Empty Bowl

Lacey was adopted Saturday. While I’m happy she found a great, active family who will love her, I’m devastated for myself. When she hopped in their car and didn’t look back, I just broke. I know this is part of fostering. I’ve been doing this for a year and a half. It’s always hard when I adopt out a foster. I always cry. Then again, I cry at furniture commercials. But this was different.

I heard about Lacey back in October when our foster coordinator texted me her picture and asked if I wanted to foster  a preggo lab who was being kept in a cold auto shop garage. Obviously, my immediate answer was yes. Just looking at her picture, I felt a connection. I have a soft spot for mommy dogs but there was something about her. I couldn’t stop worrying about her and I hadn’t even met her yet. I just knew in my heart we were meant to be in each other’s lives.

She ended up having her 8 puppies way sooner than expected and luckily we found a two week foster down in Georgia since the whole fam was sleeping in a 30 degree freezing garage. They finally made their way up to me the second week of November. Lacey was ridiculously skinny, but taking such good care of her babies. They were so tiny. The second I got them all in my house and settled, Lacey just collapsed on the floor, buried her head in my lap, and slept. Instant connection.

Fostering 8 puppies was the craziest thing I have ever done. But I got through it and everyone was adopted, except for Lacey. She had amazing prospects, but we kept getting disappointed. I told myself when she arrived that even though I loved her at first sight, she couldn’t be mine. But I started getting attached. I cooked her 4-5 homemade meals a day to help her gain weight, looking ridiculous as a vegetarian trying to make bacon and liver. She came to me completely untrained, having constant accidents in the house, and always trying to escape. I I forced myself to not get too attached the first couple months. I had other families lined up for her. But when those fell through… I just couldn’t pretend I didn’t love her. She was so stressed out when I was gone for Christmas and then just bounded into my arms when I picked her up.  I saw her blossom and it inspired me to want to be better, too.

I miss how she would push her head under my arm to get pets and just flop down on the floor when she was tired. I know she deserves better and needs a great, active family, but a big part of me needs her. When I adopted Truly, she got me out of my hole and pushed me to be a better person. She got me back into school, back on my career path, and got me excited to get up and do good. But part of me feels like I’ve stalled out. And Lacey came to me during that time of treading water and started to inspire me to reach higher. Push myself to be the best I could be in all areas of my life. Get me out of my house and on my own, get Truly and I active with more walks and outings, and strengthen my commitment to life. Without her, I feel lost. I feel stuck. I feel like I can’t push forward. Yes, I have Truly and she is my heart and soul. But she isn’t tugging at her leash to go for a walk. My mom isn’t threatening to kick me out over her peeing on the carpet again. Lacey was my reason to stand up and really take a leap.

I’ve felt like complete crap the past three days. It’s like my body just took all the stress from work, school, and losing Lacey and decided to shut down my immune system and make me me want to puke constantly.

People keep saying adopting her out is “selfless”. Damnit, I want to be selfish.

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