The Prairie Dog Canine Rescue hosted an adoption fair today. They had 12 dogs from their rescue adopted including Jackie. It was a really good day.
It was really hard to say goodbye to Jackie. It has been really hard to say goodbye to every dog that we have fostered. I was thinking about it today... Why is it so much harder to say goodbye to a rescue dog than it is to a friend's dog that you look after, or a client's dog no longer requires your services?
Is it because you may never see them again? I don't think so. I've had clients move away and while I was sad to see them go, I didn't cry every time I thought about it.
Is it because you aren't sure they are going to a good home? I don't think this is it either. I know the rescue does the best they can to match the right dog up with the right family and will often turn down applications because it isn't the right fit.
I think it is so hard because I'm afraid I'm sending them the message that they weren't good enough.
Every one of these dogs have been told at least once in their life, if not more, that they aren't good enough. They've either been left behind in a cardboard box, or dropped off in the country somewhere, or abandoned at a kennel, or given away because they've had a baby, or are moving, or... It doesn't matter what the reason is, it comes down to the fact that their owner no longer considers them a priority and that they aren't worth fighting for.
I know life isn't black and white and that some people have some really legitimate reasons for having to find their dog a new home. I get that. I really do. But that sure doesn't seem to be the majority and I'm shocked and annoyed by the number of dogs that come into rescue that people really haven't cared about.
I'm scared that Jackie will think that despite the love we gave her and she gave us, despite all the cuddles every night, and despite the fun we had, that when it came down to it, she wasn't good enough for us. When the fact is, she was more than good enough. She was great. We were never meant to keep her forever. We were just meant to keep her safe until she could find someone that needed her as much as she needed them. I just hope she knows that.