Now, he has a job to do.
“George teaches each pup how to be a dog,” Benedek says.“How to go outside and go potty in the grass. How to sit for a treat. How people aren’t really so bad. He helps them to get used to us, and he’s a good babysitter.”
Usually, after a week or two, the dogs are adopted, leaving George in the lurch.
“He gets a bit mopey,” Benedek says. “Once, a pup’s new family came to our house to pick up their dog, and George got really upset. Now, we do the giveaway at a separate location.”
There’s always another critter to replace the one who left.
“It’s rewarding, doing something to help another creature,” says Dave Benedek, who says they have no plans to stop fostering. “Others manage to do this when there’s not a pandemic, so we can, too.”
The pictures on the living room table tell all: framed photos of the half-dozen dogs that Katherine Brown has fostered of late. Six times in the past year, Brown and her partner, Sam Swanner, have opened their door — and their hearts — to care for shelter dogs. Four of the strays eventually found “forever homes” elsewhere; the other two never left.
“We couldn’t part with either, so we adopted them,” says Brown, 26.
Now Flossi and Hope, both with histories of abuse, romp and tussle in the Elkridge town house their owners bought. Hope chases tennis balls and Flossi chases Hope until, tired, they plop down in a heap.