When I match a dog to a prospective forever-home, I have to look at the facts and then follow my heart. It’s easier with the puppies. There’s so much excitement to add a new family member, new life, new relationships, the possibilities.
So much harder with the mamas. By the time they’re ready for their forever home, I’ve known them for months. We’ve raised puppies together, I’ve helped them transition from shelter life, to life in a home, to motherhood, and then beyond. All I can picture for them is to stay with me, sleeping on my bed, following me around, walking my neighborhood, WITH ME.
But I can’t keep them all. And each one deserves a family of their own.
Dogs are resilient. They adapt to their situation. So these mamas have adapted to the life I’ve given them. The questions I ask, ‘Is this the right life for this dog? Can I give this dog the best life for her? Do I need this dog more than she needs me?’
And that honesty brings clarity.
Josie’s story is special in so many ways. She came to us during a presidential election that was absolutely do or die. She delivered her puppies, nurtured them, sent them off to great homes, then we discovered that her leg wasn’t broken after all, but the fungus had destroyed her shoulder. Amputation was the best choice.
We saw her through recovery, and adjustment to her medications for the Valley Fever. We wove her into our lives and loved her with all our hearts. Our dogs welcomed her and she truly became ours.
When I think about my time with Josie, I realize that she got me through this pandemic too. By focusing on her, I had a purpose. The isolation was so isolating. The conversations I had with strangers about my 3 legged dog, were necessary for us all to feel some sort of normalcy in a time that was anything but what we were used to.
Two days after I decided that she was mine and that she’d just stay with me forever, a family asked to meet her. They saw an old post and connected with her story. The first time they met her, they all clicked in a way that surprised me. I looked for reasons that it wouldn’t work and found none. The 2nd time they spent time with her, felt like we were all family. The trial overnight was full of happy, easy moments. The joy she brings to each of them, and the purpose they provide to her – it’s like she’s been their dog forever. And I know this is what she and I were holding out for.
Kindness, purpose, fun! Josie is home.
So when I match a dog with a prospective forever-home, I have to look at the facts and then follow my heart. This home has so much to offer Josie that I cannot. Josie has so much love to share with them.
My broken heart will mend.