestyle? Could we afford the lifetime of medications Miss Olive would probably have to be on? In the end we decided it probably wasn’t best for us to keep her. I cried. I still miss her BUT one look at the FaceBook picture of Miss Olive with her new family at the beach being toted around behind a bicycle with her two-legged sister made all the tears worth it. Olive found the perfect home for her because we were willing to admit we weren’t a good fit.
(That’s Olive in the middle between her sister, Holly, on the left and her brother, Norton, on the right. All rescues from TBR.)
The Love of a Senior Beagle
I had the great privilege of adopting Olive, a sweet senior beagle lady, through Triangle Beagle Rescue several years ago. I volunteered to offer Olive a foster home. With my first glimpse of her, I knew in my heart that she would become a permanent part of our family.
Olive was a small beagle by most standards. She only weighed about 18 pounds. Her size, however, was no indication of the huge heart and gentle soul which lay within. She loved her beagle brothers and sisters and seemed to have gotten past any issues with dominance within the pack. She was happy with her position whatever it was.
While Olive was a senior in the technical sense of the word, she didn’t act like a senior. She loved to explore the backyard over and over. Her nose would point toward the sky with every scent that breezed by her. One of her favorite pastimes was laying out in the yard in the sunshine. She was content and at peace. She seemed to have everything she wanted and needed.
Olive was also a loving pup. She relished hugs and kisses. Most times it seemed my love for her was just a small percentage of the unconditional love she was giving back. She had the spirit of a beagle. Baying at things she found interesting and fun and simply enjoying the simple pleasure of lying next to her siblings or mom.
Olive has gone to wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her a lot but take comfort that her beagle spirit, soul and heart are there for me when I’m ready. While beagles may age in years, I think “senior” is a misnomer. Olive was indeed older in years by our standards, but as far as beagle standards go, she never lost her sense of adventure, her loyalty, her ability to be happy in the moment and to give love and happiness so freely.
Gracie and Izzie
These two little girls had heartbreakingly sad early years, but through the loving kindness of strangers they both made it to Triangle Beagle Rescue in Raleigh , NC
Izzie (in the back) was rescued by a kind woman named Missy in West Virginia and Gracie somehow escaped a bad home in the NC mountains (she has the scars to prove it), and again through another caring person, Gracie made her way to TBR as well.
Both girls were treated and brought back to good health and were placed in loving foster homes til they came to our home. Izzie and Gracie were both about 2 years old when we adopted them. Izzie came to us on the first of July, 2002 so we made the 4th of July her official birthday. Gracie came home with us December 31, 2009 so New Years day is her birthday.
I cannot say enough good things about Triangle Beagle Rescue for all the tireless and endless good deeds they do on behalf of beagles. But then I guess you can say that about all the kind folks that rescue, rehabilitate and relocate the stray dogs and cats out there.
We are so happy to have these sweet little creatures in our lives. They bring us constant joy. Now the worst thing that happens to them is that they get kissed endlessly by me.
Please, always consider adopting a rescued animal, you will be repaid a hundred fold.
Happy New Year to you all from,
Izzie, Gracie, Denis and Regina