Lucky Puppy of the Week: Milo the Jack Russell Terrier Mix

Lisa Guadagna fostered Milo not once, but twice before she caved and adopted him.

When Lisa Guadagna agreed to become a foster mom for Milo, a frightened Jack Russell TerrierChihuahua mix, little did she realize she’d be “foster failing” in no time. Here’s how Lisa went from a doting foster to the adoring forever mommy of a very special pup who stole her heart:

My first encounter with Milo was on Facebook. An animal advocate group was looking for a foster home to save this very scared dog from our local shelter, where he was at risk of euthanasia. At the time, I thought I couldn’t possibly take on a foster dog. After all, I already had two pets and a full-time job. Still, there was something about that little face staring back at me from my computer screen.

I’d recently heard about Silicon Valley Pet Project, a newly forming animal-welfare group with a mission to significantly impact local shelter pets through rescue, community involvement, and education. I was looking for ways to give back to my community, and SVPP’s message resonated with me. My journey into the world of animal rescue had begun.

A few days into my volunteer assignment, the president of SVPP called to ask if I would consider temporarily fostering a little dog in need. I said sure, since it was only for a short time. To my surprise, that little dog was Milo!

It was amazing to watch Milo transform from a frightened little dog who was afraid of his shadow to a sweet, spunky guy who made me laugh every day with his silly antics. I quickly committed to fostering Milo until a forever home could be found.

Soon a wonderful family expressed interest in adopting him, and life was looking promising for little Milo. It was so hard to say goodbye, but I was proud that I had helped him overcome his fear and had provided the comfort and stability he needed to blossom.

He was in his new home for exactly two weeks. During that time, he suddenly developed juvenile cataracts and within 48 hours became almost completely blind. His new family decided they wouldn’t be able to provide the care that Milo might need, so he was returned to SVPP and came back into my life, with me as his foster mom.

It was so sad to see that Milo wasn’t the same little spunky guy he was when he left. He was hesitant and confused, struggled to walk across a room, crashed into walls and furniture, and fell down steps.

Fortunately, after undergoing several tests at a local eye specialist clinic, we learned that Milo was a good candidate for cataract surgery. I was so grateful that SVPP committed to getting him the necessary treatment to regain his sight. But after the successful surgery, I realized I couldn’t part with little Milo again. This silly little dog, who had been through so much, had stolen my heart.

Fostering and adopting Milo taught me several important lessons:

  1. Fostering saves lives and is a wonderful way to help animals in-need in your community.

  2. Rescue dogs are so resilient and full of love and gratitude.

  3. You always have room for one more!

Milo and Lisa’s story is proof that while we often think we’re the ones who choose our rescue dogs, it’s often the dogs who choose us. Milo certainly knew who his forever mommy was truly meant to be!

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Lisa Plummer Savas

A devoted dog mom, journalist, and animal activist, Lisa uses her writing to spread awareness about animal welfare and cruelty issues. She lives in Atlanta with two spoiled German Shepherds, one entitled Pug, and a very understanding husband. Read more of her work at her blog and website, and follow her on Twitter.

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