So-Yesterday was the day I said goodbye to Lilly, my foster dog of almost 7 months. It was almost a 2 hour drive to her new forever home. Her new family seems very nice, and I'm sure they will love her. But (and there's always a but), will they love her as much as I do?
I know it sounds selfish, but you never think anyone is going to love your dog (whether it's a foster or your own), they way you can. And so when I left her yesterday, I could barely control the tears driving home, the tears last night, and still more this morning. I am like a hysterical train wreck. It's embarrassing that I feel like a foster failure because I am sitting her sobbing as I write this. I didn't think I would feel as sad as I do. I didn't think I would mope around the house looking at all the places she used to lay and play. I guess I just didn't think I would be missing her so much. I didn't see it coming. I expected to feel so happy. I thought to myself that I would miss her, but that it would fade and I would be happy. But now I can see she has stolen my heart forever....
The photo above is from the first day she was out of the shelter and on nice fresh grass at Gloria's house before coming to mine.
I have had fosters before. But for some reason this one feels so different. She is the longest foster I have ever had. So I'm sure that is the reason for my deep sadness. But I think more than anything, is that I am feeling a HUGE hole in my heart where Lilly used to be.
Spending every day and night with her, and nursing her back to health builds a special bond. I think that having seen the awful puppymill she came from, and the awful shape she was in, made me want to hold her even closer and tell her it would all be okay. It made feel protective of her. I don't think I will ever think there is a home good enough for her. That is the problem.
She was like a new dog when she went to her new home. I wonder if she is missing me? I wonder if she feels as though I have abandoned her? Will she always remember me?
I didn't think I would be the one with all the pain. I thought she would be. But her new mom says she is doing fine. I said this in an earlier blog, and it holds true. "People often tell me that they couldn’t foster because it would be too hard. But really, the fostering part is not hard at all. It is very rewarding and fulfilling. It’s the giving up part that is hard. Would I pass up the 7 + months of joy that I’ve had with Lilly because I’m about to have 1 or 2 weeks of sadness? No way! And really, when you think about it, isn’t the best part of any relationship the “falling in love” part ? So yes, I will cry for three or four days and probably my other dogs will go off wondering where she went. But, in the big picture, Lilly will just be gone from my house and not gone from the world as she would have been had she not been saved. She will not be gone from my heart".
This whole morning I have been questioning my decision about leaving Lilly in her new home. I have conjured up all kinds of thoughts in my mind about not making the right choice. Do not get me wrong. The new parents and family are nice. But again, will they love her and care for her the way I did? I am always going to wonder and I am always going to worry. Somewhere in my mind I have this false hope that they will call me and tell me to come get her. Part of me wants them to call and say, "please take her back because it's not working out". So here I sit today, waiting for the phone to ring, missing my little girl. I am wishing her happiness in her new home, but I'm still going to have some hope in my mind that she will come back to me soon....
I love you Lilly and I always will.