Kevin’s Story

Kevin in his crate

Earlier this month, in our ACS In The News section, we posted the story of Kevin – one of our many dogs rescued from S.Korean meat farms.

The story was the sum total of many facebook posts by Jill, one of the Vet Techs here at ACS. We realize that not EVERYONE is on facebook (or, if they are, may not check it very often), and to us, this story was just too good not to share.

We hope you enjoy perusing through Kevin’s story and, who knows…maybe in will pique the interest to foster or adopt with us?

~ ENJOY!

FROM OUR BLOG

December 1st, 2020

So normally my foster dogs stay with me until they find a home, but sometimes circumstances require a switch. We had a foster who wanted a senior, and we have a dog in need of an experienced foster who needs a LOT of behavior help. Honey is now off to a new foster home and Kevin is with me. Kevin is one of our dogs that recently came from South Korea.

One picture was taken of him today in the shelter, cowering in the back of his crate. The other was taken a few minutes ago. He’s been in my house for a little under two hours. He watched me play some feeding games with my dogs (and ate two treats that I tossed into his crate). My dogs and I are now relaxing in the living room. He can see us from the kitchen, but we’re not bothering him, we’re not interacting with him. He’s casually watching us. Twice he’s stood up to come to the front of the crate and sniff the air, checking out the situation. He’s going to need a lot of time and patience, and I’m hoping that my dogs can work their magic and teach him how to dog properly. I’ll keep you all posted on his progress.

Kevin in his crate
Kevin Cowering in his crate

December 2nd, 2020

Kevin has realized that outside is a good place to pee (he IS a good boy and doesn’t go in his crate) and he thinks snow is tasty. He doesn’t love the leash, but we’re working on it.
Kevin
Kevin Cowering in his crate
December 3rd, 2020
Daily Kevin update: He’s currently relaxing in his crate, licking the filling out of a stuffed bone. It’s the first time he’s chilled enough to acknowledge a treat that I’ve given him.
December 4th, 2020
Kevin is getting a little braver about checking things out while he’s outside. And he’s decided that Newt is his emotional support friend, which is interesting because of my three dogs, Newt is the one who generally wants nothing to do with my fosters (which may be why Kevin likes him). Simza is determined to make him love her. Ava is pretty indifferent. Ava generally interacts with fosters because I ask her to. She is my most reliable as far as listening when it’s time to back off and engaging when I want her to engage (she used to be my super dog reactive, would start fights girl, she’s so grown up now).
Kevin w his buddy
Kevin Sniffing
December 6th, 2020
Kevin was feeling super brave today and came out of his crate to explore without any prompting. He even came and stood next to me and gave me a thorough sniff.
Kevin December 6
Kevin being brave
Kevin with buds
December 7th, 2020

Kevin is starting to try being a little playful when he’s outside with the other dogs, which Simza is so excited about. She’s pretty sure all dogs should want to play with her.

I wish I knew what the scar on his nose was from. I wish he could tell me what his life has been like, and what things scare him most. I wish he understood my words when I tell him that he is safe. For now, I will just keep showing him that he is safe. I will let him learn that humans can be good, and living in a house is nice. And I will let my dogs tell him that I am okay.

Kev December 7th
Kevin
December 10th, 2020
So, I don’t have pictures because reaching for my phone would have most definitely broken the spell and ruined the moment, but Kevin and I had a break through tonight. He’s been starting to acknowledge me more, sniffing me as he walks by, etc. Tonight I went and sat by him on the floor. He wasn’t cornered, I wasn’t holding his leash, he had the option of walking away. He didn’t. He sat and watched me. I was turned away from him, and after about 5 minutes of me just sitting there, he took a step forward and sniffed my face. I held out a hand and when he didn’t move away, I touched him. For the first time, he didn’t flinch. I proceeded to start doing some T Touch on him, and not only did he not decide to leave, he actually started to relax. After about 10 minutes of T Touch, he went from sitting next to me to laying next to me, loose body language, relaxed. When I stopped touching him, he picked his head up and looked at me and reached his nose out to sniff my hand again. This is major progress for him. I’m so proud of how far he’s come in a short time. He’ll be with me awhile longer before I feel he’s ready to move on to a forever home, but he’s getting there.

