As we worked on this project we got such an influx of people wanting to participate that some days will be two happy tails in one day.
First up we have Kristen and her dog Conqy:
Throughout her lifetime, Kristen had a number of dogs and cats and when she moved from Europe to New York, she missed having that companionship. She came to realize that in New York alone, there were so many homeless cats and dogs that needed to find their forever home. Kristen knew that she did not want to buy a dog from a pet store when so many of them needed help. However, before taking in a rescue animal, she wanted to make sure she could adjust her life to taking care of a dog. Therefore, she started out, like many others, fostering dogs.
Walking through Union Square, she came across Mighty Mutts and afterward did some research on the website. “I sent in an application on their website to be a foster home, and soon ended up with my first foster dog.” Her first dog through Mighty Mutts was Hula. After a few months, Hula went off to live in her forever home. When that happened, Kristen decided she couldn’t be without a dog again and took in Bailey. A few months went by and Bailey was adopted by a nice family.
One day, Mighty Mutts called Kristen and told her that they had a “special case” that they were hoping she could care for. They had a dog named Conqy who had been rescued off the streets. He was in rough shape. He was “skeleton thin” and had open wounds all over his body. The vet that he was taken to did an excellent job and stitched him back together, but mentally he still needed some work. He was very fearful and not entirely comfortable with all of the new surroundings. Kristen agreed to take him in.
The first few months were a bit wild. Conqy found his inner puppy and would chew up furniture and shoes, barked a lot at statues, people with hats and other dogs, and had a case of separation anxiety. All things that were totally understandable. But, Kristen held on and the persevered. Gradually Conqy settled in and began to relax. He started to like other people and other dogs and soon became the hero of the neighborhood. According to Kristen, “everyone knows Conqy. He gets cuddles and treats from everyone – young and old!”
The plan was to foster Conqy and rehabilitate him. But, after a while, Kristen realized that she did not have the heart to give him up – nor did she want to be without him! Conqy became Kristen’s forever-dog.
Although he still can be a troublemaker at times, Kristen says that they have so much fun together and if she had the choice, she would do it all over again in a heartbeat. She is so thankful to Mighty Mutts for bringing her and Conqy together.
Kristen asked me to share a message that she has to anyone thinking of getting a pet: “Please choose to adopt one [a dog] that needs a home rather than supporting the puppy industry. There are so, so many wonderful creatures with such sad fates out there just waiting to be saved.”
The second post is Beach and Lidia:
Beach is a volunteer for Mighty Mutts. As a volunteer, Beach was aware of the vast number of unwanted pets in the NYC area and when the time came to get a second dog, she planned on adopting. She said that “it seemed cruel and irresponsible to buy one when there were so many great animals available for adoption.”
When Lidia (formerly Themla) came to Mighty Mutts, she came from a breeder in Pennsylvania with her mom, Louise. According to Beach, “she was very young, maybe a year or a year and a half, and had already been bred for puppies.” Being a volunteer for Mighty Mutts, and already a proud owner of a Boston Terrier, Beach “jumped at the chance” to foster one of these dogs.
When they first got Lidia, she struggled with a fear of loud noises. “She would cower under our dining table when we listened to the stereo or if the TV was on.” Beach said that Lidia was also quite confused (and terrified) of stairs. The other thing that was heartbreaking is that when they first got Lidia, she would only go to the bathroom if she was on top of a metal grate on the sidewalk in Manhattan. Beach can only assume that this was how she felt comfortable because she likely lived much of her early life in a crate. But, as time went on, Lidia started to get past her issues. After only a few weeks of having Lidia, they knew that they couldn’t live without her and they went on to adopt Lidia for themselves. Beach told me that this is what she calls a “foster failure!” I would argue that it is quite the opposite for little Lidia!
Having a dog already, Beach and her family were aware of the benefits and challenges presented by pet ownership. But,” having two,” she said “is so much fun”. Beach told me that she is “endlessly entertained” by their constant antics. She said that adopting Lidia was a great decision and that she would have done it all over again if she had the choice.
Beach believes in Mighty Mutts. She said that it is great because the animals are individually fostered so that every dog is getting the socialization and training they need while they wait for his or her forever home. She wishes she had more time (and likely more room) to be able to foster more.
In my mind, Beach perfectly summed up what it means to be a dog owner: “Dog ownership is like a constant infusion of anti-depressants. How can anyone be sad, angry, lonely, etc. when your pup comes bounding to the front door to greet you, full of enthusiasm and unconditional love?”
I’m still searching for the answer…but I doubt it will ever come to me.