Six Days, Almost a Week

October 7, 2010

One week ago tomorrow, Mickey and I drove our little foster pup Shooter halfway to the city to meet his new human. The young man who adopted Shooter seemed to really like the little guy and the affection seemed mutual, and since the adopter only has one week to return a pet for whatever reason and we haven’t heard a peep, I can only assume that it was a good match of dog and boy. My mind knows this is what I as a foster parent was bound to do. My mind knows that my only purpose in Shooter’s life was to find him a good forever family. Unfortunately, my heart isn’t quite as smart as my head.

I won’t mention how I woke up sobbing on and off all night last Friday. I won’t mention how I didn’t put on make-up that weekend because I knew I’d just cry it off. I won’t mention how stumbling over his little chewy toys still made me tear up days later. I won’t mention those things (see how I did that?) because after six days of frantic emotion I think I’ve finally gotten myself together.

Mickey had a book signing in Atlanta today and is speaking at a conference this weekend. Slevin and I drove him to the airport this morning, and we got home early enough for me to get bored and clean the house from top to bottom. When I’d done all the major chores I could find, I put on my figurative big girl panties and gathered up Shooter’s toys. Then there was quiet. Just me, Slevin, and the birds outside.

One of my very good friends knows what this week did to me emotionally and how lost I’ve been feeling. Losing Shooter was some sort of trigger; it reminded me of all the animals and people I’ve lost in my life, and not in a happy, nostalgic way. I wasn’t looking forward to being alone this weekend because solitude leads invariably to introspection. But I think introspection is exactly what I’ve been lacking. With no effort on my part, the quiet of the afternoon soothed my emotions and calmed my frantic thoughts. Just sitting here with my hand on Slevin’s noble head allowed certain truths to surface that were lost under the internal chaos and conflict I’d created for myself.

I lost Shooter, but that’s what I was supposed to do. In this economy, I might lose my job, but if that happens then that will be part of the Big Plan, too. If and when I lose more loved ones (furred or just semi-), it’s all part of my path. Every joy and every pain leads me to who I’m supposed to be. I still can’t look at Shooter’s pictures, but it’s only been six days. I can cut myself some slack now, I think.

What did I do with Shooter’s toys, you ask? They’re in a neat pile in the dining room. Waiting. Waiting for the next puppy that needs me, whether temporarily or for the term of its life.

I’m ready.


9 Responses to “Six Days, Almost a Week”

  1. karola Says:

    and you do what you so perfectly, even tho sometimes you don’t see it that way..

    • shelley bailey Says:

      DEBI, even though i am crying now from reading this its a sad but also very beautiful story, animals are sent to people like yourself because you are meant to have them, even for a short time, this is just one of your many many purposes in life,and you do a wonderful loving job of it,you not only have a way with animals Debi, also with people i have only known you a short time here but i fell like i have known you forever you have crept into my heart too you are a very strong caring responsible loving gal and all the animals that ever come into your life are so very fortunate to be there and yes Debi i know how hard it is letting go of a furry one but sometimes we have to hurt in order for those furry ones to be happy again, thank you for being you Debi and please dont ever change at all, stay strong love you lots take care shelley and holly the kitten too xxx

  2. Only the strongest love can let go and allow a new chapter to begin. You were given a special heart full of animal love for a reason…those babies need you to guide them towards a new start. Hope this weekend is a little easier on your heart 😉

  3. Mickey Says:

    you know….

    I kinda miss the little guy too and his precious little… Yark Yark Yark.

  4. coby Says:

    From the monks of new skete..I & Dog One more lesson learned

    Dogs teach us an important lesson by easily adapting to the changing circumstances of life.

    Their happiness isn’t contingent on always getting their way. No matter how their natural preferences get “detoured,” they effortlessly make the best of whatever comes up without complaint. A “no” on the comfortable couch? They easily flop on the floor, almost acting as if it were their idea. The fluctuations of weather? Dogs are able to enjoy whatever Mother Nature throws at them without a lot of fuss: Rain or shine, they will figure out the best way to enjoy the walk. What could be more reasonable?

    • I know you’re right, Coby. I only wish I was as emotionally intelligent as my dogs. Unfortunately, even though I know Shooter is fulfilling his purpose with someone else and is undoubtedly spoiled and happy, the selfish human in me wants him to be fulfilled and happy laying on MY couch. Sigh. I’ll never be the person my dogs want me to be.

  5. Lisa Says:

    you’re pretty fabulous in case you did not know

  6. John H Drake Says:

    Ok Debi, this one stabbed me in the heart and soul. I had to have my little toy poodle , best freind euthanized 11 months ago…almost to the day…and I’m sitting here with tears running down my face, You have my condolences…its still a “loss” even though they’re still alive somewhere else. OH YEAH…a well written story/truth. 5 *****

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