Darla was a failed foster. My boyfriend and I had grown up with dogs our whole lives and were feeling the hole in our hearts that only a dog can fill. That's when we decided to start fostering with our local shelter. This shelter uses foster families to give temporary homes to dogs and cats who are not yet adoptable, generally for health reasons. Before Darla, we fostered two young puppies. On our third trip to pick up a foster, I told the coordinator we could only take a dog for a night, but would love to give a dog a cage break, even for a short while. The first dog she showed us was a quiet, four month old mutt (we affectionately call her a "Georgia black dog") puppy who was finishing up her treatment for mange. We got her in the car and my boyfriend just looked at me and said, "Can we keep her for a couple more nights?" There was just something about her. A couple of nights turned into a week, and a week into 10 days when she was due back for her final dose of medication. During this time we debated and talked out the pros and cons, on our way to take her back to the shelter we talked through these things, wanting to make sure that it was not only the best thing for us, but the best thing for her too. When we got there I asked the adoption coordinator if it would be ok for us to adopt her, she said absolutely! Since then, she has been a constant companion, our hiking buddy and our cuddle buddy, a lover of children and other dog friends (although that took some time), a source of laughter and entertainment. Darla is my favorite failed project.