foster dogs, fosterdogs, Hadley, oph, Uncategorized

Hadley Goes Home

IMG_2317Just like that, Hadley is gone.

I’m missing her. Nick is missing her. Ian is still not happy with me for letting her go. She is a quiet dog, and I never heard her make a sound in all the time she was here, but somehow the house is quieter now.

Everyone else went to see the new Star Wars on Sunday, but I stayed home to dig out my desk. My mind kept finding its way back to Hadley.

I forgot to ask the adopters what they will call her now. I couldn’t stop picturing her sweet, terrified eyes the night we brought her home only five weeks ago. I kept trying to replace that image with the playful gleam she had when she was wrestling a puppy or the way she glanced up at me so often when we walked at the park – just checking that I was still there. Maybe it’s because she was the most broken dog we had the privilege of fostering, maybe that’s why it hurt so much this time. I can’t help but worry about her.

So I’m busying myself by organizing. I’m even making a new journal because crafting homemade journals always soothes my soul. This one is dog-themed and I’ll use it to document the dogs of 2016. We fostered 25 in 2015. If we’d had one more, Pennsylvania would have required us to have a kennel license. So in 2016 we’re already signing up for a license. This journal will help me keep the details straight on the dogs for the inspector.


I know my worry is unfounded. Hadley’s new home is clearly the one she is meant to have. Marilyn adopted her, but her son Dan will spend his days with her. Dan and his teenage daughter live with Marilyn. Dan is on disability for a heart condition and has survived numerous surgeries. He is home fulltime.

When he introduced himself to Hadley, she licked his hand. I think she sensed his gentle spirit. We only spent a little time with this family, but long enough to know this is a peaceful, quiet, nurturing home where Hadley can be very happy. She was doing well here, but I think her progress would have come faster if there wasn’t the constant teen traffic and puppies and grumpy hostess dog and busy, busy foster mama always doing ten things at once. A quiet home will be good for her soul.

She won’t have to deal with cars and tractors anymore because she will live in a suburban neighborhood and have a big fenced backyard with a dog-door to the house so she can come and go.

I know it will take time. Marilyn and Dan know that, too. They seem like patient people.

These are the things I keep reminding myself so that I won’t be sad. Still, I’m awaiting the first email message.

Although I always try not to be a “helicopter foster mom” after my dogs are adopted, I couldn’t help but reach out to Dan and Marilyn today. I need some morsel of good news to beat back my worries, so I check my email frequently while I putz around on my computer, cleaning up files, editing a few essays, and writing this post. I should be paying bills, cleaning up the last of Christmas, but who needs that kind of yucko-activity today?

Not me. I’m busy worrying about Hadley. And cleaning up puppy poo. Always cleaning up puppy poo. Thank goodness for the puppies – they are a joyful, constant distraction.

Since I can’t invite you over to stand in the doorway of my puppy room to watch them play – I made a video of it. Enjoy two minutes of playing puppies on this first Monday of the new year.


18 thoughts on “Hadley Goes Home”

  1. Hadley is so cute and sounds like a special dog (I have a nervous dog who appreciates quiet). Hiw lucky Hadley was to be in your care. I hope you hear lots of good news about her and her new home. -Nancy
    p.s. My son and I enjoyed the puppy video!


  2. You shouldn’t have waited any longer because she was starting to depend on you as her mommy right? Seems like you placed her with amazing people!


      1. You probably were, so I think it’s a very wise decision you made there! Even though it must feel horrible, missing her and possibly feeling guilty for ‘abandoning’ her (that’s exactly what I would feel, at least), you truly did the right thing. Amazing ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad that Hadley has what sounds like a perfect home. Hope it works out for her. I can only imagine how you feel. I am go glad she found someone like you and your family to help her to be more comfortable in the world.


  4. Loved following Hadley’s progress while in your care. She is a lucky dog to have had your love in preparation for her forever home!


  5. I also have mixed emotions about Hadley going home. I have been following your blog religiously since I saw your page info on Hadley’s OPH profile. I will miss reading about her progress, but I am relieved to hear that she has gone to a home with people who can be with her all day and that it happened sooner rather than later because as several others have pointed out, the heartbreak she must have felt in leaving you would only get worse with more time. It seems like she’s been through so much in her short life. Now she can finally just be in a warm, loving, familiar environment forever. While I’m sure she would have loved to stay with you, you can do so much more good overall by continuing to foster more dogs. Thanks for sharing!!!


  6. Cara,
    An update on “Hadley”

    A person cannot imagine a sweeter, gentler four legged friend. So far she has divided her time in our home very unevenly between her favorite spot on our couch in the family room, and one of the bedrooms. Mostly she lays there an observer of this environment, clearly trying to decipher what is happening to her. It takes little sacrifice of time to evoke the kind response of her gentle licking on the top of my hand. Affection indeed appreciated.
    We have decided not to use crate training on her as in our home a dog is a family member whom should find comfort and safety nestled beside us. She has decided that her new “crate” is in fact the couch she likes. This is fine with me as I spend quite a bit of time there with her. Our shared space is in the most used room in this house, and I am hoping being around us constantly will help bring her out of her shell.
    The first full day she spent here would have been hard for any dog. A parade of people it seems came over to meet her. She did much better than I did. My aunts dog from a few houses up came down to see if she wanted to play. She didn’t. Not the first day.
    Late in the evening her first day home, she recieved her seventh visitor. His name is Joshua. Joshua is my little nephew born on Nov. 1, 2015. I have yet to see her show so much interest in anything. She LOVES children. Her tail wagging and the amount of attention she gave Joshua after not even lifting her head to aknowledge any other visitor was heartwarming to see. She slept in my daughters bed a few hours later that evening, and after a short nap, played with some toys. My belief in her love for children was solidified in this behavior.
    Although she gets up herself to drink water from her bowl in the kitchen, I have found that she will only eat out of my hand. I don’t mind too much, I just wish she would realize the freedom she has to eat at will. Some would say she is catered to; it should not be argued that she is catered to. I enjoy seeing her progress as she teaches us small lessons in humility.
    Due to her kind nature, and gentle character we have decided to call her Daisy. She does not respond to anything but my whistle, but she didn’t respond to Hadley either. I walk her along the fenceline 8 to 10 times a day telling her her name as we go. At first I had to walk her on the leash, forcing off her couch to come out withbme. Now, I can stand at the door and whistle, calling Daisy and she will lumber off the couch and walk the fenceline sans leash. Her progress is great in just 3 days.
    I will try to keep you updated as best I can. Sorry it took so long as is, I generally don’t check e-mail unless expecting something. I followed anothergooddog the week prior to getting her, trying to get to know her so I figured you would post about her.
    She is a very special dog. I am hoping I can help foster the winds of change to build windmills with her, and not walls.


  7. Thank you Dann!! You don’t know how much this means to me. It brought tears to my eyes. I know she is meant to be with you and I am so grateful that you recognize her beautiful spirit. Please, please, keep me updated! (p.s. you’re writing is wonderful – poetic)


    1. What a GIFT for this amazing generous adopter to write such a lovely update on this special dog! I cried as I read his update. Daisy is so lucky to have such a loving caring forever home. I look forward to more updates!


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