You may have seen the question in the title of this post before, or seen bumper stickers or tee shirts that say something like it, or “My adopted dog (cat) rescued me.” I have asked myself this question many times before and always think that as much as I may have helped an animal, really, my life has improved for having helped.
Since I brought my very first dog home, the animals I have had the privilege of knowing have improved the quality of my life in ways that are hard to measure. They make me laugh, they teach me patience, they cause me to think about things other than myself and my own selfish problems and they have time and time again, taught me compassion.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, both Paul and I love our foster dog, Jenga to the moon and back. Most of those same people think we are going to end up keeping her. We are not. For a few reasons. While there will never be another Jenga, there will always be another dog in need like she was. No doubt about that. I long for the day when that is not the case, but, today is not that day. If we keep Jenga, it will be purely selfish. I know that…and I also know that I won’t be able to live with myself if we are selfish about this. It is not the time for us to add a permanent dog to our household. And, that’s ok. We will miss her like crazy, but, we feel totally confident that she is going to the right people and will live the life of love that she deserves. We met Samantha and Dave yesterday, and once they are settled into their new home, Jenga will go live with them. *I am crying as I type this* Paul and I agreed that they are the right fit for her….young, excited about having her come live with them, moving into a very dog-friendly area and, did I say excited? Not just about getting a dog…but, excited that the dog is Jenga.
In case I haven’t sung Jenga’s praises enough, you need to know that I think she might be the most amazing dog I have ever met. She is a sport about everything, has the funniest little quirks (like her little dancing routine when she gets excited, the whole bathroom rug thing, the hugging, the sleeping face to face thing, the way she literally throws herself into a “down”, the way she tries to squeeze into the front seat of the car….I could go on and on) and has an unbelievably resilient spirit. It blows my mind on a daily basis that someone let this dog go. That someone didn’t see how worthwhile she is. She amazes me and it has been a gift to have her live in our home, even if for just a short time. I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to her, but, I am looking forward to passing the torch to the people who will give her the best life possible. Clearly, this dog deserves to be able to play in a dog park with dogs who actually want to play with her and not forever disappointed because the grumpy old dogs here, nor, the very tolerant cats don’t respond to her enthusiastic play bows!
Here’s a picture from yesterday when Samantha & Dave came to meet Jenga at the park 🙂 It should be noted that she very enthusiastically went off for a walk with them without even looking back at us. And, obviously she gave them hugs, because that’s how you always greet people you just met, right? 😉 I’m so excited for all of them.
In other GREAT news, Paul’s Pen Pal, Taz went into foster care yesterday with the friend of another volunteer. This was such great news, because Taz is a truly fantastic dog, who had a hard time at the shelter, getting pretty sick fairly soon after arriving. On Saturday, Paul and I gave him a bath and his reward for being such a sport about it was a Kong stuffed with goodies and I swear I have never seen a dog so happy with something in my life! He carried that thing in his mouth for like 15 minutes, tongue hanging out the other side, relishing in it before he decided to eat the noms it held. Taz was Paul’s second Pen Pal and I am so glad it was another success for him 🙂 Here’s the handsome guy on Saturday!
And, finally, because Taz had gone into foster care in the morning…we took Hova to the event at Pennypack Park yesterday. He proved to be an excellent replacement. The crate was not put together completely, so he escaped into the back of my brother’s car. But, we got to the event safely with the only damage being a chewed off finger on a leather glove. Hova took it upon himself to literally make out with me for the last few minutes in the car, and I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t get him to stop. He was great at the event…learned “sit” and “look”, met some kids and a few horses, wanted to be BFF’s with Jenga and enjoyed the freedom of a few hours out to pee everywhere with wild abandon 🙂
It’s been a pretty damn good week 🙂 But, don’t forget…all dogs are always urgent at the shelter. Even if you can’t adopt or foster….you can share!! Tell your friends, share Facebook posts…every single action you take towards saving an animals life counts! Do it today!! You may just save the next Jenga, simply by clicking the share button on Facebook. You will never feel better about having done a simple thing! Visit the Philly Urgents page on Facebook! And, now kitten season is upon us….so spread the word about all the great cats and kittens, too, please!!