New Fosters on the way!

And boy, am I looking forward to them!

The rescue I do most of my fostering for is largely based in the South and has been a little quiet of late, and I have a friend who volunteers for a rescue that is a little closer to home. They’ve recently been the recipients of an influx of mice, and so we’ll be raising a cageful of them beside that our spoiled, er, rather, our reasonably indulged hamster, Yeti.

I’ve had pet mice before and always enjoyed them so I’m looking forward to these little additions. Expect photos!

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The eyes that look back

Today I talked to my Nana, with whom my dog Eppy went to live when I moved countries. It was supposed to be temporary, but the world turned and life did its thing, and it became a permanent situation. We did a video chat on Skype as we sometimes do, and I could see Eppy at her feet where she used to sit at mine. And my heart twisted.

It’s selfish of me to feel sad when I see that she is happy and healthy and loved where she is, I suppose. She was one of the few creatures in the world with whom I could be selfish… the few with whom I could Be, period, and there was no expectation of Do, no laundry list of all the ways I’d failed them. I have shared and do share my life with wonderful people, but in human relationships, there is so much of ourselves that get in the way of being ourselves. Dogs always know who they are, and who you are, and to them, that is enough.

When I made the decision, ultimately, not to import her, it tore me in half, but all I could think was that for ten years, she gave me, unflinchingly, what I could never find in even my closest human relationships, and it seemed like a selfishness I could not risk to put her through a commute that might well be the end of her, only the chance to have her back. The price might be her life, and it was too high. She saved mine, and I wouldn’t play the lottery with hers. She’s with someone she’s known her whole life who loves her. I feel… alone, in a way I had forgotten I could feel.

I don’t want to go back. I’m free here in ways I wasn’t there. But I still struggle with a lot of the same demons (like anxiety and depression) and now nobody has kisses for my tears, no steadying paw against my leg, no presence on the end of the bed. Everything is always changing too fast for me to keep up. My parents might not live in the house I grew up in much longer, the place where we lived through my little sister’s birth, life, and death. It is possible I will never see it again. The life I knew isn’t there anymore. There’s no going back, only forward. So I face the future, only to find that it doesn’t look like anything at all, not yet. I haven’t created it yet. I keep looking down just to avoid the formless emptiness my steps relentlessly drive me toward.

I think it’s time to be selfish again. I’m ready. I’m so ready for there to be eyes to look into while I’m keeping my gaze trained at my feet. It’s hard to keep taking those steps forward… but I can’t go back, and I’m sure as hell not stopping here.

All of which is to say, I’m in the market for a dog now. Going to hope for that foster fail, and I’ve got my eye on other rescues too.

Moving on…

Ellie was moved to another foster home after she recovered. She’s a swell girl and we were sad to see her go but things have been changing around here and we aren’t able to meet her needs at this time. I have been quiet here on the blog because of the changes… I’ve preferred to spend some time contemplating before making a new post.

We’re definitely still fostering but taking a breather for now. We’ll have another when things are less hectic and we’re able to devote more time! I’m busy and frankly, overwhelmed, and starting to really feel it. The stress relief of having a dog around is pretty well negated by the stress of responsibility for acclimating a new dog into our home.

We’ve learned a lot from Baxter and Ellie that I’m looking forward to taking into our new experiences with all the fosters to come. I’m also learning more about myself as a dog owner and my preferences for what doggie traits fit and don’t in our life, which is helpful in taking in foster dogs we are sure to succeed with as well as helping me find types to consider for our future forever dog. And someday when we do have a dog of our own again, that dog will help us raise our fosters!

So there will be more posts (and hopefully, more regularly than this), but for now I would consider the blog on hiatus as much as our fostering… simply because there isn’t as much to talk about without the patter of little paws around the place. 😉

Ouches!

Ellie's belly

Poor little Ellie. She’s got a serious sob story to tell and has been keeping us nice and worried since she got here! She had to have surgery right away after being pulled from the pound and when she came to us those bumps were all little abscesses caused by her stitches. She’s on antibiotics and healing slowly but surely. She is in need of some serious spoiling.

