By Candi Lynn
My experiences with fostering have been extremely rewarding; fostering many Springers from pup to senior. Each foster has their own special story. I’d like to share Keifer’s – how he changed my life and howmade a difference in his. Keifer’s MAESSR story started sadly. He was dropped off on a busy highway at night by his then “owners”. Luckily, a Good Samaritan witnessed the “drop” and took him to a local shelter. A senior, he was thin, unkempt, and had sores and lumps on his body. On the way home from the shelter, he cried and barked in the car, restless, and most likely confused at all the changes in his life. As the days went by, he grew more and more comfortable. Watching him settling in was comforting - knowing that he felt a belonging in his new home. Keifer was hearing impaired, so by studying his body language, I quickly learned what he wanted or needed. I taught him the thumbs up sign for "good boy". Everyone loves praise and Keifer was no exception. He quickly learned “thumbs up” and wagged his little tail in response.
Keifer had such a warm spirit and wanted to lease and to be loved. By Christmas of 2008, I had decided to make him a part of my family and adopt him. I looked at him one day
and asked him, do you want to stay? I really do believe he understood, as his tail wagged and he rested his head in my hands. So it was done. I saved him and he saved me. Keifer was diagnosed with a spleen tumor and had many nodules within his body. I opted for surgery to remove the spleen and tumor, hoping and praying for more time with him. He survived the surgery, but 2 days later, passed peacefully in his sleep. I will forever treasure the 7 1/2 months we had together and being able to give him the love and care he so needed and desired.
Keifer taught me many things: no matter what the past has held, there's always a place for love and happy endings, and the value of simple things – love and having a home. Watching him emerge from a scared and confused dog in a strange surrounding, to a happy bouncing boy when I came home from work, was amazing and showed me how a willing and able dog can adapt and grow in a loving environment. Keifer also reinforced the strength of MAESSR and the network to help these dogs in need. Keifer is now free and no longer suffering. He is missed every day. Open your hearts and home to a senior dog, they need love too and their love back to you ~ is priceless.