Just 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.