Fostering a dog is an extremely valuable experience. It gets dogs out of shelters and helps them find permanent homes outside of the stressful kennel environment.
Often, foster parents become especially attached to certain dogs, leading to an eventual adoption (or what we call “foster fails.”) This story of how one foster parent ended up keeping her dog is a bit different than your average foster fail tale.
A Foster Mom’s Discovery
In early 2022, Clementine, a 3-year-old Retriever/Boxer mix, was residing at The Little Guild. The Little Guild is the only no-kill shelter in Northwest Connecticut.
Emily Cason from Athens, Georgia, who previously fostered Clementine thought the pup had gone on to a permanent home afterward. So, when Cason saw Clementine’s photo on The Little Guild’s social accounts, she reached out to the shelter.
Alex Echevarria, the kennel behaviorist for The Little Guild, explained:
“She had been fostering Clementine in Georgia and was under the impression that Clementine had found a permanent home. [Cason] didn’t know that [Clementine] had been essentially transported to a new shelter in Connecticut. She was just devastated to know she was still in the shelter environment.”
Cason offered to provide more details about Clementine if it would help her get adopted. Later, Clementine still had no interest, but her foster mom was highly invested from afar.
If distance was the main barrier to Clementine being adopted, the shelter came up with a solution.
A Shelter Volunteer’s Commitment
Knowing that a permanent home awaited the sweet dog, The Little Guild volunteer John Guenther offered to drive Clementine to Georgia, just over 1,000 miles away. Echevarria described Guenther’s commitment to the shelter’s animals:
“John is a very special person as well. He’s a tireless volunteer; we’re sort of happy-sad to see Clementine go. But she couldn’t be in better hands with John, and I’m sure he’s going to deliver her safely and soundly.”
Guenther and Clementine spent 14 hours in the car together. Providing updates about their journey on Facebook, The Little Guild shared:
“So much for bringing the dog bed! Clementine slept in the big bed and spent much of the night in John’s arms!”
Obviously, Guenther could see Clementine’s nature and would do whatever he could to get her out of the shelter and into a loving home.
From Foster To Forever Mom
On April 11, 2022, Guenther and Clementine arrived in Athens. There, Clementine eagerly reunited with her former foster mom turned forever mom.
Watch the beautiful reunion video below:
Clearly, Cason and Clementine were fated to end up together since they were paired as fosters. As Echevarria put it:
“She had, over the last two years, fostered as many as 14 different dogs. But Clementine was the one she had the most special bond with.”
Animal rescuers and volunteers are the best people. Learn whether fostering a dog is right for you here.