Foster Failures: The Lloyd Family’s Story

It was never their intention to add another dog to the family. They began fostering because they had the space as well as the time to temporarily house, assess and train another dog. They had two dogs of their own, a Lab and another Jack. The Lloyd family, made up of dad, Eric, mom, Carol, and daughter, Sarah, have been a long-time foster family and fostered 6 other dogs before Missy came along. No other foster seemed to fit with the family like Missy did. It was as though they found a missing piece to the puzzle that they never knew was missing in the first place! This is their story…

Missy came into care as a stray from Kentucky as part of a rural roundup. Prior to arriving in Canada, she had been shuffled from the streets, to a shelter, to a quarantine facility and appeared to be very unsettled with all that change. She was transported from the U.S. to Canada over 3 full days of travel and finally arrived in Washago, Ontario very late at night on that final day. Sarah picked Missy up and brought her home. Missy was extremely skittish and was petrified of people. She barked and growled at Eric and Carol when they greeted her, however, seemed to bond with Sarah almost immediately. Because of the family’s experience with rescue dogs, they managed to convince Missy that people equal treats and soon enough, she started to come around. The family saw right through her anxiety and recognized the smart girl she really was, which became evident with how quickly she became housebroken.

The first night, Missy slept apart from the family, even away from the other dogs. Given her background, it was understandable. She was left to fend for herself on the streets where there were other dogs much larger and stronger than she was. She did come up to Canada with her sibling or bonded partner, who was being fostered in Guelph. Both were skinny and underweight when they arrived. You might remember their heartbreaking story when it was featured earlier this year. That first night, Missy slept literally with one eye open.

With time, she learned to trust and the family started to see that Missy was different from the other fosters they have had in the past. Her Jack personality started to shine through and she turned into the biggest snuggle-bug, whether it be on the couch or in bed. Her smiling face and how she showed the family that anything can be made better with a belly rub or a big wet lick (usually right up the side of your face!) won them over.

She began to bond with their older Jack, Molson, who never got along with previous fosters. It amazed them how she humoured his grouchy disposition with ease. According to Sarah, “Missy seemed to worm her way into our hearts and be the one that couldn’t leave. We even tried!” The family met with potential adopters and it was that reality that she might go to another home that made them decide that she was staying with them for the long haul.

Today, the family reports that Missy is a bouncy, smiling Jack Russell. “She has a very positive, outgoing disposition. She is SO smart, learning how to open her crate in record time. She loves toys and has them all over the house (including under the comforter in my bed!). Chewing empty plastic bottles is a great pastime for her [..], especially loud, crinkly ones!” Of course she does this right as Sarah gets into bed to go to sleep.

There’s always a first time for everything and the Lloyd family admits they have failed. They proudly admit to being first time foster failures, thanks to Missy. Congrats Lloyd family on finding that missing piece to your puzzle and to Missy on finding your forever home.

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