Opry in her weekend clothes

Opry in her weekend clothes

When faced with tragedy, there are many ways to grieve. Friends and family, for example, can be a blessing. But for Roo Hiremath, the loss of her best friend Maggie after graduation was crushing. She spent the summer dealing with the reality and emotional impact of her loss, but realized she needed help getting through this period in her life. She needed someone to love her unconditionally. Someone for her to care for, to focus her energy and her mind. Someone to bring her joy. So she decided to submit her application to foster a homeless pet.

Once approved, Roo was eager to get her first foster dog. And she couldn’t believe it when she learned about an adorable gray pit bull named Opry that needed her help. There was something special in their match. A connection. Roo explains: “Maggie and I loved country music and it was a huge part of our friendship – going to concerts, blasting music in the car and driving just for the fun of it, all of that stuff. To have a dog named after one of the most famous places in country music need me in their life was just perfect. I knew instantly that it would be a ‘who rescued who’ kind of relationship.”

Opry and Roo greeting guests at an adoption event

Opry and Roo greeting guests at an adoption event

Indeed, the addition of Opry to Roo’s life was the biggest blessing she could ask for. “She is sweet and loving and playful on happy days and the world’s best cuddler on sad days (well really everyday actually). I know I’m supposed to be taking care of her, but really she’s the one taking care of me.”

Clearly, Opry has magical powers that can bring comfort to a broken heart. And Roo loves sharing these powers with others. She works at Washington University with students, who often miss their pets from home. Roo loves bringing Opry to campus to visit the students. She sits in on meetings, attends events, and loves every second of the attention. “I love getting to see her bring the same happiness and comfort to others that she’s brought me.” There’s nothing in this world more comforting than a snuggle with Opry.

Opry settling in with a group of students at Washington University

Opry and Roo enjoying a good book on the campus lawn

Roo has also been grateful for the support her friends at GPG have given, and encourages others to give fostering a try. “Even beyond the four-legged friends you make, fostering introduces you to such a fantastic community of humans! In fostering you’ll find a group of people that love unconditionally, are always there for each other, can help you laugh off the hard days, and congratulate you on all of the successes you have with your dog, big and small.”

Roo loves having Opry in her life right now, but knows there’s a family out there that can appreciate her comforting powers forever. She is determined to help her find that family. A family that will let her snuggle at all times – whether it’s doing homework, watching TV, or taking a mid-day nap. That will love her for who she is and give her everything she’s ever dreamed of.
If you think you are that family, learn more about Opry by visiting www.gatewaypets.com/adopt. And if you’d like to help a homeless pet like Roo did with Opry, visit www.gatewaypets.com/foster.