Foster Dog Fends Off Burglar; Finds Furever Home

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A Pennsylvania couple grieving the loss of their beloved retriever decided they could open their hearts to a foster dog temporarily while a new home was found for him. The dog decided to return the favor by protecting them from a burglar, and in the process, securing himself a place in his furever family.

Nick Franco and partner Kari McDonald lost their beloved Retriever Buddy to cancer earlier this year, and they decided they needed some time to grieve over their family member before they could bring another member into the fold. That they would adopt again was not in question, just when.

So in the meantime, being the animal lovers they are, they offered to foster for their local SPCA, knowing that a pet looking for a home should be able to enjoy a home while he waits. That’s when they met Benny, a pitbull who sadly had a previous owner who’d been arrested for dog fighting charges, and left Benny unavailable for adoption for nearly two years while his court case was resolved. Nick and Kari believed that Benny had been put through so much and wanted to give him the second chance he deserved.

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They took him into their home, working with him on socializing like a ‘normal’ dog, and knowing that when the time was right and they’d worked with Benny some more, he’d make the perfect dog for the right family. Though they knew from the second day they had Benny home with them that he was something special, their hearts were still so aching for their beloved Buddy.

Until one day when they learned that they had etched a place in Benny’s heart. Franco and Macdonald took Benny with them one day as they were running errands, but when they returned home, Buddy seemed extremely out of sorts–even more so than he sometimes could be. Franco said Benny went on high alert, sniffing and looking as if someone he didn’t know was around and he was trying to find him.

They entered their abode and Benny really started going nuts. He paced all over the house, and went straight to a pile of stuff on the floor, sniffing furiously. Franco didn’t think much of the pile, only that maybe they’d knocked it over as they were leaving and then Benny went straight to the staircase frantic.

As that happened, McDonald and Franco began to realize that their house was in disarray, as if someone was searching and that Benny was standing firm at the base of the stairs, barking and growling. The couple realized that someone had broken in, but when they heard the upstairs floor creak, they knew the intruder was still there.

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Franco yelled up to the burglar–telling him that his (vicious sounding) dog was coming up and he wasn’t sure of what he’d do, and the burglar knew his only option was to jump out of the second-story window, leaving nothing he’d planned to steal behind. He did leave behind his own personal cigarette lighter, however, so police were able to retrieve fingerprints from the lighter. The police credit Benny to quickly and efficiently convincing that intruder that jumping out the window was a better option than to face him!

Obviously, according to Franco, deciding that Benny had earned his place in the family forever was a, “No-brainer.” They already loved Benny, and knew that he clearly loved them! Benny has been extra cautious of his new parents since the incident, and the couple feel like their beloved Buddy sent Benny to look over them and protect them.

And that, folks…that’s what we call a match made from Dog Heaven! (And, yes, all dogs go to Heaven!)

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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