Friday, August 16, 2013

Missing It

I made a video last night to put on a fundraising page for an event our group has coming up in September. It's nothing fancy at all, but something about sifting through pictures of a bunch of my old foster dogs made me feel all misty-eyed. Like I'm empty nesting if that makes any sense at all. I haven't had any fosters in months since the parvo/distemper double whammy of March. I'm on lockdown for about another month to puppies. I could, theoretically, take in an adult dog that's fully vaccinated, but there's always the factor of whether or not they'll be 100% down with two monkey children because H & R's safety gets priority over anything else (and sometimes we just don't know what we're getting with a homeless dog--not the dog's fault, just a reality..)

 I miss the puppies, I really do. (Sam doesn't).  I made a conscious decision after Rowan was born that I couldn't continue to foster the multitudes like I used to and fostering was something I really truly loved... STILL love, actually. Before kids, I was averaging about 30+ fosters a year (more if there were puppies) and even that first year after Hopper was born when we were "only fostering puppies"... I think we had something like 16 that year?  It wasn't much of a break.  With two small ones of my own plus working full time, I had to really make some changes.

Luckily, our group of volunteers has expanded enough over time that I'm no longer the only "go to" person for puppies and I'm able to step back a little. But still, I can't lie: I miss it. Maybe not having 9-10 dogs at once, that I don't miss because I'm not a crazy person and at this point I've seen too many episodes of Animal Hoarders and sometimes watching that show can give me flashbacks...But just having a few little new faces every now and then is nice. Nurturing. Puppy Bref. Sigh.

It's hard to explain why I felt sad, but I guess the easiest way for me to describe it  is this: We don't get many chances in our lives to make a true, tangible difference. Well, maybe we do, but most of us don't recognize it when it happens or if we do, we certainly don't get off our asses and do anything about it. For me, fostering was making a difference in a real way every single day, just by loving something. I would take this nasty, dirty, bones sticking out fleabag and get home, clean it up, feed it, show it some kindness and in days (or sometimes weeks), I would see a transformation. Sure, not every dog was a pitiful neglect case, but even those that were in less dire shape, I was able to save them from a certain death at the shelter, just by letting them set their head down on one of our extra dog beds. Was I saving the world, changing society for the better? No. But I was doing something, and it made me feel good about myself. And I just miss it, terribly.

Anyway, here's the video. It only features about a quarter of our past fosters. I had to cut myself off after 5 minutes because (again): not crazy.  Some of the faces you might recognize...


hey said...

Lee- I just LOVE this blog & video! Good luck with your event, and, you're absolutely right - you are not crazy!
Margaret in Petersburgh

hey said...

Lee - I love this beautiful video, and your writing is a pleasure to read. I hope your event is a big success and, you are not crazy! Margaret in Petersburgh