So, one thing you will quickly notice about me is that I LOVE dogs, My husband and I have one of our own: Chloe. She is 100% spoiled and 100% my child. People swear that when I have human child she will take a back seat. I, on the other hand, would be willing to bet (A LOT of money) that she will continue to be my first child and a sibling to my human children.
Over the past two years my husband and I have been fostering dogs as well. This is certainly no easy task and volunteerism that is not for everyone, but it is one of the best things we have ever done and something that I highly recommend to those that can.
When Mike and I went to go pick up our last foster dog, Amos, I noticed this little Jack Russell. When I asked about him the volunteers told me that he was estimated to be 10-12 years and had been found on the street extremely malnourished. When they did surgery to neuter him they found cancerous tumors, While this particular shelter does not generally do this kind of surgery, they decided to remove the tumors and give him a chance. They gave him 5 weeks and were just trying to keep him happy. Over my dead body was this little guy spending his last 5 weeks in a stressful shelter. So home we went with three dogs: Chloe (ours), Amos (foster) and Ripley (hospice).(On a side note, I would not recommend having more dogs that humans in a household).
For the first week or so, Ripley lived up to expectations; he slept about 20 hours a day and didn’t really want anything besides food. However, over the next few weeks he blossomed. Ripley metamorphosed from a sickly and solitary dog to a puppy who craved his humans. Ripley’s 5 weeks turned into 11 months of running, jumping, playing and smiles. You have never seen a dog so playful and happy. I think this speaks for the will to live and how a little love can make all the difference in the world.
However, there is a time for everything and Ripley’s time for doggy Heaven did come. On July 2 , after a week with sudden injury and subsequent ruptured tumors, Mike and I came to the heart-wrenching decision to put Ripley to sleep. Everyone always says that you will know it’s time. And that’s the honest truth. .. but knowing and believing are completely different. Mike and I second guessed ourselves nonstop. God has a job that I do no envy.
On July 5th mike and I laid Ripley’s body to rest and released his soul to doggy Heaven. It was truly one of the hardest things I have EVER done. I cried so much that I felt sick for the rest of the day. However, I did learn something from this experience and I do feel that it is something worth sharing:
There is a silver lining to every storm cloud, no matter how dark. Ripley had 5 weeks to live…but he made it 11 months. He lived like a puppy until the last week and really, what more could you ask for? During that last week Mike and I both had the 4th and the 5th off. We were able to spend the whole day on the 4th with him and all of the 5th with him until the end. Every dog we have ever had has taught me so much. Mostly I have learned that dogs crave being part of a family and would give just about anything to feel wanted and loved. Not only was Ripley blessed with this in his last 11 months but so where we. Mike and I are better people for having had him around and I am so thankful.
If you ever have questions about fostering dogs please feel free to ask!
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8