A Note From a Foster Dad

We asked some of our fosters for stories to share for NTXGiving.... Don, Lynn and family are long time supporters, fosters, volunteers and hearts of GDRNT. This shows the fantastic people who make GDRNT. Since 2001 we have been 100% volunteer run and privately funded. Without private donations and people like this we could not exist.

Why We Foster

Many’s the time while out walking with a foster, that we are approached by folks wanting to meet “our” dog. And when we tell them that this particular dog is not ours, but a foster, to hear them say, “Oh, I could never do that. I would get too attached and not be able to let them go.”

I do understand their feelings, with most every dog that comes through our house, there is the feeling that nobody would be able to care for them like we can. And even though deep down, I know that isn’t true, the feelings are there. But then the hard reality sets in, and that is if I were hold on to each dog that is given me to care for, I could care for that one, but I wouldn’t have any room for another. But if I care for a foster until we are able to find them a permanent home, then my home and my heart is open to care for another. In this way instead of helping and caring for one Dane for their lifetime, we are able to help and care for 15, 20, 30 in that same period of time. Don’t get me wrong, every Dane we have claimed as our “own” started out in our home as a foster (with the exception of our first that we adopted from GDRNT) and we did what is affectionately known as “Foster Failed” by adopting the dog ourselves.

Volunteering with GDRNT these years has opened our eyes to so many things. I am sure that 99% of the folks out there have never been to a shelter, not to the front lobby, but back to the holding areas, to see the cement and cinder block cage/run areas, to hear the steady cacophony of barking, to see the scared faces, trembling legs of an animal trying to figure out what is going on. To look around and know that some of these animals aren’t going to make it out. That due to overcrowding, etc., at some point they will be put down to make room for the others coming in the door. Being able to follow the shelter tech back to a pen where they are holding a Great Dane that they called us about, to talk to the animal, to put a collar and lead around their neck and to follow the animal out of that area reminds me of the story of the Grandfather and Grandson walking along the beach after a storm. The beach was covered with starfish laying in the sand. As they walked along the grandfather would bend down, pick up a starfish and throw it back into the sea. After a while the grandson asked, “Grandfather, why are you doing this? What do you expect to accomplish? There are so many!! What difference does it make?” The grandfather took another step or two, bent over, picked up another starfish and tossed it back into the water and replied, “It makes a difference to that one”.

What Rescue Means To Me
It has been a number of years now, but GDRNT was called upon to help with a puppy mill that was being closed down. We were asked to come and get some 8 or 9 Danes that were there. On the property, there were indeed 8 or 9 Danes, but there were also bloodhounds (being picked up by another rescue), Yorkies, Poodles, birds, a lemur, and some Italian Greyhounds. The conditions were far from anything like a “home” setting. And the animals were minimally cared for. One image that stands out to me was a Yorkie in a cage with two others, that didn’t have a lower jaw… One of the Danes was a ‘house pet’ so he wasn’t in a run, but in the back yard. He was not able to walk, he had no use of his back end (we took him with us to euthanize). We loaded up the Danes that we came there for, but decided that we couldn’t leave the Poodles (we checked with the Humane Society where we were taking all of the dogs for “vet’ing”, and they said to bring them too). We later heard that one of the Poodles, after getting bathed and groomed a bit, was a hermaphrodite (didn’t have any visible male or female organs and urinated through a hole in it’s stomach).

There was the time that we were called to a shelter for a senior Dane. When we got there we were told that the dog was brought in on a nice leather collar and lead and told the shelter that he had found her loose roaming around. He filled out their paperwork and left the dog. As they processed her they found that she was microchipped. The looked up the owner, and guess who it was… yep the fellow that had dropped her off. When they called him, he acknowledged that she was his, but that he just didn’t want her any more.

We have had a tiny tiny, deaf and blind Dane that was seized because she was tied up and being used as a bait dog. We have had dogs come in that are so emaciated that every bone in their body stands out. Every rib, every vertebrae, and both hip bones. Most every dog that comes in, tests as Heartworm positive, a condition that is simple/easy to prevent and expensive and hard to cure.

To me Rescue is like that grandfather mentioned earlier… There are so many animals out there in so many shelters, facing euthanization, but to the ones that we encounter, we make a difference in their lives. We are able to give them a comfortable bed, clean water, good food, and someone that cares for them… Maybe not for the first time in their lives, but for the rest of their lives.

Rising Above Great Dane Funding


Our previous adopters are eligible to apply for financial support if their Great Dane needs vet care that cannot be afforded due to economic hardship and extenuating circumstances; even if the adopters are outside of Rising Above’s coverage area.Rising Above Great Dane Funding | Facebook