Several years ago, I quit dog rescue. I couldn't handle the stupidity of people any longer. I couldn't handle the fact that people suddenly needed to find their dog of 12 year a new home because it's fur didn't match their new couch. (Yes, that was a thing and it was my final straw...) I couldn't handle the inhumanity of people, and if I'm being honest, seeing people always behave at their worst made me hate people. Rescue was tiring because it never ended. You would place one mended heart and the next broken heart would find you before the ink dried on the first one's adoption contract. It was a cynical, self gratifying cycle.
In all my years of rescue I prided myself on the the fact I was never a "foster fail". Now, there were times I did take on a dog who returned to rescue or I adopted because it was a bite case and euthanasia was the only other option, however for 22 years I never adopted a foster dog. I was and always have been dead set against it.
Just before Christmas, my daughter begged me to foster a dog she had fallen in love with. This dog was in bad shape. Definitely one of the worst cases of abuse I had ever seen. I won't go into the specifics, but Rodger Dog had never known kindness in his life, had never known consistently being fed, and the abuse left him physically and emotionally incomplete. Rodger Dog was terribly dog aggressive when he arrived here out of fear, had separation anxiety something terrible, and his eyes eluded to the fact he didn't really care about life anymore. I told my daughter that Rodger Dog could only stay with us long enough for me to find a rescue who would take him. I told her, we didn't need another dog. I told her not to got get attached, because he was not staying. The truth of the matter is this though: I couldn't give him up.
Perhaps it was the hollow look in his eyes, perhaps it was the hunched over posture that said: "I can't do this anymore." Perhaps it was the fact this dog showed absolutely no emotion what so ever with his body, or maybe it was the way he slept when he finally realized he was safe. I don't know. I have no idea what made me finally say: "Enough is enough." But, enough is enough.
This dog is here to stay. There is something fragile about Rodger that I can't quite put my finger on. He's learning to be a dog again, learning how his new body works, and supposedly dogs don't generalize, but I can't help but wonder: "What if he feels safe for the first time in his life? What if he thinks he's "home" only to have his life uprooted again? What if he leaves us to go to a rescue and wonders where we went?" I can't let him be lost, confused or feel pain again. There is something about his broken heart that deserves someone saying enough is enough.