In June, we announced the winners of The Miles of Smiles Photo & Story Challenge, which asked for stories and pictures of pets who make their owners smile. Three winning submissions took home a $500 prize, as well as $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. One winner, Meghan Regent, decided to take her share of the prize and donate it to her supported shelter, too. Thanks to her, Texas Husky Rescue got a total of $2,500 to further their mission. Here’s the story behind Meghan’s involvement with the shelter, as well as her beloved dog Calvin.
Texas Husky Rescue
In 2016, I was at a low point in my life. My mom had recently died, and I felt like I needed something larger in my life to help me process the grief. My mom was always a huge dog-lover, so I decided to honor her legacy of giving back to the community and helping those in need in the best way I could: fostering dogs. I reached out to Texas Husky Rescue because I love the breed; there is something about their personalities that you just can’t find anywhere else.
I went to my first meet and greet, and I was immediately embraced as part of the TXHR family. While I was there, I fell in love with a scruffy husky named Meeko. I took him home that day to foster, and I couldn’t have asked for a better “starter foster.” We taught him basic manners, got his coat back to its gorgeous self, and loved him like he was our own. We had him for a little over a month before he got adopted, and I learned quickly that the best way to get over the sadness of losing a foster is to foster another one. I’ve continued that cycle close to 75 times now.
Fostering isn’t always easy. It can throw your life into frustration and leave you heartbroken, but the benefits of it all far outweigh the chewed-up furniture and countless sleepless nights. People always tell me that there is no way that they would be able to foster, but I honestly cannot see how people can’t. Fostering gives me a sense of purpose, and there isn’t much greater than seeing a dog go from being abandoned and discarded to being wanted and loved.
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Five years and two foster-fails later, I am proud to be serving as the foster director for the rescue that also rescued me. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without this amazing group. I’ve never met a group of people who not only rally to save huskies but are also just as passionate about helping the people in the TXHR family.
Calvin came to me as a foster from Texas Husky Rescue, but I knew from the moment I met him, he wasn’t leaving.
In November of 2018, a nice couple reached out to the rescue because their newly acquired husky puppy was terrorizing their miniature dachshund. They loved their puppy, but they were worried that he would ultimately hurt their beloved dachshund. I drove over to their place and met this terror to society but quickly noticed that he was actually scared of the world. I sat on the ground, not making eye contact with him, for over 30 minutes before he hesitatingly came over to sniff me out. It was a long process, but I was finally able to scoop him up and take him home with me.
Over the course of the next few months, I worked with Calvin daily, trying to help him learn that the world wasn’t such a scary place after all. Over the course of that time, Calvin began to come out of his shell and show the true depth and immenseness of his personality. He brought an energy to my pack that no other foster dog had brought before. And with that, he officially earned himself a full-time place at my house.
In the summer of 2019, my 16-year-old husky crossed over the rainbow bridge. She was the one who made me fall in love with the breed but also made me realize that they are an extremely difficult breed. Because of her, I threw myself into husky rescue. I was beyond devastated when she died. She was the one who helped me celebrate my marriage and the birth of my two kids. She was also the one who never left my side when I could hardly get out of bed the months following my mother’s death.
Fortunately, I now had Calvin to help guide me and the rest of our pack through the devastation of her loss. His constant goofiness and antics made it difficult not to smile and enjoy the simplicities of everyday life.
Now that Calvin has fully come into his own, he has helped over 50 other foster dogs learn that the world is not such a scary place. His confidence exudes on those most terrified of dogs, and they can’t help but follow in his footsteps.
Calvin always seems to be smiling, so it is hard not to smile when I see him, even when he has just dug in mud outside and then smeared all of that mud all over the inside of the house. He reminds me that life isn’t to be taken too seriously and that it’s better to laugh at than cry over the curveballs life throws my way.
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