adopters, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering

Was it Serendipity, Adoption Magic, or Something Else?

Our girl Dipity has already found her forever home. From nearly dying in a south Texas shelter to being spoiled all the rest of the days of her life on a farm in Maryland in two weeks time. Pretty incredible rescue story thanks to X-Port Paws and their commitment to saving the ones others won’t.

Let me tell you this amazing story…

Once upon a time, thirty years ago, I taught riding at a hunter/jumper farm in Baltimore County, Maryland. I lived in a house trailer on the farm, and in addition to free rent for me (and my horse), I was paid $125 a week for unlimited hours every day but Tuesday.

I think all young people need to experience a few years of struggle—although, at the time I was thrilled with my setup and happy as a clam spending my days with horses. I ate a lot of Kraft Macaroni and cheese (just 3 for $1!), rode a lot of rough horses, and met a lot of amazing people. A few of them are still friends thirty years later.

Pat was in an adult beginner class I taught on Friday nights. It was a special class—a group of women who all dreamed of learning to ride someday. None of them were young, but all of them had a great sense of humor and a willingness to try (nearly) every crazy thing I asked of them. They learned to trot and canter and jump. They fell off (once during a lesson on ‘falling off’ in which I made them fall off repeatedly into the oily dirt of the indoor arena), they came to ‘camp’ (a summer day camp just like the ones I taught the kids, but with maybe a few more curse words), and they even competed. They were my first ‘adult’ friends (people I had to force myself to call by their first names instead of Mrs. so-and-so). When I left that job, that was the class I missed most.

Fast forward to now.

And here I have to once again bow to the adoption magic I always write about.

As I said in the previous post, I had no plans to start fostering again anytime soon. Our small house is crowded with three not-always-easy dogs and under construction, plus we have no yard. I was traveling in Florida when I saw the picture of Dipity. The fact that I even saw it, is suspect. I had been taking a break from Facebook during our two-week vacation, but for some reason I opened up the app. It was one of only a handful of times I did the entire vacation (which was really nice, I must say).

And the first post I saw was the plea for Dipity.

I couldn’t get her off my mind and when it came down to the last minute (night before euthanasia), I contacted XPort Paws and asked if they could save her if I fostered her and paid her transport and vetting.

They said they’d try.

As Xport Paws worked to save Dipity, get her vetted and sort out a transport, Pat and John were wrestling with saying goodbye to their dear pup.

And ten days later, she arrived with me on the same day that Pat and John lost their dog.

While Dipity was adjusting to life in our home in Virginia, Pat was visiting the local shelters in Maryland looking for a dog. She, and her husband John, are like me–they couldn’t imagine life without a dog in their home. They are not young, so they wanted a smaller dog, but not a puppy. Shelters in Baltimore are not rife with small dogs or puppies (unless they bring up transports from the south), and they went home disappointed.

Lucky for Pat, another of those students from my Friday night class, Leslie, knew about Dipity. Leslie called me and explained the situation. I talked with Pat. A match was made.

I told you the whole thing felt serendipitous, so I named her Serendipity. But now I know it wasn’t serendipity, but adoption magic or fate or whatever-word-you-use-for-God. Pat and John needed to be rescued from her grief. And this little dog needed a rescue.

Pretty cool, huh?

Tessa is loving life on her new farm, snuggling with her new mom and dad, brightening their days. She arrived here with a strain of kennel cough that the vaccine doesn’t prevent (Otis caught it too after all his canoodling with Dipity). Tessa’s compromised immune system really struggled with the virus. Even though I offered to keep Tessa until I we got her through it, Pat insisted she wanted to take her home. She’s done that and nursed her back to health. Latest report:

Tessa is doing much better today. She is eating, chasing squirrels and barking at the horses. John is in love with her. She is so sweet. We both are so happy to have her. Thanks again!

Otis’ kennel cough wasn’t bad. He was a healthy weight and hadn’t been recently through the shelter/transport experience, so he fought off the virus quickly. Another rescue friend, Jessica from Margaret’s Saving Grace Bully Rescue, dropped off a homeopathic kennel cough remedy earlier this week and after two days on that, the cough is gone. (Thanks, Jessica!)

The rescue life is never boring. I don’t know what our next foster will be, but this experience has taught me that it’s important to listen to those little nudges. Lives can depend on it.

This morning, I woke up to another post for another pup in Texas who looks an awful lot like Dipity….

The need never relents. If you know someone thinking of buying a dog, encourage them to rescue instead. Hoping this little pup finds a happy ending just like her doppelganger did.

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at

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