Relaxed with his foster family, Dante waits for a new home

25 March 2015

Relaxed with his foster family, Dante waits for a new home

By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Vice President

Remember Dante? The handsome gray and white pit bull cross who has been at the shelter a dangerously long time? A favorite among FOTAS volunteers and staff, the stress of shelter life was making Dante more stir-crazy with each passing day, common for active dogs held in a shelter environment for lengthy periods of time. Desperate for human attention and exercise, his tail bled from wagging it feverishly against the kennel wall. We worried he was becoming less tolerant of other dogs.

Dante’s prospects diminished the longer he remained in the shelter.

So we asked Toni & Gary Urben, a FOTAS foster family with lots of experience with and love for pit bulls, if they would be willing to foster Dante even though we have not yet found him a home.

We were delighted when they agreed.

* * *

Hi Gang,

Whoa! I’m loving my foster family and the peace and quiet of their yard. I have a large outdoor run with a shed and lots of hay – a place where a big guy like me can stretch out and doze in the sun, and I doze a lot on account of all the exercise I get. We go for long walks in the woods every day. Sometimes my people let me run off-leash, and there is nothing like a good hard run to calm a dog’s soul, I tell you. I stay real close when I run – I want my people to know what a good boy I am. (Plus, there’s the matter of the soup bone I buried in a safe place in my run).

Your relaxed dog, Dante

Dear Dante,

I miss your smiley face and wagging tail at the shelter. I have tried to teach your pals Barcley and Titan to catch the rubber frisbee, but alas, they will never be as graceful or athletic as you, my handsome friend.

Be a good boy, okay? Be sure to play nice with the other dogs while we search for your forever family. By the way, do your people know how much you like a good belly rub?

Your best FOTAS volunteer friend, Ellie Joos


Dear Ellie,

My new people are world-class belly rubbers, and I let them rub my belly for a long time on account of I don’t want to hurt their feelings. They are teaching me manners, whatever those are, but if manners are those tasty little bacon treats I get when I sit or stay or lay down, then hey, I’m all for manners!

Today I went walking with my people’s dogs for the second time, and we get along just fine. What’s all the fuss about anyway? Okay, maybe I got a teeny bit cranky at the shelter, but now that I’ve got my manners and my soup bone and my walks and a nice place to rest in the sun, I’m a friendly guy. Really.

Your happy dog, Dante


Dear Jennifer,

How quickly love, consistency and exercise brings the best out of a dog! Dante is an amazing dog. He will be an affectionate, loyal pet for some lucky family.

Love, Toni


Dear Jennifer and Ellie,

Please find someone to take me home forever. I promise to make you very proud of me.

Your (very) good dog, Dante


Please don’t wait. Dante’s time is running out. His life – all their lives – are in our hands.



TITAN — Male, American Bulldog, 5 years old, 64 lbs — $70

KEYS — Male, Domestic Short Hair, 7 months old, 6.7 lbs. — $35