Thursday, March 02, 2006

In other news..

My little Simone was adopted tonight by a wonderful big-hearted couple who I know will give her all the love and attention she deserves. She is going to live in the lap of luxury--a 1000% change from where she came from...I am sad and happy at the same time.

People always ask how I can stand fostering dogs because you take care of them and then you just...let them go. I can tell you it involves such an emotional commitment. You take these dogs into your home and they're stinky, dirty, neglected, unloved, sometimes starving. You feed them, give them a bath, nurse them back to health, give them a sense of self-esteem, give them a chance to be a dog. You give them all of your free time, missing happy hours or having to bail on weekend plans. You give up every extra inch of space on your bed. You stay up with them when they're sick. You cuddle with them on the couch at night and in the afternoons you throw the ball a hundred times, two-hundred, if they want to keep chasing it. You watch them change with every day that passes by. They get a little more outgoing, a little more trusting. You see that look in their faces go from desperate and confused to happy and goofy. Sometimes it takes weeks, months even, and I'm sorry, but you're a cold, cold SOB if you can do that without also giving them a piece of your heart.

And the truth is: I'm the worst person to ask how to do it. I've been at this rescue thing for five years and in that time, I've adopted three of my four dogs. I'm not exactly the poster-child for saying "no". But what I've come to understand is, I'm not the only person in the world capable of loving these dogs. I can get them to the point they should be and I can do my homework to make sure they go to families that will treat them the way they need..and deserve to be treated.

It doesn't really get any easier, no matter how many times I go through it. I've learned to wait until the adoptive family leaves before I let my tears get the best of me. Sometimes I'm happy and relieved. And sometimes, I'm just missing that little piece of my heart.

And then I remember that no matter what, there's always going to be another one. Stinky as ever. Needing my help. And I pick up the leash and move on.

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