When Senior Emily Tryon moved into her pet friendly apartment, she immediately began looking for a dog to be her new roommate.
"I saw that Izzy's owner had died and she needed a place to stay, so I was like I'll take her," Tryon said.
Tryon found Izzy through a group called Carolina Border Collie Rescue. She was unsure about the commitment involved in owning a pet, so she decided to foster instead of adopting. The choice meant that she would take care of Izzy until she found a permanent home.
"The dogs will come and live in your house and you just treat them like they're your family, " she said.
Many animal rescue groups and humane societies have turned to fostering as a way to keep dogs out of the shelter.
"It's just rough for them in shelters. Its stressful," Tryon said. "They don't get a lot of socialization, they're scared and I don't think that brings out the best in dogs."
Fostering allows dogs to become more accustomed to home life and better prepares them for adoption.
"They bloom when their getting loved and they're in house with people," Tryon said.
Izzy was still grieving the loss of her owner when Tryon took her in. Tryon remembers Izzy not wanting to play with her toys; however, after a couple of weeks, Izzy completely changed.
"It's so different," Tryon said. "She loves her toys and she goes nuts when you throw them outside for her."
Although Izzy was able to find hapinness again under her care, Tryon wouldn't exactly describe the experience as a success.
"I realized like five seconds after I met her that I was probably going to be a foster failure, which means you keep your foster dog," she said.
Tryon tried searching for a home for Izzy, even going as far as a trial adoption with a family in Raleigh, but she just couldn't say goodbye to her furry friend.
"The other day someone was babysitting her and I came home and the apartment was empty and it was huge presence that was missing," she said.
Tryon adopted Izzy in August. While she still works as a volunteer for the rescue group, she has no plans to foster anymore dogs until after she graduate. Working with dogs like Izzy, in need of a home, has left a lasting impression.
"Something that is so amazing about dogs is that they can come from these horrible situations and be abused and neglected, and they just bounce back. They still trust people and they still want to be loved," she said.
There are other options available for people who want to volunteer but aren't ready to foster. Carolina Border Collie Rescue is looking for assistance in transporting the dogs and home evaluations.