Looking Back on 2010 – Betty

A new year is here.  We are a more than a week in.  I tried to write a summary of 2010 at the end of 2010.  Something to send out to the people who supposedly give a shit, but that I am somehow rarely in contact with, or whatever.  More than anything, a reminder to myself of what my year was like.

However, truth be told, as I went about the process of thinking about what I’d write about my year, I realized that most of it wasn’t anything I wanted to recall, and considering how bad 2009 was, that was really saying something.

But, there was one set of memories about 2010 that seemed semi worth putting down, and that was the fosters.

In 2009 we lost our beloved London to cancer.  That left us with the space and bandwidth to have another dog, but not the heart to commit to such a thing.  Instead we decided to try our hand at being fosters.

Our first foster was Betty.  She was young, less than a year old, and had ended up at the rescue clearly having recently given birth, but her litter did not come in with her.  No idea what became of them.   The rescue spayed her, and she came to stay with us, and we nursed her through her recovery.  She was thin, no surprise after puppies, and her hair was thin and falling out like nuts, also normal post litter.  Her leash manners were terrible, but a gentle leader kept that issue under control.  She also had some separation anxiety issues, which is such a chicken and egg issue when it comes to abandoned dogs.   Luckily she didn’t get destructive, but she’d scream and cry horribly.  She wasn’t housebroken either (most of the fosters are not), so between those two things it made the experience kind of rough at times.  She had two meetings with people who did not choose her, and then a couple came and they felt like the right people.  Sure enough, V, my contact at the rescue, let me know they had formally applied to adopt Betty.  All that was left was a home visit (the rescue does home visits to verify that the information about the living circumstances on the application is accurate).  V also had a good feeling about it, so she came to pick up Betty and go do the home visit.  If all went well, Betty wouldn’t be coming back to our house.

She didn’t come back.  So, our first foster dog found her family.  Time for us to rest, regroup and reflect.  It had not been easy.  Yes, we used to have two dogs of our own, and heck, that was a pain a fair amount of the time, but having two of our own is a ton easier than having one of our own, plus a random extra dog with her own set of baggage that we were not yet familiar with.  Also, it isn’t entire simple to provide a dog with enough love and support that you are helping them to be a better family pet, without developing some feelings on attachment, especially when you don’t know what the end date is.

For a week we just enjoyed the peace of a house returned to normal, other than our dog passively missing the stimulation a bit.  Then we had a family meeting to decide if we would do it again.  We agreed that it was worth doing again.

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