The home checker from the rescue came over, and we had a lovely chat about our pets and Davy and I told her how we would take care of a pet here, and she was very kind. As I wait for the results I find myself seized with unexpected emotional upheaval. Are we doing the right thing? Will this be what we were missing since the death of our benevolently tyrannical hamster? Or will we end up with a string of lovable home-eating terrors and fail people and animals we’ve made promises to, when we felt so confident before?
Even though I have raised or helped to raise puppies, kittens, chickies, bunnies, baby mice, and all manner of delightful animals of various descriptions before, this feels different. I suppose it’s the question of judgment that somehow makes me question myself. Before, animals were either purchased, or adopted from places that weren’t very thorough, or rescued from the street or given to us by someone who no longer cared what happened after. But now we are under the friendly scrutiny of people who have definite ideas about where they want their foster dogs to go. Before, it was all about picking out a name and a new bowl, or getting the fleas and inexplicable weird substances washed off. There wasn’t really any time to think about being a carer or about my ability to take on the task, just the moment of being there and taking the action because it needs to be done, or else of making the decision to add to the household and then going about the business of executing it.
And so now I am at leisure to let my imagination run wild. I’m no slouch as a pet owner but am a novice trainer. What if the dog has some personality or behavior I’ve never come across before that I somehow can’t fathom how to handle? What if he can’t adjust to the change in home? If they refuse us, will they tell us why? Or will be left forever wondering if we came off as terrible people?
Ultimately, of course, the shelter’s decision will certainly have good reasons either way and it doesn’t diminish my personal commitment. But I’ve never been so apprehensive about taking on a single dog (on a temporary basis, no less!) in all my life. My tendency to be reflective and analytical can be very useful, but the way it can feed my various insecurities, I could do without, especially considering how difficult the task of quashing said insecurities is already. It’s something Eppy always helped me out with, but she isn’t here. It’s up to me now to remind myself what I’m made of.
The answer, mercifully, should be soon.