A week has gone by since Sandy died, and I find myself settling in to life without her. I washed her bed, and the other dogs are sleeping in it now.
I've promised myself that I will get the numbers down around here, through attrition. I will NOT get another dog. Today the paper came with four pages of color photos of homeless dogs. The San Diego Union Tribune does this quarterly. ( I can't find it online, so no link...sorry!) There was a little female doxie, age 3, but my heart went out to the older goldens, two of them. I adopted my two doxies, Beans and Tuffy, from this ad section back in 2003. I promised to take them even before I'd moved into my new house, out of the apartment. They were 10 years old, and had been living in a kennel since their owner went to a nursing home. They finished out their lives with me, and I loved them so much.
In 2000, I found a home for a donkey I was fostering, through an ad in this newspaper section. Blossom has lived out in Alpine ever since, and even was featured on TV during the fire evacuation in 2003. My success with Blossom led me to adopt a burro, Bandit (shown here), from the Bureau of Land Management in 2001.
I'm going to resist temptation this time. I can't afford the cost of so many animals, and with my pet boarding business, it's just too many dogs. I hate being a grownup. Sometimes the responsible decision is NOT to get a pet, as much as your heart goes out to them. I have to resist becoming a hoarder, that dreaded cat lady with 100 cats pouring out of a steaming, smelly house. With my boarding business, I always say I get to rent them until the feeling passes.
For those of you out there that want to take them all home, I suggest you volunteer as a foster home for a rescue group, like FOCAS in San Diego, or a shelter. Then you get to try out lots of different breeds, ages, and temperaments, without committing to lifelong care and expense. It's hard to let them go, but I always realize that an animal will be happier in a home where they are the center of attention, rather than one of many. If you love cats, fostering litters of kittens until they are old enough to adopt can be especially fun and rewarding. I fostered a litter of puppies for FOCAS once, and it was a blast.
I've kept in touch with a lot of people who adopted dogs I've fostered, and it is fabulous to see how well the dog does, and very satisfying to know I've picked a great home for the dog. I'll write more about the foster dogs I've loved and remember in future posts.
Right now, I have my own four dogs and two cats who need me.