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Scruffypants may soon be gone, but he never will be forgotten

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CRYSTAL CLEAR

My precious foster son has found his forever mother, and tomorrow will be a bittersweet day for our family.

Just a few weeks ago we took in a scruffy stray, and he has snuggled his way deep into our hearts. But sometimes being a good foster mom is doing what’s best for your boy.

My son’s official breed is cockapoo, but he identifies as an emotional support doodle. He came to us through the same rescue we found our home’s current manager on duty, Daisy. We weren’t actually looking to foster any dogs, but I accidentally found him when clearing my inbox.

Of course we weren’t looking to adopt any dogs when we got Daisy either, but I accidentally found her while returning another foster.

When Sir Baxter Patches Scruffy-pants III first came into our home he was afraid to accept affection. I’m not sure who hurt this guy, but he was afraid even to come inside.

It took a few days for him to realize human hands are for petting, not for hitting. But he soon warmed to us, and he is now the most grateful snuggle monster. He’s the only dog I’ve ever had who demands full-blown hugs.

Every morning when we wake up, Patch leaps onto the bed to boop each of us good morning. Once my feet hit the floor he puts his paws on my belly and leans in for a hug. He’s good to stand there for a snuggle as long as you are. Dogs are too precious for this earth and we do not deserve them.

After a few days of fostering, our whole family knew we wanted to keep him. Even Queen Daisy was tolerant of his constant pleas for attention. But although he’d never say it, Patch needed more than we could give him.

As a new recruit with separation anxiety, the rule is he has to be kenneled when we’re not home. But he goes absolutely bonkers in the crate.

Unfortunately, the Kendall County commissioners wouldn’t believe he was my furry assistant, so each day I had to listen to his wails as I locked the crate door and left for work.

Since my social media channels were saturated with pictures and videos of my new boy, requests flooded in when people found out he was up for adoption. But I only half entertained them as I waited for him to get more comfortable in his crate.

Then one request came in that hit me right in the heart. The director of my daughters’ preschool texted me with a desperate plea to meet Patch. She’d just dropped her son off at college, and there was a hole in her heart that just so happened to be dog-sized.

At first I thought I’d just take him for a quick hello since I love visiting the school every now and then for soul-reviving purposes. It’s a magical place where children run freely indoors and out with bare feet and limitless joy. And it’s almost a working farm with vegetable gardens, goats, bunnies, chickens and a hedgehog.

Sadly, it was a perfect match from the first paw through the gate. Jennifer had been looking for a dog she could bring to work since her current fur baby was a crotchety little man who preferred to stay home and watch the news. And not only would Patch have two fully fenced yards to run and play in all day, but he found a higher purpose as a furry child therapist.

The children squealed with delight as he pranced into the yard. He gently put his head down for pets, but he couldn’t contain the excitement in his tail.

The deal was sealed when he approached a little girl who was having a little separation anxiety of her own. Patch lowered his head and gently stood close while she stroked his fur. She stopped crying and smiled, and I knew he’d found his forever home.

Fortunately for us the school is less than five minutes down the road, and we’ll be first on the list to babysit when his mom is out of town. But tonight I might tear up as I tuck him in bed for the last time.

Lucky for me, this emotional support doodle knows just how to soothe my tears.