Book reviews

Big Decisions

Jason and I both grew up with dogs and cats. The apartment we were living in when we first got married did not allow dogs, but after a year of living there, we were friends with the owners and they allowed us to get a dog. Our Sydney Bean. When we bought our first house, we got her a brother, Oliver.

That was 20-something years ago and dogs, unfortunately, only live 12-16 years or so. After both dogs had passed, we adopted a puppy and I was horribly allergic. I had known that I was allergic when I moved out of my parents’ house and my asthma and chronic congestion cleared up, but after living with our dogs for 16+ years, I thought I was ok with that breed. Turns out I was not.

Over the last 6 years, I have had every kind of allergy treatment I can find from traditional shots to homeopathic sublingual drops to NAET. My seasonal allergies seem to be cured, but my allergies to dogs remains.

Last year, I decided that I wanted to do something to get dogs out of shelters. After talking it over with my family, we decided to foster dogs. We have fostered 7 dogs in the last year and each one was so cute and so special. Since we don’t have a dog of our own, we have been able to foster dogs that are ill. We have fostered two dogs that had canine influenza and one that came to us with kennel cough. These were dogs that were scared and alone in shelters, not feeling well. They were in quarantine so as not to expose other animals to their sickness. They were not being shown to prospective adopters and their time was running out. The rescue we work with was able to step in because we don’t have a dog and thus can foster one of these scared, lonely, sick animals.

We changed our Mother’s Day plans to pick up this little guy in Brooklyn on Mother’s Day. He had lived with two other dogs and a homeless man. He had kennel cough. He was so scared and shaking when we went to pick him up. It pained me to have to keep him a carrier all the way home, although he didn’t let out a peep.

When we got him home and walked him, he just kept looking up at us and smiling and wagging his tail. He knew we had rescued him. He was grateful.

He was skin and bones. We could barely get him to eat. He was very timid, but he would sit on my lap or my daughters’ laps and fall asleep if we pet him. His fur was matted and sticky and stinky.

We bathed him and spoiled him with treats. We cut the mats from his fur. We bought him toys. We laughed with glee when his ball rolled down the stairs and he ran down the stairs after it – he had spent a week afraid of the stairs!

Over the last two weeks, he has wiggled his adorable way into our hearts. AND I am not allergic to him. We would love to adopt him.

But we are torn. If we adopt him, then we can no longer foster the sick dogs that no one is seeing, the dogs who are sick and scared and alone.

We have the opportunity to find this little guy THE PERFECT HOME. There are hundreds of people on the waiting list for a dogs from the rescue we work with and in the past, we have been so happy about the people they find to adopt the dogs we fostered and we have kept in touch with the people, and they send us pictures and updates about their dogs.

It’s a tough decision. Please pray that we make the right decision.

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