Putting Down New Roots

Sweet Ivy is lovingly transplanted.


Last month, I told you a bit about Ivy, a sweet Lab-mix puppy I was fostering. Yes, that’s past tense. Ivy has found a wonderful home.

After Ivy recovered from kennel cough, and after I had the results of a vaccine titer test, confirming that Ivy had developed adequate immune protection against the most common puppy diseases, I started taking her with me on errands. I was socializing her, of course, but I was also fishing for a family.


I must be super lucky; I got a bite on one of our very first outings. I took Ivy to one of my son’s soccer games, on a field where three games were being contested. With six teams on the field, each with a dozen or more kids and scores of accompanying parents, siblings, and friends on the premises, there were plenty of potential candidates. I strolled around with Ivy and a pocket full of kibble, letting her fill her eyes and ears with the sights and sounds of kids running and kicking balls, and frequently offering her a treat when she sat quietly to observe the goings-on.

At one point, a woman with a Cattle Dog-mix came over to see Ivy. I told her, as I told everyone who wanted to pet the puppy, “She’s a foster dog; she’s looking for a really good home.” The lady said, “That’s wonderful! I foster kittens all the time!” We chatted for a bit, and she left.

When she came back about 30 minutes later with a couple in tow, my pulse quickened. My new friend said, “This couple asked if they could pet my dog. Then they told me they were looking for a young Lab-mix to adopt. I told them that the dog they were looking for was over here!”

She was right. David and Diane were, in fact, looking for a female Lab-mix. They already have one wonderful black Lab-mix, Sassy, whom they adopted from a shelter nine years ago, but they wanted Sassy to help “train” a young dog before she got too old to enjoy it – smart! The couple seemed very taken with Ivy, and when I gave them the rescue group’s contact information, they said they would fill out an application right away. And they did!

A few days later, David came over to pick up Ivy. Any concerns I might have had about the adoption melted away as he unhesitatingly lifted up Ivy so she could sit next to him on his car’s deluxe leather seats. That’s a dog person!

In the weeks since they took her home, I’ve seen Ivy twice, at the puppy kindergarten class I had enrolled her in and which they are continuing. David and Diane attended the first week; David and daughter Angela attended the next week. Ivy has clearly bonded with all the members of her family, paying close attention to their cues, and running to them when she is overwhelmed by rowdier pups in the class.

Maybe not all fostering will work out this well, but it sure has made me feel like I’ve made a difference.


-Nancy Kerns