When we first met, his name was Harold and like far too many other dogs at the Transylvania County animal shelter he had reached the end of his “holding” period which meant if someone didn’t step forward to foster or adopt him, he would be put down.

My husband and I have always had an affinity for Labs and when we saw Harold’s picture we knew what we had to do. It was a Wednesday and we literally dropped what we were doing and drove to the shelter with the single intention of getting him out before the worst happened because in the world of rescue, big black dogs like Harold are hard to find homes for. In fact, among the animal rescue groups, it’s referred to as the BBD Syndrome (Big Black Dog Syndrome) because it is such a prevalent problem.

We got to the shelter, let him out of his cage, and frankly, we wondered if he was the right dog for us because he was young and very high energy, but there was something about him that tugged at our hearts. So we agreed to take him home and foster him until a forever home could be found.

Within moments of getting into the back of our SUV he laid his head down and went to sleep. It was as if he had found his place, and it wasn’t 24 hours later that we decided he was right.

Harold, now known to us as Ace, is the most loving dog I believe I’ve ever known. There isn’t another dog or person that he doesn’t like. In the years that have followed, he has played a major role as “Nanny” to the other dogs we’ve brought home as fosters.

They say that rescue dogs just “know” that they’ve been rescued and they return the love every single day. That’s certainly true with our boy Ace. (We’ve since learned that Ace is mostly Plott Hound)