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Updated: Jan 8, 2021

We love every dog who comes through the door at ALIVE, but a certain low-rider pittie captured many of our volunteers’ hearts in 2018. Learn more about Mark’s adoption story, below ...

"My friend started volunteering through ALIVE, which is how I found out about the organization. I have always loved dogs, but traveled for work 100% of the time. Once my schedule finally changed, I immediately started fostering. I started with PAWS and then came to ALIVE. I love that you really get to know the dogs and the great community that they have.

Mark was posted on ALIVE’s Instagram account, which I religiously follow. I saw his picture and I told my mom, ‘I need that dog,’  to which she replied, ‘You mean ... you need to foster that dog, give him a good home and train him up for his forever home.’ Me: ‘yeahhh ... that's totally what I said.’  Needless to say, I subconsciously kind of new Mark was going to stay with me after the first time I met him.

When I first arrived at the (then) Little Barn to meet Mark and volunteer for a shift, I remember hearing the craziest, pterodactyl-like sound and asking the barn leader what the heck it was. “Oh, that’s Mark,” they said.

Then I was told that he must wear a muzzle on walks at all times and is very dog reactive so he must avoid all dogs. OH, and he's a 70-pound tank. ”Are you sure you want to foster him?” they asked. YUP!

Consciously, I was set on fostering Mark until he found a great home. Adoption applications came and went, and after about 6 months of fostering, a new Instagram account and many pictures of Mark later, the snuggle bug was laying his head in my lap while I was on a call with the ALIVE foster team, getting asked if I wanted to adopt him. Mark was a #fosterfail, which I consider to be my big WIN. He is the sweetest, most cuddly and lazy dog I have ever met. The process to prove that I would be able to take care of Mark was intense, but I knew that I was the best home for him so I kept at it. 

Mark has hit so many milestones that make me incredibly happy. One I can think of was the first time he stuck his head out the window on a car ride, he had never tried it with me before and he was just loving it. I fostered Mark through eye surgery and lots of pills, plus some back issues, so a moment of him feeling good and enjoying the wind in his face was awesome.

Another great Mark moment happened recently. We had my birthday party at my parents house with 20 family members and friends. The last time Mark attended a big party, he was either hiding in a room or behind me, or barking at new people he didn’t recognize. This time, he spent 90% of the party on the couch, belly up, waiting for different family members to come rub it. He was so relaxed and trusted that all the new people I would introduce him to would be good ones. It was pretty amazing.

Sometimes, when I share Mark's story, people ask me why wouldn't I just get a "normal" dog, and I don't have a good answer. I just know that fostering and having Mark has been so incredibly rewarding. He’s just such a fun, sweet underdog who, like all the other underdogs, deserves a fluffy pillow and lots of snuggles.

There are so many amazing dogs out there that are down on their luck and now need rescue. Give them patience, love and encouragement, and they will love you for it forever. "


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