The One That Got Away

8 Apr

One year ago I was 3 months pregnant.  My husband and I had also recently had a stretch of foster dogs who were all around 1.5 years old.  As far as I’m concerned a 1.5 year old, untrained dog, is just about the hardest foster dog.  You don’t know their history. You don’t know if they are misbehaving or if they simply don’t know better.  They have SO MUCH ENERGY.  Let me stress this again.  1.5 year old dogs have a LOT of energy!!  Especially pitbull-type dogs because they are an active breed. So, we took a mini-foster-break until we could get a foster puppy.  Puppies are not especially relaxing either, but they have their pro’s.  Mainly the fact that they are just so stinking cute.

Enter Rory. A tan, wrinkly-faced, wiggly-bottomed, puppy with oversized feet and a couple of adorably-white toes.

Rory.

The day we picked him up.

The day we picked him up.

Rory was beautiful, handsome, precious. I could go on and on.  Just look at him. He’s one adorable dog.  He also reminded me of my first-true-dog love, Hartley.

So cute.

So cute.

The first night we had Rory we had him in a crate in the room next to ours.  He cried ALL night long.  My husband and I took turns sleeping on the floor next to the crate.  My dog Chase occasionally got up, walked over to Rory’s kennel and nudged it.  I don’t know if he was offering sympathy or telling him to be quiet so he could sleep.  It was a long night.  We were clearly delirious from listening to the whining and from lack of sleep, because not once did it occur to us to move the crate in to our bedroom.  When our brain faculties returned to us the next day we tried this, and it worked like a charm.  Rory wanted to be near us.

Rory was a people dog.   He like Mylo and Chase, but his strongest desire was to be near his people.  When I let him out of his crate when I got home he would quickly potty, and then cling to my leg.  If I walked he walked as close to me as possible. He begged, with the cutest face and wagging tail, to be pet. He simply wanted to be adored.  He would eventually go play with the dogs, but he needed me first.

Rory was also a quick learner.  Because he wanted attention SO bad he was initially a jumper.  He learned that I wouldn’t pet him if he was jumping so as I walked around he scooted along on his butt trying to stay attached to my leg.  How cute?

Pet me please?!

Pet me please?!

Rory became very happy in our little family and I fell in love. Chase and Mylo liked him. Gene liked him. He was perfect.

Rory and Mylo

Rory and Mylo

Rory and Chase

Rory and Chase

The only thing that wasn’t perfect was that we had a baby on the way. Three dogs is always hard, and three dogs and a baby? I didn’t think we could do it.  We wouldn’t even all fit in a vehicle together.  How would I walk all three and push a stroller? Our house is so small, there wouldn’t be room for everyone.

I also struggled with the fact that Rory was SUCH a people dog.  Would he do better as the only dog in the house? He would certainly get more attention. Even before the baby, with three dogs, there was always a struggle for attention.

I knew that I couldn’t be a very good foster parent for Rory.  I wanted him too bad.  Even if, rationally, I knew that we couldn’t keep him, I wouldn’t ever think another family was good enough for him.

So, I made the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking decision to give him to another foster family.

I cried the entire 2.5 hour drive to drop him off with his new foster mom.  I remember my husband asking me “Do you really love the dog this much, or are these pregnancy hormone related tears?”   I wasn’t sure. I knew that Rory was perfect.  You don’t come across such a wonderful dog very often.  But I was pretty sure we were doing the right thing for everyone.

Last day with Rory

Last day with Rory

Rory’s new foster family also fell in love with him, and considered adopting him, but ended up letting him go to a wonderful couple who had no other dogs.

I’m happy he was adopted. And I hope he has an amazing life.  But I don’t think I’ll ever stop being sad that we couldn’t keep him.

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