Things have gotten calmer, and far less hairy in the dollhouse. Yesterday, after staying with us for just over seven weeks, Wendy dog met her forever family and moved right in.
I am thrilled to tell you that Wendy now has a dedicated human mom, and a lovely canine sister. Lucky, shaggy girl. Very soon after they met and all the appropriate sniffing took place, it was clear the dogs were eager to play. With the people looking on, the two pups raced around the yard, prancing and goofing together. If dogs could giggle, Wendy and her new sister were certainly doing so. My heart swelled and broke simultaneously.
And so we said our farewells. I wish I’d taken more photos of Wendy: she is such a gorgeous dog.
It’s a funny thing to be a foster family. We open our hearts to a new dog, not knowing much about the creature coming to stay in our canine guest room. Often we get a photograph to go by, and usually a very brief description such as “she’s a sweet dog,” or “she has lots of energy and a nice personality.” Time after time, the dogs surprise us. Sometimes they’re bigger than anticipated, or shaggier than expected, or sweeter than we bargained for. We are often most caught off guard by how much we fall in love with them. Whatever they are, these previously unwanted dogs who come to us for transition into their happily ever afters are each unique and important to us.
It’s a big investment too, of time and patience. Wendy tore the screen totally out of our back door and required daily vacuuming to minimize the tumbleweeds on our floors. The back door was first damaged when Wendy decided she would rather be inside than out and let herself back in by jumping through the screen; its last moments occurred the next day when she tore the damaged screen out with her teeth and dragged it around the yard. As for the vacuuming, thank goodness I invested in a high-end model. Had I saved the heaps of pyrenees wool she shed, I could knit a beautiful Wendy sweater–suitable for even the bitterest days of winter.
Stranger than bringing a dog into our home and letting her take up residence in our hearts as well is letting her go when her forever family arrives. The Electrician and I are careful to tell ourselves that the visiting dog is not “our” dog, and we remind one another of the fact as well to keep from becoming too attached. Every time the foster pup does something frustrating or gross, we joke that it’s a good thing she’s not staying. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to protect our soft hearts. We get attached despite our best efforts.
I’ll admit it was wrenching bid Wendy farewell, even knowing we were leaving her in a wonderful home. The Electrician didn’t say much for quite a number of blocks as we drove away. Having good ol’ Sherman helps to dull the ouch of giving up our foster dogs, and we’re grateful for that. He’s had a quiet little day with me at home today, and it seems like he’s enjoying having his mom to himself again.
Wendy is foster dog number nine to stay in the dollhouse. We are proud to have worked with Second Chance Animal Rescue Society to help save nine beautiful dogs who would have had no future without SCARS. Please visit SCARS’ website to read more about the fantastic work the society does in Alberta communities. If you can spare it, donations are always very welcome. Many of the animals are injured or ill, and your donations can make an immediate and meaningful difference for animals in need.
Our house is a little too quiet and a the lack of big clumps of drifting dog hair is tugging at my heart. I suppose things will feel just a little too empty until we meet foster dog number ten.
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