Kirk Shindle and his partner Jeff Telepo adopted Maestro, an American bull dog and pit bull type mix, in July, 2012 from his foster mom Lisa LaFontaine, the President and CEO of the Washington Humane Society (WHS).When Maestro first arrived at WHS, he was not very responsive to interaction. Staff feared he might have a hearing problem. Lisa was visiting the New York Avenue Adoption Center to pick up her newest foster dog, Stella, when Maestro caught her eye. He was lying flat in his enclosure and appeared to be incredibly depressed. Knowing that Maestro would not prosper in his current environment, she decided to leave with not one, but two new fosters. Soon Maestro and Stella were on their way to their new foster home, much to the surprise of Lisa’s husband. To her relief, Maestro responded to noises once he was settled at home, so they ruled out deafness and resolved that the adoption center environment was just not a good fit for Maestro.
“We had recently lost one of our other dogs, and when we were flipping through the WHS website, I said, ‘He’s the one!’” Kirk said.
When Kirk and Jeff expressed interest in adopting Maestro, another family was also interested in him. As it turned out, the other family wasn’t the right fit for this active pup. It wasn’t long before three-month-old Maestro jumped off the screen and into Kirk and Jeff’s arms. Within hours after meeting Maestro for the first time, they were on their way to adopt him, through debris left behind from the June 29 Derecho storm, no less.
In the previous year, Kirk and Jeff had endured the loss of both of their German Shepherds, Seven and Grommet, so welcoming Maestro to their family has helped them begin to heal from the loss.
Right from the start, Kirk and Jeff knew that they had met their match with 75 pound lap dog, Maestro. “He’s been a dream!” Kirk remarked. “He can be a little tricky on walks, because he is so strong and enthusiastic about life, but he couldn’t be any sweeter. He loves to snuggle in the bed with us. He thinks he’s a person.” Born with one missing toe, this loveable dog is full of energy and improving each day with his training.
Just like Maestro, adoption centers can be extremely stressful for some dogs. WHS is calling on individuals, families, and businesses to volunteer as temporary foster care parents for homeless pets. For more information on becoming a foster parent, please visit http://washhumane.org/foster or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Maestros’ Dads:
Kirk owns Slant Evolution, a luxury T-shirt company in which he hand designs and creates shirts.
Jeff is a human resources professional with the United States Mint.
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