I wanted to connect with dog owners in our area and have them share with you there stories of how they ended up with their precious pups.
So, here’s our first pups story.
Written By His Owner:Katherine Coleman
Mack-a-doodle, Mack Attack, Mack-a-licious, Macky-whacky Mackity-Mack-Mack…whatever tickles your fancy; he lives up to the name. He’s a goofball from nose to tail with a million-dollar smile that will melt your heart.
A few things to know about Mack:
Mack is a one-year-old boxer-mix (I think he might also be part Ridgeback) who I fostered through Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue, a small, foster-only, boxer rescue based out of North Carolina.
I met Mack on December 1st, 2018 in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel in South Hill, VA. He was a bit road weary and uncertain; he had just completed the 4th leg in his journey from South Carolina to Virginia and I was the 5th stranger he would meet and the 5th and final car he would get in that day.
He was my second foster dog and I would be his second foster home. He was only about 9 months old when he was relinquished to the Pickens County, SC Animal Shelter. The story is that his owner was terminally ill, but I’m not so sure that’s the full story. He was underweight and uncertain of the world and came to me with a warning label, “needs slow introductions” (with other dogs) as he had not adjusted well to his first foster home.
When I brought Mack home I followed the standard protocols for “slow introductions” to my 10-year-old boxer Ozzy. We were met on arrival by another local volunteer from the rescue, walked the neighborhood and slowly introduced the two dogs. I was somewhat apprehensive but grateful to have the support of other volunteers. Mack adjusted well. He was quiet, somewhat reserved, and very well mannered, surprising to me for such a young boxer pup, and he seemed to respect his new home and new roommate Ozzy.
As the days passed and he got comfortable in his new home, his personality began to shine. He was a total goofball, but sweet as could be and I quickly found myself smitten with his snaggle-toothed grin and sweet nature. He had yet to grow into his legs and would get them tangled when he ran, but I was impressed with how he could compact and contort himself into the tiniest of spaces to sleep.
He attended my family Christmas on South Side where he won everyone over, even my step-dad who suggested I ought to snatch him up and adopt him quick because he was so well behaved. But I was intent on my role as a foster and on finding him a forever home. I continued to promote him for adoption and entertained several potential adopters, but for one reason or another I was finding reasons why they were not a good fit.
I think I knew early on that Mack was meant for me, but it wasn’t until March when my other dog Ozzy was diagnosed with a serious heart condition that I decided that this foster home would be Mack’s forever home.
Ozzy, was fairly anxious by nature and had always had a canine companion. With this new diagnosis and after losing his best canine companion of 9 years, Millie, to a brain tumor in September and then the adoption of our first foster dog Aurora in November, I knew I didn’t want to introduce yet another loss or the stress of another new foster introduction. Plus I knew Ozzy had bonded with and grown fairly attached to Mack, although he would have been the last to admit it. So it was decided, the paperwork was signed, and Mack was officially in his forever home. Some call it a “foster-failure” but I like to call Mack my “foster-now-forever dog.” I don’t see it as a failure at all.
It’s funny how things work in rescue and how the universe sometimes sends you exactly what you need when you least expect it. We had to say our goodbyes to Ozzy last week and while Mack and I are both heartbroken, I believe we have an even deeper bond. Not only was he a special dog friend to Ozzy, but Mack has also been a tremendous amount of support and comfort for me. Dog friends are special friends. Mack adored and looked up to Ozzy, and Mack provided a comfort to Ozzy in his final days. I will always have the memories of their playful antics and dog-pile snuggles to look back on and smile.
Mack and I are looking forward the many adventures ahead of us.
Follow Mack on Instagram: @wigglesandkisses
Where did WigglesandKisses come from?
I started fostering in October after we lost Millie. I wanted a way to share my foster dogs personality to help promote and market them for adoption, so I created the WigglesandKisses IG account. The name “Wiggles and Kisses” was in honor of Millie’s memory. She was all wiggles and all kisses all of the time, even to her very last day. It’s been an honor to share our story and the dogs’ stories and I look forward to continuing to use it as a platform to support rescue efforts in whatever way possible.