In the meantime, Ellie is very forgiving about the daft things humans do, and as you can see here she is 2 legit 2 kwit:

cool hat

Emergency Serendipity

Well, we were hoping for another dog! A pity it happened in such sad, dire circumstances. But for now, the pitter patter of clawed feet once again chases the silence from our flat.

Ellie on the couch

We don’t know very much about her. I got an urgent call that we had an emergency and this dog needed moving, stat. So I said “sure” without much hesitation. It was only with time that the doubts mounted, but I felt way too much concern for the whole situation to back out. “We’ll take her on and see how she does,” my partner and I decided, “and if for some reason it’s not working out we’ll ask to have her moved.”

So that’s that. Trial period with a dog called Ellie. So far so good! She’s very laid back in the house and sleeps most of the day. Much more our speed at the moment than the energetic puppy, that’s for sure! As long as she’s okay being left while we’re at work and nothing crops up out of the blue that we can’t handle, it looks like we’ve got another foster!

The Empty Space

Lately I have really been missing my dog. I mean, I miss her every day, but I go through times when it is worse than usual. Eponine (Eppy to her friends) left a very big space in my heart and life. It sits broad and empty across my soul like a wound in her absence, waiting to be healed and not sure what could heal it now that I’ve discovered I won’t be able to import her.

We’re still in touch with the rescue and determined to remain active helpers, but we may have to wait a while before our next foster, much as it kills me. Between our financial concerns and the current state of our schedules (fella’s back in uni and I’m taking on some classes as a model again), it would take a very strategically laid-back foster dog to make things work. The empty flat is as quiet as the grave. I don’t walk much anymore. My arms are empty. The bed is colder.

And of course, as is not always, but frequently, the case in these times… rescues that would be fabulous dogs for me are coming out and I can’t do anything about it. Our rescue has two dogs that are making me eat my heart out over my inability to apply for them. One in particular is a 7 year old long haired Chi who looks a little bit like Eppy (I admit to a certain partiality toward Papillons and Chihuahuas when it comes to dogs I want to own as opposed to dogs I want to foster, which is more flexible, and dogs I admire, which is nearly all dogs) and sounds as though his personality was tailor made for our needs. For the heck of it I got on Petfinder the other night, thinking it would be harmless fun because I’m not even in the right country to be of any use to any of the dogs… and of course found a little black Chi girl who has been returned to the rescue (!) even though she’s tiny (which a lot of people seem to really like, and I’m not going to lie the tinies tug my heartstrings in the cute department), adorable, and sounds utterly perfect– so she doesn’t like other dogs or kids, and wants to cuddle rather than play? It just so happens that we don’t want kids and almost never see kids, are a one-dog household, and cuddling is the national sport in our house. It can be surprisingly hard to find dogs like this. It’s so easy to find dogs that are active and drivey, less easy to get hold of sensitive cuddlebugs that want to do tricks and spend a lot of time being handled, which are my favorite pastimes. Her eyes… my insides twisted in a knot. That’s what I get for even looking. Petfinder is dangerous.

We really can’t though. Between the money concerns, the current instability of our lives, and the fact that the flat only allows us one dog and I want to keep fostering, we really can’t have a dog of our own until circumstances change a little. Once he’s done with uni, we can get better jobs and move somewhere more pet-friendly.

In the meantime, I think of her and the empty space sits there, and waits.

New Home For Baxter!

 

Here he is on his way! We’re so ecstatic for him. I never thought he would have missed other dogs around so much but he must have, because I’ve never seen him so happy as he was playing with Pickle (the lovely girl on the right, and my goodness what a resemblance!). He seems to just adore her. The couple were very very nice. I’m hoping for lots of happiness for all of them for years to come.

Going into the house after was a strange thing. It’s so… QUIET.

Scuttlebutt from the rescue is that we have a new foster waiting for us when we  get back from our holiday– an older dog this time. I’m looking forward to it!