The day we picked Miss. Sally Sue up from the vet, after the surgery to remove that tumor from her eye, we saw a sweet, skinny, pretty little pup in the waiting room. The Wifester overheard her human telling some other ladies sitting nearby that this pup's name was Elsa, and that she was up for adoption or foster through a certain rescue group in the area. She was there that day to be spayed.
The Wifester was simply smitten with her, saying, "I must have that puppy!"
That evening we went online and submitted an application to foster and potentially adopt Elsa.
A week went by and we didn't hear anything. Then the second week, and still no word...and then, well, that's when Sally fell ill. We spent the next week in and out of the hospital with her, as you may have followed via my facebook posts.
Elsa was always in the back of our minds, as we have wanted to give Sally a sister ever since Sunny passed away a year and a half ago. Two days after Sally passed, we got the call from the rescue. Elsa was still available, our application looked good, but they wanted to do a home visit before approving us.
We mulled it over, and decided that although we miss Sally terribly, and no one can ever replace her, we also know that we need the sound of puppy paws on our floors. We need those soft puppy kisses to help us heal and to help distract us from focusing only on how much we miss our sweet, sweet Sally. And what better way to honor Miss Sally Sue than to give another rescue pup a good life, even if it is temporarily while we foster until an adopter comes along for the pup? Sally would definitely want it to be that way, we think. She enjoyed her life, and just wanted everyone around her to enjoy life too. That was one lesson we learned from Sally Sue: Enjoy each and every day to the absolute fullest. It was her mantra.
So on Tuesday we had our home visit and all went well, as far as we could tell. They explained that they prefer to do a trial/foster period, in which they could evaluate how we are acclimating to the dog and how she acclimates to us.
We agreed and signed the contract.
That brings us to Wednesday- yesterday. I got two phone calls yesterday: One from the rescue saying that Elsa had been dropped off at our vet's office, and that we could go pick her up and begin our trial/foster period. The other phone call came about a half an hour later, the vet's office called to let me know that Miss Sally's ashes were ready to be picked up.
Our trip to West Park Animal Hospital yesterday was bitter-sweet.
With tears for our sweet, precious Sally still lining our cheeks, and me still holding the canister with her remains, the tech came around the corner being led by this gigantic, beautiful puppy, Elsa, who trotted right up to us and began lavishing us with kisses.
"So, obviously, she needs to gain some weight." The tech told us.
"No problem! Everyone gains weight in our house," was my response.
She is skinny. Like, bones protruding skinny. You can count her ribs and see her spine.
No worries, little pup, I'll fatten you right up. Skinny or not, she's enormous! She's estimated to be between three and four months old, and she is taller than Sally was at 9 months. Skinnier, but taller.
She definitely has some sort of hound dog in her, and the other part of her mix is best guessed, they said, as possibly Great Dane. Great Dane!! Right now she is all legs and paws. She looks a bit like a baby deer with those super long, skinny legs.
I write this with tears streaming my face. I have Sally's ashes on one side of my desk, and a sweet, loving little (enormous) puppy on the other.
I miss my Sally. My heart still aches for her terribly. It hasn't even been a week since she left us. In some ways it still seems like I'll wake up and Sally will be there, in between The Wifester and I, hogging up all the blankets...I dreamed last night that it was morning and The Wifester's alarm went off and instantly, Sally was there, like she used to be, inching her way up from the foot of the bed to sandwich herself in between us and have her early morning snuggle fest. I dreamed she was kissing my nose like she used to do...I awoke with tears as I remembered that she really is gone...
And then something amazing happened- Elsa made her way up to my face and began kissing up my tears. It helped ease the pain of missing Sally and realizing that it was only a dream, and that Sally really is gone from this life, gone from my world, gone from everything but my memory and my dreams, where she'll live as long as I do. And I think that's exactly what Sally would want- some furry friend to kiss my face in the morning for her, and to help make me feel better in her absence.
In the animal rescue/foster world, they humorously call a foster who ends up being adopted by the foster family a "foster fail."
It's early yet, we aren't even 24 hours into our trial period, but I think it is probably safe to assume that this will be a foster fail.