I became her foster mom when she was about 2 years old. She had kennel cough, was under weight and had worms. She was a runner, she would bolt out the door if you weren't careful and would be gone in a flash.
Once she got well it was time to take her back to the shelter so she could be put up for adoption. I made a beautiful sign to hang on her kennel door for prospective adoptees but when I got home that night my husband-to-be and I looked at each other and felt lost. It was like we betrayed her by taking her back.
The next day I flew back to the shelter and asked for the paperwork. She was meant to be with us, I became a foster mother flunkie.
We took her to obedience classes to help with the running, nipping and to hopefully help her get along with other dogs. After much work she became our dream dog. She's so tolerant of our children, she's intimidating enough to keep strangers away (if only they knew she'd fall over on her back for them to rub her belly once they got close) and she's kicked all of her bad habits except for getting along with other dogs.
She's about 9 years old now and has mellowed quite a bit with age. Bits of gray are turning up inside her ears and around her muzzle, and her eyes are beginning to cloud. You can see the soreness in her fluffy body after a run in the park or a long walk. I hope that we've given her as much joy as she's given us and pray for many more wonderful years with her.