We’ve fostered 3 dogs since joining the Passion 4 Paws foster team in February 2019 and throughout that time I’ll be honest we never considered “foster failing” with a senior dog. I’m a planner. The plan was to get through all our summer travels, and the 5 weddings we’re attending, and then in the fall we’d be ready to add another dog to our family. We have a very energetic, goofy, sweet 2-year-old chocolate lab, Ryder, and I anticipated that we’d want to find a dog of a similar age to tag along with our guy. Then Solo came into our lives at the exact time I said we couldn’t possible be ready for another dog. If my partner was writing this, he would likely mention that my plans usually go out the window for dogs…
Solo is a boxer mix that was dropped at a shelter in April in Greenville, SC after giving a family 9 or so years of his life, and came to Vermont two weeks later. When you look at his shelter photos, you can tell he was confused and lost.
When he arrived in Vermont, he spent two months in a foster home on the second floor of an apartment building. He struggled to get up and down the stairs, got a UTI, and wound up losing about 15-pounds. In late June, we ran into Solo with his foster at the P4P 5th Birthday Party at Switchback and knew it was time to make a change for Solo in our final efforts to help him feel better. Robin Shover has become someone I trust dearly, and look up to, and I looked at her and knew it was time to help do something.
Solo arrived to us in late June. I remember warning my partner that he was skinny, and then seeing his face when he arrived. We both didn’t know what to expect or if the plan to help him getting better was going to work. It felt like he had arrived to us just in time. Our dog Ryder knew Solo wasn’t feeling well. He would lay on the floor with him and monitor him.
I’ll never forget feeding him the first time. He immediately perked up and I felt a rush of relief pass over me. Since that day, Solo has eaten every meal, we’ve slowly increased how much he’s eating and he’s getting stronger and moving faster everyday. We truly believe our young dog is keeping Solo young and motivating him to continue moving. Everyday they exchange lots of face kisses to check in with one another.
I remember looking at Solo laying on our deck looking out at the mountains only a few days into his arrival, and knowing he just couldn’t go anywhere else.
This dog had been dealt such a crappy hand and while it could have gotten the best of him, within days of being with us he was improving. Adopting a senior dog was one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever made and a seamless transition.
While we don’t know how many days Solo has left, he now gets to spend all the days he has left doing what he loves – sleeping, continuing to lick Ryder in the face, and laying in the grass breathing in the sweet Vermont air.