Ebbie gets a home plus an Annie update
My sister has a new member in her family!! Ebbie came home on March 1st. I am so excited for her.
As she told me about Ebbie’s foster owner, I was reminded of my goodbyes with Annie this January. It is the hardest part of fostering, the trusting another to do the work of taking care of an animal you’ve grown to love, and the saying goodbye. I saw myself as my sister described how the woman who had cared for Ebbie gave her all her favorite things – her crate, her bed, her collar, her leash. We who foster love these dogs and want to give them a part of us when they leave. We forget that we’ve given them the greatest gift of all by simply being willing to open our homes to them when they are at their worse. I think of all the fosters I’ve gotten and how dirty they all are when they arrive. How badly then need a bath, and how much they smell. How they are full of fleas, worms, ticks. How scared they are, and distrustful, and angry or shy. How long it takes some of them to warm up. The significance of that first time they come to you for just a pet, a little comfort brings tears to your eyes. When they start trusting you and reaching out for you, then you know they are ready to go. And that is what is so hard – saying good bye right when they are ready to love again. You tell yourself that they will love their new family and it is true. But you never get to have that love yourself. That’s why the work feels so selfless – it’s all about giving and then someone else gets all the good stuff. And that is also why it is SO IMPORTANT to let the foster homes of your pets know that they are doing well, that they are loved and loving back. That is the only stuff we get that is real and tangible.
So, tonight Annie’s foster home called me. Coincidence? It was great to hear that she is doing well, respecting her dog and people family and still up to her usual intensity about fetching her Kong. To hear that matter of fact tone in her new owner’s voice when she said, “oh yeah, she’s doing great” was so reassuring. We send these little guys out there with the best of intentions but we all need that reassurance – that we’ve done good, got it right, and things are better now for everyone.