Gregory laid his head on his paws as he stared through the bars at St. Clair County Animal Control. He sat up, feeling an intense itch at the tip of his nose. He scratched furiously, ignoring the pain, searching for some relief, and drew blood. His skin broke open because he had demodex mange. He laid back down, feeling uncomfortable in his own skin, unsure of his future and hoping for a miracle.
Brittnee Curlett, a foster for Gateway Pet Guardians, saw a picture of Gregory in Animal Control. He tugged at her heartstrings. Brittnee is a seasoned foster, and has worked with several dogs as they’ve gone through treatment for mange. She couldn’t say no to Gregory in his time of need. Gateway Pet Guardians pulled him from Animal Control, and he started on his journey to good health with Brittnee.
On top of the demodex mange and open sores on his nose, Gregory also had an eye condition and heartworms. He had a long road ahead of him, but he felt safe with his foster mom, who gave him plenty of TLC. Brittnee spent her days giving Gregory antibiotics for his skin, eye gel and creams for his eyes, and medicine for his heartworm treatment. He loved attention from the start, but was also afraid to disappoint his people. He is still learning that people are good and loving, but gets more and more confident each day.
But Gregory is not the only foster resident in Brittnee’s home. She also has two puppies and another adult foster, on top of her own two dogs. Because of his heartworm treatment, Gregory needed to be separated from the rest of the dogs in the house through his recovery. This has been the biggest challenge for Brittnee. He hates being crated, so he has his own room to hang out in while he recovers. He enjoys frequent snuggle sessions and loves spending one-on-one time with her!
When asked what advice she has to share with other fosters, Brittnee has this to say: “My best advice is just to roll with the punches and know that what you are doing is enough, and also be understanding. Some days are good and some are not so good. Some days you’ll come home to potty accidents, or a dog broken out of a crate and wonder why you even do this. And then you’ll see a dog snuggle up to you and turn into the best version of themselves and flourish, and you’ll know why it’s worth it.”
She also emphasizes relationships with people as crucial to fostering. “Be understanding of where these dogs come from, and that the people we serve do the best they can. And when it comes time to adopt them out, find reasons to say ‘yes’ to adopters instead of saying no. Understand that your idea of perfect is not the only viable option for your dog, and don’t hold dogs back from what could be a wonderful life. Give people a chance to love your dog in the same way you do, and remember even if it doesn’t work the first time to not give up.”
Through good times and bad, Brittnee will not give up on Gregory, and thanks to her passion and dedication, he’s on the road to good health and will soon find his happily ever after. If you think you could be the final stop on his journey, apply to adopt him at www.gatewaypets.com/adopt. And if you’d like to help dogs like Gregory by joining our foster family, visit www.gatewaypets.com/foster.