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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

The joys of being a failure

Nov 27, 2023 11:51AM ● By Cloie Sandlin

The holidays are all about giving, and of all the worthy causes to support, two hold a special place in my heart: advocating for seniors and championing the cause of animals. This article is mostly about the latter.

In college, I adopted my first dog from Roice-Hurst Humane Society. A few years later, my husband Sam and I welcomed a middle-aged corgi into our home. 

Nearly a year passed after we lost our first dog, who lived to 14, before we started to consider getting another one. Even though I believe my neighborhood to be relatively safe, Sam insisted on a large guard dog-type breed.

Enter Eleanor Rigby, an 8-week old German shepherd puppy, who I brought home as an unexpected surprise for Sam last year on Christmas Day. Despite the countless hours I spend with “Ellie,” Sam is the apple of her eye. Her affection for me is largely contingent on his absence. Yet, when Sam is away, Eleanor’s mischievous antics and boundless energy drive me crazy! And my corgi, now 11, isn’t much help. 

So I decided to get her a more active friend.

Adopting a third dog would be counterintuitive—aka insane! So I recently decided to foster with Grand Rivers Humane Society. 

My first foster was a goofy gentle giant named Tully who was adopted after a week in my care. As I expected, his play drive provided a welcome respite from Eleanor’s constant demand for my attention.  

Two weeks later, I brought home Piper, a timid 1-year-old husky-shepherd mix with two different colored eyes. It took Piper a couple of days to acclimate to her new surroundings, but when she finally warmed up to us, we formed a bond (by “we,” I mean Eleanor and I). We adopted her after just a couple weeks.

This delightful turn of events is affectionately known as a foster fail. And as much as I don’t like being considered a failure, at least it’s for something as rewarding as helping a furry friend in need.

Thinking about fostering? Read more of our pet articles and contact your local shelter or animal welfare organization like Roice-Hurst and Grand Rivers Humane. There is a huge need for fosters and adopters for local pets. 


Thanks to our advertisers, the BEACON is distributed free of charge to more than 250 locations throughout Mesa, Delta and Montrose counties. However, in spite of our expanding circulation, the latest issue can be hard to find because of the growing number of seniors in our area. 

The best way to guarantee you receive your copy of the BEACON every month is to subscribe! Right now, you can gift the BEACON to a friend when you purchase a subscription for yourself. But hurry—December is your last chance to take advantage of this 2-for-1 deal. Turn to page 56 for details. 

A subscription also guarantees you won’t miss out on any senior-related news and events, including the release of our 2024 BEACON Guide. This annual resource directory includes hard-to-find contact information for clubs, medical centers, government agencies and more, which we verify annually. 

Do you know of an organization we should include?  Call us at 970-243-8829 or contact us online


Tell us about the businesses you love and that have earned your trust by nominating them for the 2024 BEACON Best awards. Mail in the ballot on page 4 or vote online

Cast your vote by December 31 for a chance to win prizes and gift cards to some of the places you nominate. Don’t forget to let these businesses know you’re cheering them on! 

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Fostering a fun alternative to permanent pet ownership

Fostering: a fun alternative to permanent pet ownership

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