Saying Goodbye Hank, Hello new family!

23 Oct

Last Sunday Hank and I took a road trip to Minneapolis to meet with 3 potential adoptive families.  Hank was excited and behaved amazing all day. As usual, everyone fell in love with him.

After a lot of discussion we decided that one of the applicants and her dog would make a really good family for Hank.  When she heard the news she sounded like she won the lottery.

Tuckered out in the car.

This left me making the drive home, with Hank curled up in my front seat, trying to accept that he’d be leaving me soon.  It hit me like a cannonball to the stomach.  He was going to be leaving me INCREDIBLY soon.  In a matter of DAYS.  Hank’s new mom had some paperwork to complete, but pending final approval she could take him as soon as possible.

Hank remained quite clueless, as dogs do, to the fact that he was getting a REAL forever home soon and therefore was unaware that he would be saying good-bye to our little family.   I, however, was well aware that I would soon be entrusting my baby to a new owner. I knew I should be happy, this is the goal of every foster parent, but I couldn’t be.  I had to accept that now it was too late to change my mind and keep him even if I wanted to.  He couldn’t be mine.  I worked on preparing myself for what I had to do. I tried to spend quality time with him and I attempted to soak up his contagious cheerfulness while I still had him, but it made me so sad. All of my insecurities and doubts played over and over in my head. What if he’s not happy there?  What if she doesn’t love him as much as I do?  What if he feels betrayed, abandoned and sad?  What if he gets injured, sick, or stolen?  I would soon have NO control over the rest of his life.  That’s a hard thing to accept when you love someone so much.

The days passed and soon it was Wednesday. On this day Hank’s new mom was approved for the Foster-to-Adopt program.

(When adopting from MN Pitbull Rescue adoptive families must first enter in to a foster agreement with the dog and attend 6 weeks of training courses.  After these courses the family can then choose to adopt or decide that the dog is not a good fit for them.  This foster-to-adopt program makes it possible for the rescue to watch the new family with the dog for an extended period of time before entrusting the rest of the dog’s life to them.  Learn more at www.mnpitbull.com.)

Knowing that people from the rescue would continue to see Hank for at least 6 weeks helped to ease my fears.  A little.

It was arranged for Hank and I to meet his new owner on Friday night.

I tried to tell Hank about his new owner.  I told him why I picked her and why I liked her and her dog so much.  I told him that I would always love him and that he would LOVE his new home.  I told him not to be nervous and not to worry about me; that I’d always remember him, but that he mustn’t be sad about not being with me anymore.  THIS is what he’s living for now, his new FOREVER home.

I said goodbye to Hank Friday night at 8 pm.  He went happily off with his new mom.  I endured a long drive home with teary eyes and a paradoxically broken, yet happy, heart.

Saying goodbye to my baby.

Hank is now enjoying his new life.  I don’t know if he misses me or not, but I know that even if he does he will quickly forget about his foster family and fall deeply in love with his new mom and his new sister.

Hanks new mom!!

I’m very happy that Hank got his “furever” home.  It’s every dog’s ultimate wish, and since it couldn’t be me I’m extremely happy with our choice.  And yet:

Hank,

Every night I lay in bed thinking about you curled up on the couch.  You should be there, but you aren’t.

I wait for the sound of your feet when I wake up and they never come.

I see pictures of your cute face and it brings tears to my eyes.

I miss you every second of every day.

Despite how much I miss him, and will continue to miss him, I feel SO lucky because his new mom sends me lots of updates and pictures.  I know how well he’s been doing since he left me and that makes it all worth it.

Hank and Diamond.

She says that Hank LOVES his new sister, Diamond, and that they sleep together every night.  Hank has a new cat sibling, and even met the horses this weekend.  Everyone at the farm already loves him, and his new mom says she can’t believe how well he’s fitting in already. He is a spoiled pup with his own new collars and leashes.  He has toys and dog beds all over the house and he gets to snuggle with his new mom and sister. As a foster mom you can’t hope for much more than that!

This is truly a wonderful ending to Hank and my story, and a beautiful new beginning for Hank and his new family’s story.  I will always remember Hank as my first Pitbull foster.  I will remember how he stole my heart and that he was one of the best dogs ever.

And now I can say that he is FINALLY someone’s beloved pet.

Hanks new family.

Congratulations Hank, there is no dog that deserves it more than you.  I hope to see you again, but if not I hope you have the best life ever.  You earned it.

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9 Responses to “Saying Goodbye Hank, Hello new family!”

  1. Danielle October 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    As a new foster for Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue, your last entry tugged at my heartstrings as well. McKenzie will be going to her forever home in 2 short weeks so I already feeling your pain.

    • pittiesforyourthoughts October 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      Oh Good luck Danielle! She is so cute. Thank you for being a foster!! It’s addicting, let me warn you 😦 Painfull and addicting.

  2. noodle21 October 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Beautiful dog! So glad he found such a good home!

  3. And Foster Makes 5 November 10, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    Tears! Not sure if we are enabling each other, or supporting one another… but I feel like my post today expressed all of the same fears. Thanks for sharing, and for making me feel much less insane for the range of emotions I am feeling!

    • pittiesforyourthoughts November 13, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      I go through an intense range of emotions with every foster dog. It never gets easier either and I’m on my 10th foster! But a week or so after they leave life returns to normal. You don’t forget about them, but you move on to another one and you remember that you are indeed doing a good thing. “A family that saves lives together, stays together” Hope you’re doing well with Georgia’s hopeful looming adoption!

  4. Marcela November 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Gorgeous dogs:)

  5. twoblackdoggies November 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Hank is a very handsome and incredibly lucky boy to have the love of two families, I am a failed foster and have not fostered since adopting my boy Bundy but I remembered the tears when the previous fosters got adopted. You’re doing such a wonderful thing.

    • pittiesforyourthoughts November 17, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Bundy is so cute. I can see how you failed!! Sometimes I wonder why I’m so addicted to fostering when it hurts so bad.. but it really is a wonderful kind of hurt 🙂 Thank you!

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