My dog started as a foster. He was old and deaf and in the shelter for almost a year. He was considered "un-adoptable" and being so long in the shelter was loosing the "people skills" needed to attract an adoption. I was walking him at the shelter already (along with other dogs), so agreed to take him in for a while to get him use to being around people again, to train him and hopefully he would get adopted. He was a small dog (chihuahua-terrier mix) about 10 lbs., and I’m more of a “big dog” person, so I didn’t think the fostering would last very long. But what I discovered was, he had a incredible personality. Old, deaf, and a level of confidence that made him as stubborn as a donkey. He didn’t have any of the “yappie-ness” that some small dogs have. In fact he was very quite. He had a big dog personality stuffed into a small dog body. Our walks always started with him walking up to the door then planting his feet, and giving some token resistance to the idea of going for a walk. He’d look at me with a “I’m not really into to this walking thing”, and I’d look back at him with a “your not pooping in my house” look so with a quick tug of the leash off we would go. Once we were on the walk, there was never any question which way he wanted to go. He mostly wanted to go the “pet store” about 4 blocks away, and I usually wanted to go to the “park”, so at this on intersection we always had a bit of a “negotiation” about which way to go. Are we going to the pet store today, or to the park? If you closed your eyes and just felt the amount of tug he would give, it felt like 20 lbs of pull coming from a 10 lbs dog. Then at some point during the walk, he would just stop, plant his feet and refuse to go further. He was done with the walk, and in full donkey mode. At this point I’d pick him up and carry him back home. I was “walking" my dog, but he was an old so got what he wanted. Another thing I discovered, was he liked people food. Really, really liked it. That year in the shelter must have been torture. Anything I was eating he would want, and eventually got the role of dish cleaner. (At least before I put them in the dishwasher.) He really liked to clean ice cream bowls, and I taught him trick a to get ice cream. He’d bark once, spin once and then put up one paw. When he did that he'd get to finish the bowl on ice cream. Eventually, doing the “bark, spin, paw” became the way he said - “I want ice cream”. But the best example how confident he was happened on Thanksgivings about two years ago. We visited friend and someone else brought their dog, a 50 lbs. Great Dane. Both dogs were under the table during dinner. Then some turkey fell on the floor under the table near both of them. This was Ralph’s chance to nab some good human food, and he went for it. A 10 lb. old and deaf dog in one corner, and 50 lb. teenage normally sweet (except when food was involved) Great Dane in the other corner. In the ensuring flight, the table lifted off the floor and both of us owners had to separate the dogs. Ralph got some of the food, but a 10 lbs dog isn’t going to beat a 50 pounder, and he also got a bit on his back leg with light bleeding, and a trip to the hospital where they shaved all the fur off his back leg, and side. It was a nasty wound, but in Ralph’s mind I’m sure he thought is was worth it to grab some premium people food. Of one thing I’m certain, if a similar opportunity happened again, he wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to go for it. In his final year, he had the dog equivalent of a heart attack and was on medicine. I’d have to administer three medicines from a tube twice a day and despite it likely tasting nasty he never put up any resistance to taking it. It’s almost like he knew he needed it. In his last week he had an episode (maybe a heart attack) was on his side and couldn’t get up. He had no control over he legs, this was the only time in three years I saw fear in his eyes. He went to the hospital again and stayed in a oxygen tent, but this time wasn’t going to get better. On his last day I brought him his favorite blanket and stayed with him until he was gone. I did my best to make sure the last three years of his life were the best three years of his life. I doubt anyone will read this far, but I wrote this to make sure he wasn’t forgotten. He was a foster fail and only with me for three years, but I still miss that dog. It only occurred to me while writing this that I haven’t had ice cream since he passed. I guess, what’s the point if you don’t have anyone to share it with. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm not sure which one of you was more lucky to have met. Not gonna lie, I cried (well not cry, teared up a lot) reading your post. Thank you.