In 2014 I lost my job and was really struggling with not having work.  I didn't know what was next and felt a huge sense of loss and confidence.  I had white boards to track activities and get me out of the house.  I signed up for classes.  I read magazines.  I drank and ate.  I networked.  A lot.  

 I needed some focus.  Naturally my friend Caroline thought I should foster a dog.  She thought it would give me something else to focus all my energy on.  So I signed up with One Tail at a Time as a foster and was ready to go.  I promised my mom, my dad, my friends, strangers on the street I would not under any circumstances adopt a dog, just fostering.  

 Soon after I started getting text messages from Caroline saying look at the foster email from One Tail, there is a dog there you have to foster.  She is a pit mix and her name is Chanel.  The name was already a turn off, but I knew I could change it the second she walked in my door.  I wasn't walking around screaming out "Chanel!"  I looked at the picture and thought she was super cute, but she was big and I was honestly a little nervous.  Remember my confidence was shot and it was filtering into everything including my feelings on whether I would be good at fostering.  It was driving uncertainty about whether I could handle the responsibility.  

 I pushed myself and worked it out with One Tail for me to foster Chanel.  I got to the vet to pick her up and here came this 50 pound completely insane, jumping everywhere, nipping everywhere, wanted to be everywhere dog coming towards me and into my car.  First thought, no problem I would never adopt this dog.  

 The first day and night proved to hold true to that feeling.  She was cute, but yellow (don't know why).  She was sweet, but insane (ripping up the backyard).  She was happy, but overly energetic (jumping on everyone and everything).  I felt safe I was not going to adopt her, but it was fun.

 Then the next days came and she got more comfortable, I got more comfortable, and I knew I was in trouble.  Here was this 50 pound, underweight, super cute dog just so thrilled to sit on a rug, to lay in the grass, and to be pet with love.  I could feel the love and gratitude and I was starting to have it back.  She got me out of the house every morning going for 5 mile walks throughout the day.  She had me laughing all the time and loving sitting in the park just hanging out.  She had me talking to strangers at the park with their dogs and finding some confidence to just be myself in a time when I had forgotten what that meant.  She had reminded me what it meant to not worry so much, to be grateful and to love unconditionally.  

 After about a week One Tail had an adoption event and wanted to have her there. Immediately after I dropped her off I felt sick and I started crying. In that moment I became a foster failure and have never looked back. I might have given Lu a home, but she saved me. 

-Rachel R.

Posted by Erik Johnson.