I met you only briefly. I didn’t want to. I knew instantly that you represented the hardest part of rescue for me – surrender. But there was no one else there, so I could not avoid you.
There is great joy in the work we do – and some parts that are really difficult. My heart is pretty strong. But to see a newly surrendered dog in a yard, pacing back and forth, searching – it is too much for me. I try to avoid it.
Where did my human go? I’m not sure where I am. Come stay with me. Waiting by the gate. Eyes hunting. The car drives off. Alone. Where are you going? These are nice people; they are kind. They speak softly and have treats. But where is my human? What is this place? Who are these other dogs? A kennel? I have a home. I’m scared. Don’t leave me. What happened? Did I do something wrong?
The process used to fill me with anger for the dog left behind. Now, people in your position fill me with sadness – for what you left behind. You clearly did not want to say goodbye. Your life changed in ways you didn’t expect or plan. You thought you could manage, but it wasn’t working. You knew you were neglecting the dog you had loved for so long. You made the heartbreaking choice. You try to be upbeat and brave for him. One last toss. One last hug. But when you leave, you can barely see the road – your eyes are so flooded with tears.
I want you to know that your boy was adopted. You raised him right; you did a good job; you loved him well. It was clear he would not be with us long.
His new family is overjoyed. He has two beautiful girls who will dote on him and play with him. They have waited a long time for your beautiful, perfect boy. They don’t know how they got so lucky.
We told you it would be alright. We kept our promise. He is safe. He is home. He will be loved. The look in his eyes says he has not forgotten you; he will not forget you. But he will be cherished and he will find that he loves his new family as well.
You remind me that the right thing is sometimes the hardest thing. Your surrender was ultimately an act of love. I hope this brings you some peace. I wish you well.