I've put off writing this week because of stupid emotions for this little girl...
Here's the story:
On Tuesday I spoke with a woman (Gloria) about the possibility of adopting Lucy. First of all...someone wants to adopt Lucy! that's HUGE! and although I had already made the decision that she could go soon, and also the decision not to keep her, I don't think I was prepared for someone to fall from the sky and ask if they could have her. This is where Divine Intervention comes into play...after speaking with her for awhile and finding out her history in life...it just made sense. Because of Gloria's journey through life, she had all the makings of who Lucy needs. This is a woman that will let Lucy be who she is and let her continue to develop in her own time. She will nurture her, love her and be dedicated to her needs and care...and understands her...who could ask for more?
But I still had a little nagging bug in my head asking if I could really let her go. I reminded myself that my purpose is to care for and love these animals until the proper home is found for each one. It is not my job to keep them. Realistically, although Lucy has lived with me as my own, making this a 3 dog family, I'm really not interested in owning 3 dogs. Plus, I've always said, if I own 3, that will take up a space for a foster dog to be able to come in.
So after speaking with Gloria for awhile we went ahead and set up a time for Thursday for her and her partner, Tom, to come meet Lucy. My intention was to have them 'visit' like they were friends. I wanted Lucy to feel comfortable and not feel like she was 'on the spot' needing to perform or be a certain way.
For two days I thought really hard about this decision. This couple would be driving over 2.5 hours to visit her, not take her home, but visit her. If I changed my mind about keeping her, there's no way I could do that AFTER they came. I talked a lot about it with friends and R. to get it off my chest. I cried a lot about it because of her silly little face and innocence and Lucyisms, like stealing my socks every morning -- all of these things I would miss.
Fortunately, Thursday was a nice enough day to be able to sit outside and just be. If we stayed in the house, I was afraid that Lucy wouldn't come out of her crate. We talked about things -- dog things, people things, blogs (she's a fellow blogger) food, trips, disease...and that we did, for 3 hours. In between, they were both open to and encouraging my annoying little needy nudgey boy Hanzie. He's a jealous little fella that wants all the attention on him...and they gave it to him. They let him sit on their laps, they petted him, and talked to him. In between they'd put their hand out for Lucy if she came near....and she did. That was one thing I wanted to see. Lucy is more herself when she is outside, she's braver, happy, funny. And although she was timid, she wasn't afraid...well, until she heard a noise or a leaf fell on her head. It's all new to her. I wanted this couple to understand that she is a 4 year old that is learning life as if she is a puppy.
One thing Gloria suggested was that Lucy has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) Hit the nail on the head. Due to her work with VETS and handicapped people, she is familiar with emotional destruction....and Lucy has had emotional destruction. The blindness was one thing, but it was the emotional havoc endured being a puppy mill dog for 3+ years. It's almost amazing even, to see that she is a happy dog, that she is curious, that she does want to be a part of life.
As we sat and talked, Lady was laying in the yard and I saw Tom becoming a little enamoured with her. She's a good girl, quiet, an observer. Tom liked this I could tell. A couple hours after being here, I needed to go inside for a sweater. I was getting chilly, but I also wanted to give them a chance to talk amongst themselves so they could decide if this is the dog they really wanted. I came back out, sat down, and Gloria says...."would we be able to take two dogs?" with a sheepish grin. Yes, they wanted Lady, too. Funny thing is, the night before they came, a picture came to my mind that they would want both dogs. Yup, my psychic side had kicked in and I didn't realize it until they asked. First of all, they liked her, and second (and I love this part) they thought it might be good for Lucy to not only have a canine companion but to also have a dog with her that she is familiar with. Hoorah!
Lucy and Lady did not go home with them on Thursday because Lucy has an upcoming eye vet appt. and I didn't want to release her until I found out what medications she'd still be on and when her next visit would be. I was grateful for this because I've needed time to really be set with it. I needed time to adjust. It's amazing what one little 16 pound creature can do to your heart. I've never been this attached to a foster dog. It often seems so silly to me, but then I am reminded by friends that have seen her from the beginning, that have been with me through countless phone alarms going off in one day to give her her eye drops, the many trips back and forth an hour each way to the vet's office, to dealing with the heartache of at one point thinking I had to put her down, to seeing her progress after she got full sight. They remind me, the dedication I've had to her, and they are not surprised when they see me question my decision or when they see my tears. I think they are a little surprised to find out that I am letting her go, but then on the flip side, will say how wonderful it is for Lucy, a dog that we thought might never get adopted due to her inability to be a 'normal' household dog.
It is good for her. She will get walks, she will get attention, she will get love. She will have devoted owners. She won't have to deal with crazy foster dogs screwing up her energy. She will have dog neighbors to play with. It is good, and I know it's the right decision, and I know I will really be fine. I've had significant loss in my life, and this is just a fraction of those, but it hurts anyway, and I know I'll get to the other side...because you just do, and you move on, and you get some other crazy little love in your house that you have to take care of...and you have to live your life. Part of that living for me is trying to make my life a little simpler (my friends laugh at that statement) but I am trying to simplify. Having 3 dogs of my own and then foster dogs, too? that's not simple.
Before writing this today, I saw that Gloria posted a comment on one of the Lucy posts, and she wrote:
"Denise I understand you and lucy have been through a lot and I commend you for the outstanding care and love you have given her. Lucy's ordeal has been far more than physical but emotional. You definitely bond with animals like you do to your new born so I understand letting go of Lucy will be somewhat emotional for both of you so I promise I will do all that I can to make her feel safe and loved. I will also continue a blog, along with pics of both Lucy and Lady so you can keep abreast on their latest accomplishments and life events.
Thanks for all you do for these pets in need, it takes a special person with a lot of heart to do what you do everyday."
She is sweet...she understands. I thought that I'd be able to keep in touch, I hoped that she would put Lucy on her blog so I could see what was happening. I'm glad to see that this is possible.
Lucy will be going to her new home next week. Lady will be joining her. One day I will stop crying. This is all good, really good.
Enjoy your weekend. Have a celebratory toast to Lucy.
Those that have followed her story, supported me through this test....thank you.