When doing the right thing feels like a failure
Jean · Nov. 13, 2006
It is a sad morning for me. From the moment Thomas with the pigeon-toed duck paws walked into my heart, I wanted to offer him a home. Sometimes one looks into a dog's eyes and into their hearts and just feels a connection. As much as I have always loved dogs, and now love all the critters at saints, that heart connection has rarely happened for me. And because of a loss of my previous heart-dog, I had a huge hole in my heart which wanted to be filled. And so I asked Carol if I could bring Thomas home.
It did not go well. Isaac, my foster, is an unneutered male who is not well enough to neuter and is palliative. He did not take kindly to the recently neutered Thomas, and over the three days Thomas was here Isaac's condition deteriorated substantially. Isaac went from a dog who had made remarkable progress in his mobility, sleeping habits, and overall condition, back to square one of stumbling gait, restless nights, and head and tail down, loss of interest in his surroundings.
Rather than adjusting to the situation, Isaac became more and more agitated- eventually he seizured, stopped eating, paced all night, and growled at Charley and me as well as Thomas.
And despite the fact that Thomas and Charley got along really well, even choosing to sleep together (not something my Charley has EVER done with her furbuddies), they were also getting stressed. Last night Thomas let me know in no uncertain terms that there is another side to this quiet, sweet boy - a side that made me feel fear and escalated my own stress level.
And so today, I returned Thomas to SAINTS. I know it was the right thing to do - for Thomas, for Charley, and especially for Isaac. But the hole it leaves in my heart, and the sorrow at having caused such stress for my dogs because my needs clouded my judgment, makes it feel like such a failure.
I only hope Isaac will bounce back quickly and that Thomas will soon find his perfect home. And I hope Charley will find another furbuddy one day. And that I will grow from the lessons they have taught me.