The good, the bad & the ugly crying face…
Falling into the Malinois world by accident, Corina has one of the best stories I’ve heard for how she fell in love with the Malinois breed, and you could say it’s all thanks to her fiancé and his desire to start a family! Corina managed to delay the attempts at building a tribe of mini-Lopezs for several years but then her fiancé, William, purchased a house and after that, she was stumped. Luckily the answer fell into her lap when Corina’s friend unknowingly purchased a Malinois puppy from a backyard breeder and was left with a second puppy as a ‘freebie’. That same day Corina took home the abused runt of the litter and introduced William to his first daughter; Luna the maligator.
It was pretty obvious Luna knew she was home when she peed on the floor because she was so excited. Corina knew nothing about the breed and began researching exactly what they’d gotten themselves into. What she found was a love and passion so fierce I don’t think she realized at the time that she would soon be so inspired she would invite several rescue Malinois into her home and give them a second chance at life. Corina has since fostered two dogs with SoCalBMR without much of a break and Luna has played an integral part in teaching them playful dog etiquette they took with them to their new homes. She tells me, “Luna can adapt to any dog she meets. She can get any dog to play, it’s amazing.”
Her first foster dog was a female named Addie (the well behaved dog photographed above), who arrived when Luna was around 10 months. Corina researched so much on the internet about the breed, and decided she wanted to give back. “The foster process is long. I was vetted so hard!” she says. She originally applied in October/November and didn’t get her first foster dog until March the following year. Corina tells me she first filled out a foster application form, then sent pictures of their home, another phone call and then some more back and forth. “It was great because they (SoCalBMR) really look at the right dog for you. For us, it was difficult because we have Luna and she was not fixed at the time, and a grumpy cat, so SoCalBMR really worked hard to find us a foster that would fit well in our home. Which they did! Addie was the best foster dog!”
Corina tells me more about her first foster experience and how she found it very humbling. “These dogs are coming to you with baggage. Mals don’t do well moving between homes, they’re emotional and can become depressed. When you decide to foster you’d better be all in. You can’t give up. You can’t take a spontaneous vacation or disappear for a day. It’s hard, but you can’t give up because before that dog walked through your door, everyone else gave up on it, so you better not, if you want to be a foster.” She tells me she’s pretty sure anyone who is thinking about starting a family should try having multiple mals first. We discuss the effects each foster dog had on Luna and Corina says they were both very different. “Riot was a playful puppy so it was like having two 5-year-olds in the house wrestling all the time if you left the room for one second, whereas Addie was mellow and Luna fed off that mellow energy.”
We talk a little bit about the support that Corina received while she was fostering, and I’m surprised to hear that she actually lives a few hours away from San Diego, which is where most of our fosters are located. We generally try to keep our fosters and dogs centrally located so that our handlers and the rest of our team can provide as much hands-on support as possible. Despite this, she tells me that she received incredible support. Being too far away from training and meetups worked out just fine for Corina. She’s so passionate about training Luna, it was easy to add one more dog to the mix. “I had emotional support, financial support, food purchases were reimbursed and all the equipment I needed was provided. If there was anything wrong with Addie or Riot I would contact Sharod or Tara. They would usually know exactly what it was, and would walk me through anything I needed. They would tell me to take the dog to the vet if needed and the rescue would cover the cost.”
Putting Corina on the spot I asked her about the most difficult part of fostering. She quickly replied that it’s definitely the waiting game. It’s understandable, and I can imagine it must be difficult not knowing when and who you’re going to get for your next foster dog. The thing that surprised her the most about volunteering with SoCalBMR is that there aren’t enough volunteers for the dogs. She went on to further clarify that the amount of work being achieved for such a small group of people is impressive. “I was amazed to find how popular the breed really is yet there is a constant need for fosters,” she said.
We discuss what I had assumed is the hardest part about fostering; the letting go part. I confess that a little birdie told me Corina had to make a special trip to the ice cream shop to help fight back the tears after saying goodbye to Riot, but she tells me Addie was equally hard to say goodbye to. “Everyone that I introduced to Addie applied to adopt her. She seriously loved to be loved by everyone. So did Riot, he was goofy and playful and Addie was so sweet and just wanted to cuddle. I’ve been really lucky, both foster dogs were really wonderful, they taught me a lot and have left little paw prints on my heart. I will always consider them and their adoptive parents family”
The more I chat with Corina, the more I get a sense of what an amazing person she us; bubbly, kind and so passionate about these beautiful creatures. She’s so easy to talk to I catch myself going off on multiple tangents over the phone and we get so far off track just chatting about our dogs together. I also couldn't pick-up a single negative thing about fostering with SoCalBMR from Corina, although I’m biased because I too volunteer with the rescue, I’m pretty proud of what we’re achieving here! As for Corina, I’m going to leave you with this interesting fact about her; she has her fiancé, cat, her own Malinois and has had two rescue Malinois all while recently graduating from Law School and is now working while she preps for the Bar. What a superwoman!
Thank you, Corina, for your amazing contribution to SoCalBMR and the Malinois breed!