I recently saw the musical, Wicked, and it was, to say in a word, amazing.
One song that really struck a chord with me was For Good sung by Glinda and Elphaba. The lyrics say:
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me
Like a hand print on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you’ll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.
A little over a week ago, I gave up my first foster pup. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
Linda, the founder of Dogs 2nd Chance, found the 6 month old pointer/lab mix hiding from a storm underneath a porch. She named him Monkee, because he flew from couch to chair like a monkey swinging in the trees. At first I didn’t believe it, but within a day of bringing him home I was chasing him around singing the Flying Monkeys theme song from Wizard of Oz.
Monkee created more destruction in my home than Dorothy’s tornado. I was up every four hours during the night, up at the crack of dawn, and didn’t stop until he did, which was never, of course. For two weeks, my world revolved around only him.
It wasn’t long before the wirey little guy found his new home in Omaha, Neb. (and yes, we did drive through Kansas to get him there). A nice gentleman, who had recently lost both his wife and dog from cancer, spotted him on Pet Finder and knew they needed each other.
If you haven’t fostered before, I can sum up the experience in only one sentence:
Giving your foster dog to his new forever home is like giving a stranger a piece of yourself.
You feel lost when they’re gone, like you don’t know where home is anymore.
(Okay, okay, that was two)
My friends and family asked me, If it’s so hard, then why do it?
When I was driving away from his new home, I cried, not because I missed him, but because I realized how much I had been changed.
So much of myself now, is what I learned from him.
He gave me courage, a heart, a brain, and a home.
Monkee loved to please, and he tried so hard to do everything right, but as an energetic pup, he often failed; however, he never gave up trying. He showed me that success isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having the courage to try again and again until you get it right.
At every opportunity, I poured my self, my energy, and my love into Monkee, and then I gave him to someone else. Monkee taught me to love unconditionally and then to share that love, a piece of my heart, with others.
As a stray, Monkee didn’t know much about domestic pet life, but he did know love and love is what he did. Monkee showed me that we may not know it all, but we should share what we do know. He inspired me to share my writing and knowledge of pet care.
Finally, Monkee taught me how to open up my home to others less fortunate even if it means sacrificing its condition or our sanity. He taught me that a home isn’t a home because of what’s in it, but rather who’s in it.
I can’t promise that fostering a rescue will also change you for the better, but I can tell you, it will change you for good.