Tuesday December 18th
I did a very silly thing tonight; When I went to the shelter to drop off a USB of cat photos for petfinder profiles, the staff were busy introducing a lady to a dog. I wandered into the back to have a look at who was new in the cat world. One of the staff opened the dog door and I caught a glimpse of a tiny bundle of fluff shaking in one of the cages, and had been amongst the big, loud, barky dogs for the better part of the day. I plucked him out of there and suggested he be moved elsewhere. In the 5 minutes I had him in my arms I decided the elsewhere would be my house for the night. At this point I’d learned he was spoken for so I didn’t think I’d get attached and would just give him a less stressful place to lay his head for the night. As I ran the idea by the manager of the shelter, other staff members, thought it a better idea for me to just keep him!!! I assured them I would most likely be handing Houston over to his new owner in the next day or so. When was this guy, who, for whatever reason had not yet come in to collect this four month old baby shih tzu, coming???)
When I walked in the door with Houston, Reese and Henry were there, prepared to greet me with kisses and waggy bums. There was neither. Instead, there was indignance, growling and several ‘WTH’ barks before Henry wandered off, marked the wall, and with a huff collapsed defiantly on the sofa! Reese hid under the table for most of the evening.
Henry went between curiously playful and jealous, bossy. Reese seemed jealous of losing Henry to this new little playmate (or, perhaps that was just my perception due to the guilt that now consumed me. I did not want to upset my babies).
When John arrived home he didn’t seem all that surprised. I confessed that the girls from the shelter didn’t want me to return him to which John replied ‘you don’t seen overly keen, you’re not even paying him much attention’. I said I just don’t want to make my guys jealous OR to become attached. John referred to Houston as ‘Buddy, Bud, Little guy, Furball’, and gave him plenty of fusses. For some reason, he is able to do this and not become emotionally involved.
Charlie did not give a sh*t one way or other. Houston was curious, they had a conversation after which Houston wandered off to find and pester Henry.
Wednesday, December 19th
I handed the little guy over to my neighbour Anne at 6am this morning (what a fantastic lady) and I felt a twinge of separation anxiety – on my part.
Friday, December 21st
After touching base with the shelter at the end of the week, I learned that the intended new parents for Houston were no longer an option and once again I was encouraged to keep Houston – forever! Although my guys seemed to be getting used to him and I was becoming more attached, my husband was still determined that we find Houston a forever home where he would recive more than ‘one-third’ of the attention that would be available to him in our home. I created a profile for Houston although secretly hoping at this point that hubby would fall in love with this little guy as much as I had and we could put an end to the search for a new home for Houston.
Thursday, December 27th
We had a lovely, quiet Christmas; Houston, Henry and Reese spent the day frolicking in the snow and playing in a basement full of recycled toys (My mom and I spent Christmas eve and Christmas morning patching up a collection of former favourites that had been injured over the past year or so). At the end of the day, the dogs collapsed, exhausted from the excitement. As my husband and I were preparing supper, there was a knock at the door. Henry and Reese sounded the ‘intruder alert’.
It was neighbour Paul (Anne’s husband). Briefly, we exchanged pleasantries about their trip to Montreal to visit family before he anxiously asked if we still had Houston with us. As if on queue, a sleepy-eyed little Houston hustled into position on the top step. Paul then asked what was happening with the intended adoption. As yet, I explained, there was no adoption organized. Paul’s face lit up. Although he could not believe someone hadn’t snapped this little guy up, he was also relieved to learn it might be possible for Houston to become part of their family and asked what the process is for adopting from the shelter. Apparantly, he and Anne could not stop thinking of Houston the whole time they were away.
I should be so happy! They would spoil Houston and finally, this little guy would have the security he deserved, in a home where he would receive ‘half’, not ‘one-third’ attention (Anne and Paul have an older, golden retriever also). So why did I feel like someone had punched me in the gut? I could not breathe! So many things going through my mind; Houston had become very fond of the two little dogs he had spent every day of the past week with. Henry seemed to enjoy playing in the garden and running around the house wrestling with Houston. Even Reese seemed to be getting used to the little fella. We had almost perfected a routine! Is it my imagination or do they look sad? As Paul is holding Houston I feel he is glancing back at me as if to say ‘Noooooooo, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease,YOU’RE supposed to be my mommy’! ‘Don’t you love me’? ‘WHY don’t you love me’? I felt everything turn to slow motion and as my husband spoke with Paul I could hear their voices in a ‘Charlie Brown’ nonsensical ‘wah, wah, wah’ sort of way. Okay people, there was a clue in the title. Bare with me!
Paul asked if it would be okay for Anne to give me a call later in the evening to discuss further. I agreed and he left.
Anne is a wonderful woman. As we spoke later that evening, she listened with great patience as I confessed that this was very difficult for me. I was happy she wanted to adopt Houston however, he seemed to be settling in quite well with us. I felt sad, guilty and very selfish. Dogs adapt and this was deinitely the best outcome for a first-time foster parent. I know these people would take great care of him and love him. Houston would be our neighbour! Would that be MORE difficult? I continued to talk myself in and out of handing him over until I finally fell asleep.
Thursday, December 27th
Tears, in addidtion to the snow we were hit with during the night make visibility nearly impossible as I make my way in to work. Decision time. Today I will be calling the shelter to recommend an adoption OR advise them that I will be keeping Houson.