Why did you decide to rescue?
There really wasn't another option for me - I knew I wanted a dog and I never considered another option.
Please tell us your story with rescuing.
It took me a long time to find a rescue to work with. First, my home owner's insurance limited my breed options, and then (as a big dog lover), my rescue options became limited because I don't have a fenced in yard. Finally, I found Save a Lab, who understood that I would be committed to walking my rescue every day and also sending him to daycare a couple times a week, so he could get all his energy out. Feeney was conveniently fostered in my city (after originally being pulled from a high kill shelter in Texas), so I was able to meet him right away! I brought him home on December 8, 2012. I definitely did NOT notice how big he was, because his foster brother was about 100 lbs, so Feeney looked tiny in comparison!
Feeney has so much personality. He is your typical lab who is always happy and has never met a stranger. He loves nothing more than to snuggle up on the couch (maybe squeeze all 80lbs onto your lap) and get some snuggles. Feeney is hysterical - he constantly loses me in the house (which is not very big!) and can't seem to master any basic commands. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's always making me laugh with his antics. He is the master of "sad eyes," and if you didn't know how spoiled he was, you would think he was neglected with how sad he looks all the time! People always tell me that my Feeney stories on Facebook brighten their day!
What was your biggest fear with rescuing and how did this fear play out once all was said and done?
My biggest fear was that it would not work out - Feeney was my first dog outside of family dogs I had with my parents growing up. Having a dog is a ton of work, especially a big dog with a lot of energy, but Feeney is the perfect dog for me, even though we've had some challenges....like two obstruction surgeries :) It was a little overwhelming adopting basically an 80lb puppy who knew no commands and had no house manners, but we figured out our routine and are super happy. It took a lot of patience, though!
Would you rescue again?
What would you say the most positive part of rescuing is?
For me the most positive part of rescuing was becoming part of the Save a Lab family. Soon after I adopted Feeney, I started volunteering with SAL and became their Spay/Neuter Coordinator. I make sure people who adopt puppies spay or neuter their new family member, and I also post adoption updates to SAL's social media accounts. I didn't know the extent of it when I adopted Feeney, but SAL is so thorough in their vetting and caring for the dogs they rescue. They will take labs that are heart worm positive or need surgery, when other rescues may not have the resources to do so. I am very thankful to SAL and am glad to be able to give a little back to them!
What would you like everyone to know about this topic?
I don't think people understand the amount of hours rescue volunteers commit to saving animals. The directors, coordinators and fosters for Save a Lab essentially work an (unpaid) full time job to save labs in need, in addition to their real jobs. It's really an incredible undertaking.
Follow sweet Feeney on his Instragram account @lifewithfeeney