TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – A Northeast Mississippi man was ready to answer the call of his country to deploy for one year with the U S Marines. But there was one problem, he didn’t have anyone to take care of his dog. But he Marine found a foster Mom and made a tough decision when his tour of duty was complete.
Matt Embler was preparing to leave for his deployment with the Marines, and needed to find a foster for his dog, Ranger. Matt, who is single, took to Facebook with his request.
“Found Leslie on social media, she reached out and we connected and she offered to take care of him for the year, it was incredible for me,it felt right,” Embler said.
It also felt right for Ranger, who quickly made friends with Leslie’s choclate lab, “Manning.”
Throughout his deployment, Matt was able to get photos of Ranger, and keep up with his progress through social media and various apps.
“I told Matt when he agreed to let me foster him, that I would treat Ranger like I was my own, Matt was gracious and said, can I give you some money, I said, no, you’ve got a job, protecting our country, freedoms, you go worry about that, let me worry about the dog,” said Leslie Mart.
“”Knowing that Ranger was being taken care of while I was gone, it was a huge stress relief,” Embler said.
When Matt came home earlier this year, he got a job that required him to work long hours, and that meant Ranger would be home alone, after being used to hanging out with “Manning” and other furry friends in the neighborhood. So the young Marine made a tough decision.
“Seeing how happy he was here with Leslie, it posed the question, is it best for him for Leslie, and for me to take him back, or for him to stay here, I prayed about it, it felt right for him to come and be with Leslie,” he said.
Matt is no stranger to Ranger, he lives in the same neighborhood and visits often. For Matt and Leslie, this dog’s tale is all about the importance of fostering , making selfless decisions and supporting those who serve.
“I don’t think people realize the support back home, what a difference that makes, and knowing he was taken care of, it gave me a sense of peace I couldn’t have gotten otherwise,” Embler said.
Matt encourages people to consider becoming foster parents for pets. Matt is also known to many as a former dance instructor at the “Dance Studio of Tupelo.”