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A Special Story on Easton’s Journey to his Forever Home

~ written by GSSH volunteer and foster mom, Meaghan Doering

Meaghan & Easton

I started volunteering for German Shepherd Safe Haven in the Spring of 2016. I feel in love with the breed several years ago, and got my own German Shepherd in 2012. After college, I wanted to donate my time to volunteer with animals, and I learned about German Shepherd Safe Haven when I was stopped at a red light next to Tom with the magnets for the rescue on his SUV. I went home, looked at their website, and decided I wanted to volunteer with this rescue right away! I met with Tom, Jen, and Tom’s dog Queen Tara and knew this was the right fit!

I met Easton shortly after my orientation, when he was just shy of 6 months. Easton was an extremely shy puppy, and no matter how much I tried, he never paid me much interest. During the Family Picnic in the Fall of 2016, I had the opportunity to spend time with him. We walked around the park together, and while he was still very much tuned into Tom and his whereabouts, he warmed up to me. A few weeks later, I met Tom and Easton at a nearby park with my German Shepherd Chloe, and they got along surprisingly well! Tom and I talked about fostering, but nothing really came of it until April of 2017. Tom called me and had an issue come up with Easton’s brother Drake and needed a foster for Easton as soon as possible. I told Tom to bring Easton to my house the next evening, and we would see how he and my dogs got along. Needless to say, they weren’t friends right away but got along well enough that we decided to go for it.

The first few days with Easton were a little hard. There was a learning curve as he got used to his new crate, learned his place with the other dogs, and familiarized himself with my husband and I. Overtime, Easton slowly became my shadow and followed me everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean it! I had to hurry and shut the bathroom door to take a shower so he wouldn’t join me! I learned quickly Easton is an extremely loving and happy-go-lucky guy who just wants to please. Chloe and Easton got along wonderfully, and when they weren’t eating or sleeping, they were playing! Easton’s presence was definitely a positive impact on Chloe, and helped her get over her fear of unknown dogs.

Over the next several months, Easton became a part of our family. He had a few inquiries into adopting him, but there was always something not quite right. Tom did not want to adopt him out just to anyone (which is something I respect deeply about this rescue) and I wasn’t in a rush to get rid of him; he was a normal part of my life. Unfortunately, we were not in a place where we could adopt him permanently but we were happy to give him a home as long as we could. In March of 2018, Easton and my older male Beagle mix were not getting along. They were never really buddies, but usually just left each other alone. I talked to Tom and he let me know he had a family who was interested in adopting Easton, and they had a 2 year old female dog. I immediately thought, “Wow that would be a good fit!” since Easton and Chloe had always gotten along so well. Jen fostered Easton for his remaining few weeks before he officially found his forever home in April 2018.

My experience fostering Easton was such a positive one. He brought so much joy to our home, and was one of the sweetest goofiest dogs I have ever met. I was very sad when he left our home, and it was definitely an adjustment to life without him, but when I think about him with his new family and hear how well he’s doing I know it was all worth it. I would definitely foster again with German Shepherd Safe Haven. I felt like I always had support when I needed it, and when Easton needed anything I could always count on Tom and Jen. I am a better person for fostering, and even though adopting may not be an option, even fostering for even a few weeks can save a dog’s life!