Story and photo submitted by Melissa

Several years ago, my son and I moved 2,000 miles away from our friends and family so I could start a PhD program in Florida. It didn't take long for us to realize our house wasn't a home without an animal in it, so we signed up to foster senior Weimaraners through a local rescue.

Our first placement was a petite, nervous 7 year old named Gabby. She had been surrendered to animal control because she "didn't like other animals." When I got her home, she was covered in ticks that took me hours to painstakingly remove from her ears, paws, lips, and eyes. Gabby showed no signs of discomfort, though, and rested her head in my lap until I was finished. Within a week we knew Gabby was meant to be a part of our family, and she has flourished with us ever since.

Like a typical Weim she is my shadow, often sleeping with her head on my shoulder at night. Over the last few years my son and I have fostered a total of 10 additional cats and dogs, all of whom Gabby helped to nurse back to health. She was particularly fond of a large Bullmastiff who was sick, malnourished, and maltreated before he came to us. She taught him how to climb up and down the stairs, play fetch, and enjoy his life as a dog.

Now that Gabby is almost 11, we have retired from fostering for the time being, to allow her the chance to live out her golden years in peace and quiet. She still loves to run and play like a dog half her age, and I hope we get to spend another 11 years with her sweet, beautiful, resilient spirit.

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