From Shelter Dog to Hero

Castor after being freed from the shelter

We asked, Lori, one of the foster care providers for the county shelter, to share with us some of her experiences with fostering. One dog-fostering story she had was so extraordinary, we can’t help but feature it on its own. Lori has been volunteering in the world of animal rescue for many years and has had more than her share of foster dogs, but fostering one particular dog, Castor, stands out for her as a favorite experience. Castor’s transformation from forgotten dog at the shelter to canine hero is a wonderful reminder of the extraordinary potential hidden in every animal.

Thank you, Lori, for taking the time to see the potential in all the dogs with whom you work.

Lori wrote…

Back in 2005 I fostered a dog named Castor from a small, rural shelter. He is a border collie mix, and everybody at the shelter absolutely loved him. But he had been in the shelter for 6 months and had no good prospective adopters. I brought him home with me, and I will never forget watching him bound around my backyard and roll around in grass. He hadn’t seen grass in many months and that moment was pure joy.

He blossomed while in foster care with Lori.

From the beginning he was absolutely perfect. He got along well with my dogs and with every human he met, he was very smart and easy to train, and he wanted to please me so much. I thought he would be a great service dog, and I put that in his Petfinder profile. Week after week I took him to adoption events, and week after week he was overlooked. He was perfect! Why would somebody not want him?

I had pretty much decided to adopt him myself when I got a call from a mother looking for a service dog for her daughter, Melorah. At the time, Melorah was 4 years old and had seizures on a daily basis. We met in person. We talked about how Castor could help Melorah and how the family could help Castor. Serving this family was what Castor was meant to do.

Castor, renamed Hobo, soon after becoming Melorah’s service dog
Hobo alerts the family when Melorah is about to have a seizure.

Castor is now Hobo, and he is a seizure alert dog for Melorah. He alerts Melorah’s mom when a seizure is on its way, and her mom actually gives her medicine when Hobo predicts a seizure.

The medicine can lessen the effects of the seizure. He has done his job for many years now. He has been all over the US. He has also spent many nights in hospitals in Melorah’s bed comforting her when she was scared and away from home. He has ridden the carousel at DisneyWorld, he has ridden on trains, subways, and even in an ambulance. Melorah’s mom now speaks at large events on the benefits of service dogs.

I fostered him and gave him a chance to get out of that shelter, and he took it from there!

Melorah and Hobo in a recent photo