My family has served as a foster family for Coastal Boxer Rescue of Florida, Inc. for nearly a year. In October of 2007, our family purchased a Boxer puppy from a pet store in Orlando. This pet was purchased for our daughter, Molly, an only child who needed a playmate at home. At the time, I didn’t question why I would buy a dog from a pet store rather than rescue an animal, and feel some guilt since I know that our puppy came from a professional breeder in Missouri, home to some of the nation’s worst puppy mills. Thankfully, our Boxer puppy, Chica, is one of the most wonderful dogs that we have ever known – sweet, gentle, playful, smart, and has brought us so much joy. It was through this love of Chica and the Boxer breed that we came to be foster parents.
Our first rescue was Bo, came to us late one night from a shelter in South Florida. I felt like we were part of some Boxer Underground Railroad.
He was sweet and loving, but didn’t quite understand that at more than 60 pounds, he did not make the best lap dog. Chica accepted him into our home, and would roll around on the floor wrestling with him for many (actually, too many) hours each day. The only negative for Bo was his unhealthy fascination with our cat, which ultimately led to his placement at a new, cat-free foster home, where he continues to thrive Chica and I ran into Bo at a recent pet walk-a-thon and the dogs enjoyed a brief reunion. Hopefully, Bo will be adopted soon, as he is such a beautiful and loving Boxer.
Our second foster was sweet Katie. She was a tiny white boxer who, we believe, had been rescued from the streets. After a few days in our home, we discovered that Katie was completely deaf, a condition which is common in white Boxers. Often deaf boxers rely on a hearing dog to help them, but Chica never really grew into this role. This disability, however, did not create any particular issues for Katie, who is one of the smartest dogs that I have ever encountered (and perhaps that is not always a positive, as she quickly figured out how to open doors and deadbolt locks). We worked with her on some basic commands in sign language, and she caught on quickly. Katie was adopted by a co-worker and his children and is doing extremely well. It is wonderful that I can still receive photographs and hear about her antics in her new, forever home.
Our last foster was Marley, another deaf, white female Boxer. Marley had been given up by a previous owner and suffered from serious abandonment issues. If left at home for only a few hours, she would cry, howl, and break out of her metal crate. We were amazed (and saddened) at the lengths that she would go to in order to escape from her crate, just so she could look out the window for her family. She lived with us for several weeks and would follow us around the house incessantly. She has been adopted by a new family, and we are hopeful that they are enjoying this sweet, sweet girl as much as we did and that she no longer fears being left alone.
We are currently preparing our new home for the next foster Boxer arrival. Georgia Vince of Coastal Boxer Rescue informed me recently that the number of Boxers coming into their program has increased substantially this year, presumably due to the poor economy. Coastal Boxer Rescue is in desperate need of adoptive families, foster families and financial support for their rescue efforts and the medical care required by the dogs. This non-profit organization serves Florida’s East Coast from Melbourne to Miami and rescues Boxers from kill shelters, the streets, homes where they have been abused and neglected, and accepts owner surrenders. Many of the Boxers require some medical care when they first are rescued by the organization, but the medical needs of most of the dogs are very small. The dogs are spayed and neutered prior to adoption and new adoptive families are screened by foster parents to ensure that the Boxers will thrive in their new adoptive homes. Please visit the Coastal Boxer Rescue web site to view all of the beautiful Boxers waiting for new homes and to learn how you can help this wonderful organization that is doing so much to help dogs in our community. Here are just a few of the dogs that are being cared for by Coastal Box Rescue foster families and available for adoption: