Friday, April 9, 2010

Tears of Joy and Sadness-Missing Lilly Faith

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.


  1. Dear Foster Mommy Mel,

    I like my new foster family, they are very nice and I have a nice place to live. I am a very lucky girl. But I miss YOU TOO! And I will never forget everything you did to save my life! You will also have a special place in my heart!

    Lily Faith xo

  2. That is so precious-- and yes, I surely understand how you feel. I have cried as I have let them go, I have grieved as I worried. That's why the new families staying in touch with me is such a gift-- so thank you to all of them for doing that. Thank you to all who encourage us and give us the strength to do it all again. That's what we do-- love them, help them, let them go. Yes, it's hard-- I understand.

  3. I understand just what you are going through.... It's why I haven't been very good at getting my two Peke fosters out there and showing them to the public because I don't want to let them go. We fall in love and then we have to let go. The call to be a foster parent is both a blessing and a curse. For we save the lives of so many and are are rewarded for it in seeing their joy, but the ones we work so hard to rehabilitate are not meant to be with us forever. We have to let go. And it hurts. But we have to remember the great change for the good that we have made in their lives. And that makes the pain worth enduring...

  4. I couldn't foster or I'd end up with a ton of animals or forever cry. I think this girl is meant to be with you forever, Melanie...I think that is pretty obvious by the love you all share. I am happy she is back, even though a ton of work, it is very much worth it! Suz