With the help of my incredibly tolerant and kindhearted fiancé, we’ve been fostering dogs through Pet Haven in Minneapolis.
Our last Foster ended perfectly. Roxie found her forever home with an awesome couple who loves her, walks her, trains her and is setting her up for a healthy, happy life.
While I was so sad to see her leave, I was so excited for all that was to come in her life.
But that’s not the case for our most recent foster.
Today we had to surrender our foster dog, Missy. And I’m heartbroken. We’re incredibly disappointed that we couldn’t make the difference that we wanted to make. The difference that would save her from the shelter system and place her into a forever home…
Missy had been abandoned twice, unfairly and under false claims. We took her in believing it would be a great match and excited to help her find her place in this world.
Ultimately, we weren’t capable of offering her the help she needs while also maintaining a healthy environment for our own dogs. Long story short, we had to make the call that we couldn’t provide her what she needed to be rehabilitated and set her up for a successful adoption.
Then this morning, I was the one that abandoned her. I felt as though my heart was ripped out of my chest and was replaced with guilt and sadness. It’s the worst feeling I’ve felt in a long time.
Not for the Faint of Heart
I try to take an it’s-not-personal-it’s-business approach with animal rescue, but when you have a heart for animals, it’s extremely difficult to leave your emotions out of it. And, you see how well that worked out for me this time.
The truth? Our hesitation and delay in returning her to the shelter system is that she could likely become one of the 1.2 million dogs that are euthanized each year in the US shelter system. After all, she was on the euth list before we rescued her.
Nauseating… isn’t it.
Our hope now is that another rescue or adopter can step up to the plate, help rehabilitate Missy and live happy ever after. We pray it happens this way, although we are very aware of the reality of the situation.
So why do we rescue if it it’s so difficult? Well, saving lives takes work. And, even though we weren’t able to get the outcome we were hoping for, we still made a difference. A huge difference.
Missy went from being stuck in the shelter to living a good life for a while. She went running every morning, played with squeakers, chased squirrels (and cyclists 🙈), ate bananas, napped in the sun and stole my seat on the couch (and popcorn) while we binge-watched Suits.
So while it was a lot of work and caused some heart-break in the end, it was worth every bit of it. And, we will most certainly do it again.
For those of you still reading this, (thank you by the way), there is so much to be done!
- If you can adopt, please do.
- If you have pets, spay and neuter.
- If you have an extra dollar, donate!
- If you have time to volunteer, do!
- If the facts come as a shock, read up!
- If you feel touched, please share.
But mostly, keep that chin up. With an incredible amount of animal lovers out there, we can make this shelter situation better.
A Special Thanks to Activists
I am especially grateful for those out there doing so much for those in need and I am always inspired by the dedication that so many have to help others.
Whether dogs, cats, people or nature…whatever your passion is, thank you for being brave enough to make a difference.