It wouldn’t quite be fair to call this a fail. Although I had been strongly considering fostering more and adopting less, for financial reasons as well as wanting to help out as many dogs as possible, once Lulu died there was an open space in our home that was just too tempting to fill. Ginger, a daschund/chihuahua cross was rescued after living for two years outdoors on a two foot leash with nothing but an uninsulated dog house to shield her from the coldest weather. It’s amazing that she survived, and she was unconscious when she was finally rescued. True, she was the first new dog to come along, as she arrived to our home the very same night that Lulu suddenly left us. But Mr. Strange, as much as he adores all animals, is a fussy guy when it comes to choosing his favorites, and according to him he would have been in trouble with this little temptress either way. It takes a lot to enamor him so completely. Our forever-puppy loved him back too, and it’s always hard to picture that moment that looks like betrayal, when we hand them off to go to their new homes after for all we know they thought this was it, especially knowing we may very well not ever see them again. It hurts, and to think that this one will not have to endure that moment, that this one can be right in her happy assumptions that we are her new family, is just too tempting. Besides, there was a practical aspect to this as well, one I very carefully considered.
Usually a dog will choose their favorite, their love at first sight, and this person will be basically their one and only. For Ginger, this is most definitely Mr. Strange, but she has a lot of affection for me as well and won’t hesitate to follow me around the house asking me to play with her. She also happens to like the cats, and in this rare case they actually seem to like her back. She’s been chasing them all over the place, wagging her little tail hoping for a game of tag, and not once yet has she been smacked in the face for it. Then as tempting as it is to keep the saddest most unfortunate dog we find, who we can assume will have a tougher time impressing potential families, we considered that her happiness would be infectious and therefor beneficial to other foster dogs in our care who may need a bit of a pick-me-up from someone of their own species. So to put it simply, she just fits with us. We were able to open our hearts to one of these dogs on permanent basis and the one who fit the bill was the very first one who came along. Mr. Strange says that she was sent to us by Lulu herself.
I can’t wait until the weather warms up and I can take Ginger out for walks, watching her tiny little legs toddle happily down the sidewalk. With Lulu gone and a fur-maternal instinct begging for a way to be expressed, I want to spoil her, give her toys to tear to pieces and buy her shoes to keep her little feet warm in the snow. And when her tiny body is too tired or too cold to keep going I can tuck her into my big bag and take her home where she’ll help us in our mission to change dogs’ lives. Welcome to the family, Ginger!