When Things Sometimes Don't Go So Well
Life Isn't Always As It Seems
Looks Are Deceiving
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, life throws you a curve ball or two. Meet Boy Dog, on the left and Girl Dog, on the right. Cute, aren't they? They came to us as a result of my wife's desire to contribute to the attempt to help prevent "kill shelters" from destroying these beautiful animals.
This story begins and ends at Animal Compassion Network in Asheville, North Carolina. ACN and Brother Wolfe Animal Rescue, also of Asheville, are non-profit organizations. Like many others across the country, these groups rescue animals from other shelters that euthanize unclaimed pets, many after only 72 hours. These no kill organizations clean the animals up for adoption and find foster and permanent homes for them. That is another story into and of itself. (see the link below)
My misses, Sophia, just happens to be a nature lover and could no longer stand idly by while this practice continued. She got involved, trained and excited about the prospect of helping these animals find loving homes. The organization was fabulous. They provided medical care, food, toys and love to each animal that came their way. So, Boy Dog and Girl Dog came to us over the weekend. We would act as foster parents until they got adopted.
Look at their faces! How could anything go wrong? Right? Wrong! Boy Dog and Girl Dog exhibited abandonment issues almost immediately. (Apparently, when dogs are taken from their mother and pride prematurely they tend not to want to be left alone.) We understood that and acted accordingly, trying to provide love and attention in the appropriate amounts without adding to an already difficult time of re-acclimation to new environments. Both Sophia and I had been dog owners before and we currently provide safe haven for our two cats, Tigger and Sydney.
To make a long story short, Boy Dog and Girl Dog began to yelp almost uncontrollably once we left their presence, meaning just into another room. We knew they were just being puppies so we tried everything we knew and researched things we didn't know to come up with answers that would be beneficial for them and for us. Needless to say, nothing worked. The animals were only satisfied in our presence. Okay, so sleeping on the hard floor was okay for night 1 and maybe even 2, but the prospects of that going forward were dimming.
Adult Anatolian Shepard
A Down Day
Recognizing that we were unequipped to help these two dogs (more than likely a cross between German and Anatolian Shepard's) we succumbed to the disappointment of calling the agency back for the animals best interest as well as our own sanity. We didn't want to let the dogs or the agency down, but felt finding people more equipped than we were was in the animals best interest.
You may have already drawn your own conclusions about this story and/or of us, but this is my point as well as the point of this hub. People want to contribute to their communities in a positive way. Our intentions were certainly good. But sometimes, things just don't work out as planned and in the process one feels the anguish of failing. Both of us will recover, as will the dogs, who will eventually find the right fit for their temperament and personalities. ACN will insure that!
Yet, when things don't go right, even though you seemed to have done all you can, there are lessons in every situation, be it decisions made, acknowledgements about mistakes or by coming face to face with reality. In the moment, you do what you can, in retrospect you learn a lot about yourself. I know I did, and truthfully, sometimes that learning is hard and many times the learning brings back other memories of similar experiences. It did for me, and that too was hard.
Of this, I am certain. If we truly desire to do the commendable things, for ourselves and for others, our best intentions sometimes will go awry. It may be our fault or through no fault of our own we find ourselves in the school of life. In either case, the old adage applies, "it isn't what happens to us that's important, but it's what we do about what happens to us that matters." In this case, it broke our hearts to know that for this set of pups and for this particular scenario, returning them to find other foster parents meant, we failed.
Other opportunities to help will come and because of what we learned about ourselves here we will better be able to handle them. Sometimes, as in this case, even in middle age and with love and goodness in our hearts, trying to shake the ickiness of failure hurts!
Tomorrow's another day and "this too, shall pass."