Have you ever thought about the relationships you’ve formed simply because of your pet?
Dogs and cats can unite people in so many ways.
Let me backtrack a little. During a recent Fetching Apparel photo shoot, my friend Angela Yingling and her stunning dog Kingston modeled some of our new shirts for us – both pup and owner so photogenic.
They wouldn’t accept payment but, since Fetching Apparel loves to help homeless pets, Angela suggested we make a donation to Southeast German Shepherd Rescue…and that got us talking.
It was July of 2013 when Angela, who is obsessed with big, beautiful dogs, Liked Southeast German Shepherd Rescue on Facebook after seeing pictures that friends had shared from the group’s page.
One particular post caught Angela’s eye: can anyone help transport a German Shepherd puppy? A dog named Kingston needed a lift from Kingsport, TN to Wytheville, VA – just one leg of the journey to a foster family in northern Virginia.
Angela found out the little guy had been purchased for an elderly woman who was not able to care for him. That’s when Southeast German Shepherd Rescue intervened and Angela quickly volunteered to be part of the mission to help this boy find a family to love him.
Angela had to pick up Kingston at a vet’s office where he was being boarded. The workers warned her that the German Shepherd was aggressive.
“Next thing you know, we’re driving down the road and he had his head on my shoulder and was licking me,” said Angela. “It was so sweet. At one point I looked back and he was snuggled up and sleeping. I thought, ‘This dog is not aggressive at all.’”
Angela arrived to her meeting point a little early and decided to get Kingston out for a stretch while they waited.
“We ended up playing in the grass and taking selfies!” said Angela. She found herself hoping that the person she was supposed to meet would be a no-show.
But soon after that, Kingston was riding away in the backseat of the other volunteer’s car.
“I was so upset,” she said. “As I was driving down the interstate I kept thinking, ‘I need that dog, I need that dog!’”
But it seemed it wasn’t to be. Kingston’s foster mom already had a family lined up to meet him. Angela was crushed. She’d fallen hard for this gregarious beast.
Then, a cat saved the day!
It turned out Kingston and the potential adopters’ kitty were not compatible.
Angela tracked down her landlord and begged for permission to bring him home to her apartment.
“Southeast German Shepard Rescue helped me get a home visit as quickly as possible,” said Angela. “And that’s when it sunk in that it was really happening – I was getting a dog!”
Angela rushed out and filled her shopping cart with all things dog: bed, bowls, leash, toys.
“It was like I was I was bringing home a child,” laughed Angela.
One month after handing him off during the transport, Angela and her boyfriend welcomed Kingston into their family. Kingston was confused at first after being moved from place to place, but after a couple of weeks it became clear that Kingston knew they were a pack.
“He’s the perfect fit for us,” said Angela. “When you want to be active, he’ll run three miles with you. When you want to just sit on the couch with him, he’s the biggest snuggle bug.”
The only thing on Angela’s phone right now – pictures of Kingston, shots of Kingston with Jordan and Angela/Kingston selfies. Well, he IS handsome!
“He has just been awesome and so laid back,” said Angela. “And he’s spoiled…he’s very, very spoiled. I just cannot imagine my life without him.”
Angela’s life has also been enriched by her human relationships, thanks to Kingston. She now keeps in touch with his foster mom and others involved with Southeast German Shepherd Rescue.
“A dog helped form all these relationships,” said Angela. “And, it’s all because there’s this web of people who said, ‘I can do something’ that Kingston is living life like a king right now!”
It’s so true, animal lovers do tend to unite. And when it comes to making sure no homeless pet gets left behind, whether you share pictures using social media, volunteer a few hours when you can or even foster a pet, we can all do something.