If you know our family well, you know our dog, Molly. For those who do not know her story, she was found in a neighborhood about 15 minutes from our house in October 2013. A friend of a friend of a friend found her and thanks to the wonder of social media, we found out about her and took her in.
You can read past posts about her to see the gory details of her first few days (farts, pooping in the house, wild escapes and runs through the neighborhood after slipping out of her collar), but she eventually calmed down and became a member of the family.
Over the past year and a half, however, we have come to realize that even though we love Molly, she really needs to be in a better home. She NEEDS to run and we do not have the space nor fenced in yard for her to do so. And we are a family always on the go and we felt like we were always leaving her behind.
After MUCH thought and discussion as a family, we decided to see if we could find her a new home. I could not just offer her up to facebook friends (because they had seen my posts from her misbehaving days so there was no way she would be in high demand there), but we found an local agency that helps to find homes for dogs. They do not have a shelter, but they display the dogs every weekend at Petsmart. If someone wants to foster or adopt the dog, then they go home with the animal that day. If not, then we pick her up and bring her home until the following weekend, where we start the process all over again.
No one told me how hard this would be.
I dropped her off a couple of weeks ago for the first time, having no idea if I would see her again. I literally sobbed on my way out of the store and just sat in the car, crying until I had no more tears.
No worries, because even though she had "lots of interest," she came back home to us that day.
The same thing happened the next day, then the next weekend, with it either being me, or Nick, or the whole family leaving her there. It was emotionally draining. Every time we left her there, we had to wonder if this was it. What made it worse is that she knew. As we got near the store, she knew exactly where she was going and not only whimpered, but rested her head on our arms and cuddled as much as a lab mix can cuddle.
This past Saturday, I dropped her off without tears or lots of emotions because I figured we would be back again later that day. When I actually got the call mid day, saying that someone decided to foster her, I was in shock. A young woman "loved her even though she was being Molly" (guess she developed quite a reputation among the volunteers) and decided to foster her for a week to see how she would fit in her home.
After I hung up, I started thinking of so many things that this young woman needed to know. I actually called the volunteer back and left a voicemail that said something like, "Molly has some quirks that she should know about...her first night with us she pooped everywhere and farted for hours...it gets better and she doesn't do that anymore...she's super strong and loves to run and will slip out of her harness if you aren't watching...she never uses a crate, but is good in the house all day, but will eat or chew certain things if she has the chance...she is used to sleeping on the couch...if she has any questions or concerns she can call me...will we have a chance to say good-bye?"
I have no idea why the volunteer never called me back. Hmm.
I never realized how much her absence would affect us. When someone knocks on the door, she is not here to bark. When I am cooking dinner, she is not at my feet, pleading for me to drop something. Nick and I no longer have to play "not it" for who takes her out at night before we head up to bed. I can bring groceries into the house without worrying she will escape out the front door.
Okay, so those are things I can easily live without.
She is not here to cuddle up next to on the couch. She is not here to stare at the door at the same time every day, when she knows the kids will walk in the door from school. My kitchen floor is a mess because she is not here to lick up the crumbs.
I find myself thinking about her all the time. I wonder what she is thinking. Is she mad at us? Does she feel deserted? Betrayed? Lonely? Who is this stranger who is taking care of our dog? Is she nice? Caring? Patient? Is Molly waiting every day for us to come back to her? Has she escaped and is lost somewhere? What kind of food is she eating? This stranger doesn't know her routine.
My heart hurts.
I know. I know. We decided to do this-for HER benefit. We want her to be happy. I just want to know that she IS happy or will be someday soon. I want to explain to her that it is not something she did wrong (well, she could have avoided ruining my bathroom door frame, but that is for another discussion), but that we love her so much that we want her to have a better place to run free.
Who knows? Perhaps she will show her true colors and frighten this young woman into thinking she was crazy for even considering taking in Molly. If that happens, then we are at a crossroads. Do we continue this routine and submit her to more change? Or do we change our minds and keep her?
I miss her.