My Oreo Cookie - A Volunteer's Story

Many great love stories start with loss and mine is no different. I had recently lost my first rescued lab Roscoe and his brother Jesse and wanted in their memory to help others discover the special bond that comes from sharing a life with a rescued lab. So, I started to volunteer for Lab Rescue and before too long opened my home as a foster. One day not long before Christmas I was asked to foster an 8-month-old yellow female puppy named Joy who was coming up from New Jersey. Though she was young, Joy's story was a sad one. As a very young pup, she had been near death from illness when she was rescued from a pet shop by a wonderful local vet. Once healthy, she went on to an adoptive home but at six months was hit by a car, shattering one of her rear legs. After a major orthopedic surgery to insert metal rods and pins in her leg, she recovered but the trauma left her skittish and afraid to be alone. Needing more than her owners could give, she returned to rescue and was brought to me by the same vet who had been her savior. Having spent much of her young life in a cage or crate, the outside world and the people in it were very frightening to Joy. But she had a big soft heart and was trying her best so we were determined to gain her trust. With lots of patience, training, and especially the love of my 5-yr-old son - the only one she trusted at the beginning - Joy is coming out of her shell to become the happy, energetic young lab she was meant to be. She has found a special place in our hearts and a forever home with us. But that is only half the story. A couple of months after Joy joined our family, a very special lab named Luke came into our lives. He had been found wandering the streets of NY in winter, having probably been abandoned by his owner. His body was unhurt but his heart had clearly been broken. For weeks he looked out the door and windows, seemingly searching, always with a sad expression. Our hearts ached for him as we did our best to lift his spirits. Then one day, some time after having come to our family, a magical thing happened. He wagged his tail! "Look! His tail works!" my husband called out. And indeed it does. Luke no longer searches and the sadness is gone from his eyes. He runs and jumps and swims and chases with his sister. His calm affectionate nature balances perfectly against Joy's athletic energy and when the day is done, they pile together to rest on the couch. Joy with her whitish coat and Luke with his jet black one, they make my very special "oreo cookie"!