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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Our Last Days

"Bear" is going home. And I might as well tell you his real name now, since hopefully by mentioning it, the people who work for vulnerable adults won't send the cops to my door:   his name is Grandpa.  Grandpa because he was the stud dog of a very evil breeder and saw many of his progeny come and go.

I've called him "Bear" here for many reasons, and yes, in real life I often, affectionately, call him "Grandpa-Bear", because in comparison to my dog, his grizzled face reminds me of a bear.

Late last night I got the news via voicemail, too late to call back.  Grandpa is being adopted by a woman who loves German Shepherds and has a special heart for senior dogs. The people who did the home visit (to verify she is not a hoarder, can properly care for a dog, etc) say that her dogs are very lucky;  they have their own couches, they will go to work with her (she is a veterinarian), and they live quite high on the hog, for dogs.  Doggie heaven on earth.

We couldn't have hoped for a better placement! Thanks for all who prayed....this is your answer!

But it is bittersweet, as I knew it would be.

I decided to foster because I know I am good with animals that have been abused and neglected. When this one came to me, he was skinny, stinky, weak, and fearful.

As he leaves my home and my hands, he is healthy, has been fed well, spoiled, likes belly-rubs and hugs (even "hugs" back if only to burp!), and has a personality that can bring a smile to a marble statue!  As far as his stinkiness...well....he's had a wonderful bath thanks to a generous donor, but there is something about male dogs....oy....they must need bathing more than sweet delicate females!  I think he already needs another one, but a good brushing will have to do!


God gives us gifts. Sometimes those gifts are only for a time. Remember the Parable of the Talents?

That's a perfect description of fostering a pet.  Grandpa came into my hands as a traumatized, underfed animal. He leaves my hands as a noble German Shepherd ready for a new home and a new life. He is in better condition now than he was when he arrived...and that's my job. That's the parable.

And it applies to EVERYTHING in our lives!

Yes, I'm going to miss my buddy, and I'm enjoying my last few days with him.

It's ironic, though. I gave up this and that for Lent, and realized some of the financial hardship in fostering is part of my lenten alms, for I don't have much to offer.  Yet...God has called me to give up Grandpa, and I find that to be far more draining than giving up sweets or potato chips.

And still...I have the sense that in this lenten almsgiving, I have gained a great deal more than I could EVER give up on my own.

As of noon on Saturday, he won't be "my" dog anymore, but he's going to a great home, and all I can do is thank God for the entire experience.


X said...

I'm so glad he is going to a good home! But I know you will miss him.

Charlene said...

Adoro, I am so happy that Bear has found a loving home. And yet my tears fall for you who were his guardian angel, and for us, your readers, who lived and loved Bear through your eyes. We will miss him. Thank you for sharing this noble creature with us. Thank you for your loving care of this precious dog. He leaves you knowing that he was and is loved. Thank you. Thank you.

Melody K said...

God bless you for taking the risk of fostering. I'm glad to hear he is being adopted now that he has been "rehabbed". The longer it went on, the harder it would have been for you to give him up. And of course it is better for "G-Bear" to have a forever home. Thanks for sharing his story with us.
And your own dog deserves a special treat, she aided in the effort even though it wasn't her idea to have another household member.

Mary N. said...

That's great news, Adoro! I was hoping they would find a good home for him, I was concerned about his age. I am sure that you will miss him and he will miss you, but he has learned from you that humans can be kind. He was blessed to have you and I know it must be hard to say goodbye. It sounds like he will be in good hands which must ease the pain of his leaving a bit.

The Ironic Catholic said...


You've done good!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vaya con Dios, Grandpa Bear! I'm so happy for him, sounds like he found a good home. Hugs for you here, my friend. I'm sure you are happy but sad at the same time.

Banshee said...

Oh, hurray!