December 13th, 2020

To most, this picture may not seem like much. It may not be a great picture, it may not show anything of interest to some. To me, it speaks volumes. It shows huge progress. It’s full of hope. Kevin has started going on short leash walks with me. Today I took him with me to the office while I met with Becca This is a picture she took of him, not only approaching her on his own, but giving her a good sniff to check her out. He’s never really met her before, other than in passing. He’s never interacted with her. But he was interested enough to overcome his fear of new things to check her out. Watching the walls break down, little by little, baby step by baby step, will always be my favorite part of fostering.
Kevin meets Becca
Kevin also met Lando the cat while on his adventure today. Lando gave him a head bump and then a swat on the nose for good measure, just to be sure Kevin knows to respect cats.
Kevin and Lando
December 15th, 2020
Kevin made a big decision today. He decided that coming to sit with me on the floor was nicer than staying in his crate. He continued to sit near me even after I got up and sat in the recliner (floors are hard after awhile). It’s now been around 45 minutes and he’s still sitting next to the chair, leaning against my knee. I am so proud of him. Moments like these make it worth it.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I can stand to foster, doesn’t it break my heart to give them up? Here’s the thing, I’ve fostered 17 animals this year, including Kevin. Each has had their own needs, whether it was bottle baby kittens, a cat with Feline Leukemia, a fearful dog, a dog who just needed to not be in the shelter, a sick kitten who wasn’t recovering in the shelter. If I kept the first one I fostered in January, what would have happened to all who came after? The truth is, some of them would still be living in the shelter, scared and unable to be handled. Some of them honestly probably would have died. This is what I do. I get them ready for forever. Yes, my fearful dogs and cats learn to trust me. No, I do not believe that sending them to a forever home breaks their trust. I take care to make sure that, once they’re somewhat comfortable with me, they start meeting other people, so that I am not the only human they know.

This is fostering. It saves lives. It gives my life purpose.

Kevin
Kevin - rescued

December 16th, 2020

Y’all I loathe taking selfies, I’m bad at it and after being outside in the snow for an hour, I look like crap, but when your scared foster dog comes and lays his head on you, you have to take a picture. Apparently 7:30 is now our evening snuggle session time. I’ve got two rather jealous doggos, and then there’s Ava, who doesn’t mind as long as he stays off her chair.
Kevin
Look Anita, Kevin catches snowflakes on his tongue too!
Kevin snowflakes 1
Kevin snowflakes 2
December 17th, 2020
Kevin says “Um…where exactly did I move to, the arctic?” I was looking out the window in the clinic so he came to look with me.
Kevin
My kids and I are in the clinic because our heat’s not working tonight. Kevin is laying on my foot.
Kevin
December 18th, 2020
So this is happening right now ❤ I love that he is feeling safe with me!
Kevin on Jill's lap
Kevin on Jill's lap 2

December 19th, 2020

I spent a very long day outside shoveling, so now I’m getting some good dog snuggles in.

Kevin on Jill's lap

December 22nd, 2020

Apparently these kids think I need a good snuggle. Ava laid on me, Newt on her, Kevin on Newt.

Kevin on Jill's lap

December 23rd, 2020

My crazy snow dogs.
Kevin on Jill's lap
Kevin on Jill's lap
Kevin on Jill's lap
Kevin on Jill's lap
Ava and Kevin worked very hard today, guarding the house while our roof got shoveled off. Now they’re guarding me. One laying on either side.
Kevin on Jill's lap

December 25th, 2020

Kevin isn’t exactly sure what Merry Christmas means, but if it means snuggles in the recliner with foster mom, he’s here for it!
Christmas Keving

Snuggly boy.

