After careful consideration and a considerable amount of fence- sitting, Paul and I have decided to stick to our plan of adopting Hazel out. What really did it for me was this cartoon:
It literally broke my heart. More than the thought of saying goodbye to Hazel. It just sort of drove home the very reason we started doing this: to save dogs lives. To give a chance to a dog who, otherwise, might not have had one.
Having said that, I believe that Hazel could live a very happy life with us, and all of us could be very happy with her. She and Rocco are buddies, she and Savannah get along well, the cats are perfectly fine with her, Paul adores her and me….well, I just think she is amazing.
Hazel is easy, Hazel goes with the flow. She has come so far from the scaredy dog with no hair, who stunk to high heaven and left flakes of skin and her stench in her wake. Hazel loves laying in the sun, she loves to cuddle and she loves to lay on her own. Hazel is living proof that shelter dogs are not broken. She is the embodiment of resilience and everything we love about dogs. Joyful, mischievous, funny, loving and not perfect. Though, I have to admit, she is pretty darn close. Hazel has very few issues, and the ones she does have are completely workable…like car sickness. *We’ll be trying some ginger for this, and isn’t this EXACTLY what those seat covers were made for???*
Adopting Hazel out will give us the opportunity to save another life, and the reality is there will always be another life to save. And, for the one life we save, there will be many more that die in a shelter due to a completely treatable illness, like Hazel’s mange. I encourage anyone to foster. To say that it is life- changing is an understatement. It is life- affirming. I have never experienced anything that makes me more sure that I have a purpose and that my place in the universe is secure. I wondered for many years and through many experiences what the plan was, what the meaning was. And for me, this is it: to provide a safe place to land for a being in need. Is it easy? No. Is it always fun? No. But, it is rewarding in a way that I cherish and feel good about.
So….Foster. See an animal heal because you cared enough to do it. Watch a personality emerge because you nurtured it. Learn what an animal likes because you took the time to figure it out. Love an animal when someone else didn’t and feel your heart grow and stretch to a strength you didn’t know you had. And, then let go, and make room for the next one.
Each of our 3 temporary housemates have taught us something. Angie tested our patience and showed us that we had more than we thought. She taught me that each day should be greeted with kisses and enthusiasm. Jenga taught us about the value of silliness and boundless play and the value of gentle hugs given with soft eyes. Hazel….well, she just may be the one who really teaches us about love and letting go. She may be the one whose lesson to us is if you love someone, they will always be in your heart. No matter where they are. If they are in your heart…they are really never very far away.