After More Than a Year in a Kennel, This Pooch’s Life Has Turned Into a Constant Adventure

The following story is a finalist in the Rescue to Royalty Challenge. Three grand prize winners will receive a $250 shopping spree, while a shelter of their choosing will be awarded $2,000 in cash and needed supplies! You can read more stories here!

In 2021, my boyfriend and I started volunteering for a program called Kennel Buddies, where volunteers come and get mostly long-term kennel dogs out of their runs for recreation/walks. Through this program, I was introduced to Rink Beck. Rink had a label of “not good with men,” and since I’m female, I luckily did not have to worry about that.


For the next four months, I’d take Rink on pack walks at local parks or out of her kennel run to play at the shelter. Rink and I did not have some sort of undeniable connection, as if this were a long lost “you-save-me-I-save-you” meeting waiting to happen. She was just chill and didn’t give me problems, and I occasionally came along, as did other volunteers, to free her from the jail of her kennel run (see her first photo of when she lived there). I liked to take photos of her playing in the river and she liked, well, that I took her to play in a river. I had other kennel pups and a revolving door of foster dogs at home vying for attention, too, because we fostered for the same rescue.

Then the day came when we were between foster dogs. One we were particularly attached to had gotten adopted. We were coping with the conflicting sadness/happiness that all fosters deal with when they watch a dog leave. We just finished up vacation fostering another dog for a fellow volunteer, which was about all we felt ready to commit ourselves to for that time. We weren’t ready yet to invest our hearts into another dog that would leave in a day, a week, two months, who knows.

My previously remote work schedule was also shifting back into an office schedule without set hours, and I did not want to subject a dog to that. Since we were not ready to take on another foster fully, I had the brilliant idea of just getting one of my kennel friends out for a sleepover, a short respite from the kennel. I asked to take a chance on Rink for just one night. She just had to formally meet my boyfriend first, because she “doesn’t like men,” which made us hesitant, but that meet went completely fine!


So, we took her home. Just a sleepover. A sleepover to break the world record of sleepovers as Friday turned into Saturday then Sunday then Monday and so forth. She never returned to the kennel, and she became our next foster dog. But unlike our many foster dogs before her, Rink never got any applications. We didn’t know the reason why she was overlooked when all we saw every day was an incredible, eager to please, intelligent, quirky love bug. Her one-year anniversary of being out of the kennel, which we called her Jailbreak Day, came, and went. Still, she received zero interest, until we realized why; she had been home all along! She had found us, not the other way around!

Rink spent at least 17 months of her life living in a kennel, 15 of those being consecutively before we started fostering her for a year and a half. Until finally, we “foster failed” and adopted her! On paper, she has a difficult behavior history, but who can blame her for not trusting humans fully? Her paperwork indicated somebody may have tried to drown her in the past, as well. Some humans are evil to animals; anyone in rescue knows that.

With slight modifications, she now thrives in our home and is known as “AdventuRINK” for all the adventures she goes on with us! From kayaking (see photo below) to van camping to visiting snowy mountaintops to staying at the finest pet-friendly hotels/Airbnbs, she really has become the Queen of her castle (see her second photo on her adoption day)! Rink took it upon herself to prove her written history wrong. Rink teaches the world that they should take a chance on a kennel dog! What is written about them does not have to be set in stone. A past projected onto a dog doesn’t have to determine their future, but their story won’t ever change without the right human to give them a chance to tell a new one!


This story was submitted by Chase Burns in support of Eleventh Hour Rescue. You can read more Rescue to Royalty Challenge stories here!