Christmas Keving

Kevin says Christmas is exhausting. we didn’t even leave the house today, except for me to take pictures of the other three.

Christmas Keving

December 27th, 2020

Sleepy puppers.

Christmas Keving

Snuggly boy.

Christmas Keving

December 29th, 2020

Kevin would like to lodge a formal complaint that the other dogs are taking up too much space on the recliner.

Kevin's complaint 1
Kevin on Jill's lap 2
January 2nd, 2020
Chemo and Kevin may have a bromance going on. Newt’s decided he’s just going to herd them both.
Kevin and Chemo 1
Kevin and Chemo 2
Kevin Chemo and friend

January 3rd, 2020

Ava says “Mom, please make these gross boys get OFF my chair!”

Kevin and Chemo 1

January 5th, 2020

Crazy boys out in the yard. Kevin and Chemo are besties.
Best friends
Best friends 2
Best friends 3
Best friends 4

Well…they WERE all asleep, but I stood up, so now everyone is up, lol.

Pooches
January 6th, 2020
Things are pretty bleak in our world today. Need a spot of sunshine to brighten things up for you? Look at this happy boy playing with a toy! He’s learned that toys are a lot of fun 🙂
Kevin Playing
Kevin Playing 2
Kevin Playing 3
Kevin Playing 4
January 7th, 2021

39 days Kevin has been with me. As of today, he is officially considered available for adoption. He still has things to learn, like basic obedience and how to be more confident away from home, but those are things he can learn with a forever human. He has come so far and I am so incredibly proud of him. From the terrified boy cowering in the back of a crate, unwilling to come out even to eat, to a playful goofball who loves a good cuddle. This is why fostering is so incredibly important, and I will always advocate for more people to do it. Fostering gave Kevin a chance, for the first time in his life, to live out of a cage. Fostering helped him learn to be a companion, rather than a feral dog in a cage. Fostering brought him to life.

I will miss him dearly when he finds someone to love him as much as I do, but I will let him go knowing I did my job, and that he’s ready to move on.

Kevin - rescued dog at Animal Care Sanctuary

January 8th, 2021

This is the general consensus in my house this morning. What a motivated bunch. These three are in the recliner with me, Simza is laying behind the recliner.
Kevin - rescued dog at Animal Care Sanctuary
Kevin - rescued dog at Animal Care Sanctuary
Kevin - rescued dog at Animal Care Sanctuary
January 9, 2021

Today was a bittersweet day. Kevin found his forever people. He took to them fairly quickly, especially for such a shy dog. He LOVED their dog and she loved him. He met the humans first, and once he seemed comfortable with them, we introduced him to his new sister, Sunny. Play bows and nose kisses all around. They spent almost 2 hours getting to know him and hearing about the things I’ve worked on with him, his story, his quirks. They could tell this one was hard for me, and they did their best to make both Kevin and I feel comfortable, to assure us both that this was the right fit. They promised to keep me posted on his progress so that I can keep all of you updated.

Saying goodbye is the most challenging part of fostering, especially with cases like this one. But as I’ve said so many times, I am the bridge to forever. I am here to teach trust and love. I pave the way to a better life. And then I let them go, to make room for the next lost soul who needs my help. Kevin, you are a very special boy and I will keep you in my heart forever. I look forward to seeing you live your best life.

I got this update from Kevin’s new mom tonight: Hi guys! Kevin has been doing well his first night home! We know he’s a little nervous, but he has been adjusting well! We have a crate set up for him, but he hasn’t been in it once! Right now, he’s sleeping next to my husband after our walk. He ate his dinner right up tonight! We decided to call him Sully! 😊

My heart melted a little when I read it. I’m so happy for my boy.

Kevin-adopted from Animal Care Sanctuary
Kevin - rescue dog
Kevin - adopted foster dog from ACS
Kevin - adopted foster dog from Animal Care Sanctuary

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