She sat apart from her littermates at OFOSA. Always calm and sitting patiently. I spent that entire day walking past her periodically. I think I might take that fluffy one home. The other volunteer showing me the ropes kept commenting on how sweet she seemed to be. Yeah, I think I'm going to take her home with me. She's adorable, well-behaved and sure to be adopted quickly - the perfect first foster. And so she went home.
I both did not know what to expect and had some firm expectations. I expected Maggie to lose patience with a puppy. I expected Sadie to mother her from the get-go. I expected both of them to show some jealousy - Sadie because of attention, Maggie due to toys. I had no idea how I would give her up to her new family. I had also forgotten how much work puppies were.
Maggie showed an amazing amount of patience, even letting the puppy steal her ball. Let me repeat...my ball-obsessed girl let a 20 lb puppy steal her ball....over and over again. Both of them gave up their bones....over and over again. Have I mentioned what amazingly awesome dogs I have? They exceeded my wildest expectations. It's one thing for TJ to consciously consider and consent to becoming a foster family; it was another thing altogether for my girls, who have no idea what is going on, to accept and adapt so quickly and effortlessly. I know it will not always be like this. Mostly because I won't always pick the easiest dog there ever was to foster. But my girls shined. I expect to love each and every one of my fosters. I had never considered how this experience deepens my love for my own girls. A truly unexpected benefit!
So Sadie doesn't have many mothering instincts. I totally had that one wrong. Or maybe it was because the puppy took to Maggie like a shadow. When she wasn't trying to steal shoes.
I apologize for a lack of pictures. I will someday master the art of perfectly timing photography of these wiggly perpetual motion machines while not allowing them to destroy my house. Maybe. I had forgotten how puppies get into everything...chew everything....get into places you forgot small puppies could get into...cry....whine....nibble...bite. I hadn't forgotten how sweet puppy kisses are though. There's definitely a reason for that.
She woke me up at 3:30am this morning. Was curled up on my chest by 4am giving me gentle kisses and then thankfully napping for several more hours. By noon, I was watching her cuddle up to her new family.
It was a bit easier giving her up than I had thought. Part of it was because it was a short four days. But also because I knew she was never really mine. Someone asked me this week how I could ever give her away. I told her it was because I was just borrowing her. OK...mostly it was easier because it was so short. I know this is going to get harder with longer term fosters. We were just getting into our groove-thang.
She now has a little girl and boy to love her to death. And I have an empty space in my house - one that belongs to my next foster.