When we adopt a dog we do so knowing that one day we will be outliving them. Dogs are such wonderful animals and the only downside to dogs is that they don’t live as long as humans do. If only they could live at least 60 years more than their average lifespan. Our furry companions might only be with us a short while, but they definitely made a huge and positive impact on our lives. That is why when it comes time to say goodbye to them it’s so difficult. Even when they’re old and we know that it’s coming, it’s still so incredibly difficult to let them go.
That is why when our dogs die well before their time like when they’re still in their prime, it’s nothing short of devastating. For one San Antonio firefighter, Roman, he was left completely heartbroken when his dog, Chip, passed away only three years after he was adopted. If that grief wasn’t already difficult enough for the firefighter to process, the blow was doubly painful since Chip ended up passing away while Roman was at work during the Fourth of July weekend. Not being there for your pet when they unexpectedly pass away – most of us can’t even begin to fathom what that pain and guilt must feel like.
But in the years since his dog’s passing, Roman has found a way to honor Chip’s memory. And the method by which he was able to process his grief is also a beautiful way to give back to shelter dogs in need. Every year, Roman fosters a different shelter dog. Not only is he able to help, but he’s also able to remember Chip at the same time.
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As Roman shared with San Antonio Pets Alive!, “Fostering a dog who has been abandoned, neglected, or has medical issues isn’t always easy. However, seeing the transition from being homeless to finding a forever home for them is one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences in life and that’s why I love fostering.”
Given that we’re currently living through a global pandemic, fostering is such a great way to help overstretched animal shelters deal with the influx of strays who need a place to stay. Not only are you getting a little furry companion to keep you company, but you’re also giving them a temporary place to live while they wait for their forever home. It’s a win, win.
Roman has continued his tradition even during the pandemic, which has decimated the state of Texas. For this year’s foster, Roman took in a 5-month golden retriever mix named Pearl. He only fostered her for three days as she ended up getting adopted into her forever home. Even though it was a short time, it was still a tribute to Chip’s memory.
As the shelter shared on their Facebook page, “Thanks to Roman, Chip’s legacy of love lives on to this day as even more special animals in need are finding forever families.”