Tonight I took the leap and filled in an application for a rescue dog. Perhaps this is a sign of early dementia. Perhaps I a losing my complete sense of judgment. Goodness knows I have enough to be responsible for without taking in a rescue dog. But after years without a dog, I am at least considering adding a dog to our household.
I have friends and relatives who have taken rescue dogs, some many times. Most of my pets have been animal shelter pets of debatable origins and mixtures. But it is has been years since I took in a new four legged critter. BOY have things changed!
I clicked on the "looking to adopt" page and seeing several available dogs that were of interest to me. What appeared next was an application form almost as long as the foster parent application I filled out to foster children! There were the endless questions about my personal history, my theories of raising the prospective family member, how I would care for it, provide medical and dental care, how I would discipline, etc. etc. There were required references, a home visit, and trial period and more. What happened to the days when you went into the local shelter, walked from cage to cage looking for the dog or cat that touched your heart? If you found one, you likely walked out with it that day or very shortly afterward.
I began thinking about all the similarities between fostering children and fostering rescue dogs. Pain, trauma, neglect, abandonment all leave emotional and sometimes physical scars regarless of how many legs you have. You need time to adjust to a new home, often act out, are slow to bond, test limits, and more whether you have a tail or not. Every one needs safety, needs love, and needs security before they can learn to trust again. Everyone deserves a home that allows them to grow, to experience joy. So here is a salute to all the wonderful, caring people who foster and rescue any of God's creatures, regardless of species.
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.