Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mixed Emotions

I am foster-less.

I got word on Thursday that Lissa was going to a new foster home.  I was immediately worried.  Did I fail?  Did I not do enough for her, did I share her problems too much which maybe sounded like complaining?  How would this affect her, would she feel abandoned again?

Not to mention in the last two weeks we had started to bond and Lissa had been making some improvements.  In fact, at night she would lay at my chair with my bare feet resting on her back! 

Arrangements were made for her to be picked up by Michael yesterday morning.  I learned that he has three Greyhounds, one of which was Lissa's brother who came to him in the same condition Lissa was and that he has come out of his shell under Michael's tutelage.  I felt better, but still worried about her.  Especially after the Animal Communicator's reading telling me that Lissa felt abandoned.

On Friday night before bed I told her about the changes that would be happening.  That she would be with her brother and this would be a good thing and that it will most likely turn out to be her 'forever' home.  But I still felt sad and concerned for her.  

Saturday morning when I got her breakfast she was shaking which made me feel even worse.  "She know's", I thought, "and she's scared".  Then something really odd happened.  She started playing.  Jumping in the air and galloping toward me AND.....bumping my cheek with her nose!  Not just once, but half a dozen times she did this!!!  And I felt even worse.  She likes me and she's leaving me and it's really going to upset her world all over again.  It felt awful.  Good, but awful.  

My feelings however, all changed at 10am Saturday when Michael knocked on my door.  He  brought with him Alli, one of his Greyhound girls that is an extremely nurturing dog and had helped bring Ian, Lissa's brother out of his shell.  Alli walked in the door like she owned the place, Michael stood back and Alli and I headed to the living room where Lissa was.  

OH MY GOODNESS!  Lissa took one look at Alli, jumped up toward her wagging her tail in greeting.  She was so happy to see one of her kind!  So happy and focused on Alli, that Lissa barely paid any attention to Michael as he sat down on the couch. 

Alli and dad

We sat and talked for about a half hour, discussing Lissa's problems, her routine and so forth.  Then, Michael suggested we go for a walk with the girls!  A walk....I can barely get Lissa out the door to the yard to go to the bathroom much less a walk.  

I leashed up both girls however, and headed out the door.  As usual, Lissa didn't want to go but Alli was out the door right away.  Finally Lissa decided it must be ok since Alli and I were on the other side of the door waiting for her.  Off we went with Michael behind.  Lo and behold, we ended up walking around several blocks before heading back to the house.  We stopped at Michaels minivan to do a training exercise.  He slid the side door open and Alli hopped in.  After a few seconds, Lissa hopped in.  I went around to the other door, opened it, out came Alli and out came Lissa.  Back into the house we went and packed up Lissa's things.  

 And there she is in the back of Michael's van ready to go on to the next step in her journey. 

It's always sad when any foster leaves me.  It leaves a hole, an empty place and the house seems different, quiet.  And even though I had a whole realm of mixed emotions on this one......Lissa is without a the right place at the right time, for her. 


  1. Wow, it is a mixed blessing. It certainly sounds like she is on the way to a permanent family. I know how hard you tried with her and how much you will miss her. But you gave her the security and love to accept her new home.

  2. Karen ~
    I'm not sure if I should jump for joy or cry! It sounds like Lissa will be just fine and thrive but I am sad for you. I know the feeling! Just remember that there is another dog waiting for your love and care!
    Pug hugs :)

  3. Oh Karen, it is hard to let them go. You know my Buddy finally got adopted after almost a year with me. I still tear up thinking about him. As hard as it is, I think this might be good for her. Maybe you just worked out some of the kinks for him! Maybe, he will wind up keeping her. I tell myself things happen for a reason, and we will probably never know that reason. Sending you hugs from Indiana!

  4. Well, I'm tearing up! You have really let us bond with dear Lissa. But, from what you have shared...this Alli seems to have the magic touch. Maybe Lissa needs a strong pack to heal and trust again. You are such a wonderful caring dog mamma...such patience and love you give to them. It's all success when you consider that!
    Hugs to you, as you miss this little girl.

  5. I have tears in my eyes and I'm not quite sure just why. My heart aches for Lissa's potential feeling of abandonment, am sure you feel a loss with her gone plus you're feeling Lissa's pain as well.

    I commend you and Lauren for the work you do in fostering dogs in need. Frankly I couldn't do it. I get so attached to the dogs and know for sure you gals do, so you must have a lot of heart ache patching up to do each and every time one leaves your nest.



  6. Greyhounds are so pack oriented. This is a great move for Lissa; though I'm sorry for your loss.

  7. This is a great thing for Lissa and my guess is that it will open up the world for her! I know having fosters leave is tough. I always felt happy for mine when they went to their new homes, but also a little sad that they were leaving. We usually got new fosters pretty quickly, though, so sometimes we just enjoyed a little peace and quiet after some of the wild ones left! lol I hope you'll have a new foster soon!

  8. Karen, I feel sad and glad at the same time. I'm glad that Lissa is getting the care and attention of another one of her own specie and that you gave her all the love that she needed from you but I feel sad that your love wasn't enough for her and that you feel bad about it. She was longing for one of her own.

    We all know that you didn't failed her, but she was there to teach you more experience that you were probably not ready for. Experience comes at a price. Time for another foster dog. Good luck with the next one. JB

  9. I hope you can find out how Lissa is doing in her new home from time to time. I get attached so easily and feel your pain with the emptiness and worry about how she will adjust. I guess the best thing is to live in the moment like the dogs do!!!
    Thinking of you Karen and sending big hugs and Thanks for all you do in the foster care! The world is a better place because of you dear friend!!
    Cathy G

  10. What a bittersweet story. Tears in my eyes, yet happy she was ready. I am sure it made you feel better to see her with a friend. I do admire you all who foster. Nothing like the love of a dog, except Maybe loving them back.

  11. Karen, you gave her the love, attention & undersanding she needed and she is better for having spent the time with you. I could never have your strenth to foster as I could never let go! Just know that you were absolutely, positively good for her!

  12. Oh I am happy for Lissa. She has missed being with other dogs and following their lead. Good for her!

  13. Although this move is probably what's best for Lissa but I do hear your heart sweetie.

    Sounds like you two had made much progress and were startin' to bond. Your a better woman than me sister, I'd love too much and just couldn't let go.

    God bless ya and have a warm peaceful kinda day!!!! :o)

  14. See this is exactly why I would not make a good foster mom, my heart would be broken. My hat is off to you for handling this situation so well, I do realize it is the right opportunity for Lissa. I do hope you are able to keep abreast of Lissa's progress. Sending blessings, hugs, Julie.

  15. I'm just reading this, Wow, what a story. How strange that she started playing with you. I wonder is she sensed a positive change was coming. I think it's wonderful that you are able to foster and it must be really difficult to handle all the emotions sometimes. I don't think I'd be very successful. It really sounds like Lissa will do well in the new place and that would be great if it turns out to be permanent. :-)


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