Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pooches: On Taking Chances

Every so often, people ask us whether it's worth it.
Worth it to foster dogs that might cause heartbreak when they leave.
Worth it to adopt older dogs that might not be with us as long.
Worth it to even have a dog at all when the pain of losing them is so great.
I don't think anything can ever prepare us for the pain of their loss.
Though, at the same time, sometimes it helps me to think about how much worse it would be if none of us even tried.
Like many others, both Miss M and foster Bessie Belle were dogs 'on the list'. Their lives were supposed to end that day. So even though we would love the time with our dogs to be so much longer, I like to think about how they did get an extension to really get out and enjoy life. And sweet Bessie Belle was able to touch so many lives.
At the same time, we also also so thankful to Mr B's foster mom and his rescue group who took a chance on an older lumpy pup.
So I guess what really keeps us going, is the idea of chances.
The chances so many people have taken to save the dogs that have touched so many lives.
The chances people took that brought our own dogs into our lives.
And while it can be painful, it can be worth it to take that chance.

What does everyone else say when people ask whether it's 'worth it'?

33 comments:

Katie said...

This is beautiful. Personally, I always say that the joy and happiness I get from sharing my life with my dog(s) far outweighs the eventual pain of loss.

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

you hit it spot on (and made me cry in public) - it makes it with it knowing you've given a dig a chance that they might otherwise not have had. I have done so much that I wouldn't have done if I never had the pooches. They have definitely made me a better person.

Taylor G said...

Absolutely worth it, not even a question. I remember sitting at our kitchen table a week or two after brining Mugsy home and Shannon and I both overly stressed thinking "what did we get ourselves into"? Mugsy was both our first dog but after we quickly adjusted to 3 am potty runs, expensive vet visits, stereotypes, etc. But Mugsy also brought us a ton of new experiences, our Sociabulls friends, and a boat load of love and companionship. Now we can't imagine living without him and fear the day when we will.

Andrea Torre said...

I just asked my Girl how life would be if we didnt go to the shelter that day to pick her up..she looked at me as if to say.."it would suck"

Sam and Pippen said...

I had a co-worker tell me she wouldn't have a dog because of the eventual sadness of losing them. I asked her why does she do anything then? There are no guarantees on anything in life. Life is about the experiences, good and bad.

Sam and Pippen's mom

ohmelvin.com said...

This is what I know... Grief is the price we pay for loving well. It's always worth it.

Courtney said...

We adopted our Akita when he was 2 1/2. We had to have him put to sleep in December; he was 12. I had hoped for more time, but he was in so much pain that I knew I had to let him go - that I wasn't being fair to him. I wouldn't trade the 10 years in between for anything.

Luv My Rosie said...

I got alot of grief about getting my pit Rosie. Not a day goes by that I don't regret it. Although it has been a challenge, I wouldn't trade it for anything. She is getting older now (almost 9) and I can't even imagine what it will be like when she is gone. She is my pride, joy and my heart!
She has made my life so much happier!

mayziegal said...

When our cat Ripley died, the pain was breathtaking. But as much as it hurt, it was a small price to pay for all the love, laughter and cuddles he gave us through the years. We still miss him but the pain has lessened and we are left with a lifetime of cherished memories that make us happy whenever we think of him. The pain was temporary. The joy he gave us is forever.

Oh, yes...totally worth it.

MayzieMom

Debra@Peaceabull said...

"It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."
Lord Tennyson knew what he was talking about!

livierules said...

It's definitely worth it! The pain of losing a dog is tremendous! When my previous dog died I couldn't bear to be in my apt and moved in with my mom for two weeks.
Despite that, three months later I got another dog. As a dark colored Pit Bull type dog Petey had maybe another day in the shelter, if that. He has brought incalculable amounts of joy to me, my family, friends and total strangers.
I will never forget the look in his eyes the first time I toweled him off after a walk in the rain. His eyes seemed to say "Wow...this living with a person thing is really a WONDERFUL gig"

Katherine said...

Oh the joys and pains of adopting and rescuing. I have had to humanely put down and let go of too soon my last two. I couldn't go two weeks without another furry love in my life since I have always had a dog around. I have volunteered at my local Humane Society and at a spay/neuter clinic so I know all about tough love and getting a job done knowing you are saving a life even if it is only for today. Sometimes that's all you can do and I am ok with that because it is so worth the loving licks and happy tail wags.

SherBear said...

It is ALWAYS worth it!! Growing up in a family of dog lovers it was known that whenever a dog passes away you immediately get a new one (or ones). It's sad when a dog passes away, but fortunately all of the dogs I've grown up with have lived to 15+ so I knew the end was coming and had time to prepare. It's hard to think that someday Nala won't be with me anymore, but when that time comes (hopefully not for many, many years as she is only 2 1/2) I will know that not only did I give her the best life I possibly could, but she touched my life in countless ways. She will always be my FIRST dog and her memory will always live on :)

harrispen said...

Two of our pups died by the age of 6 from cancer and one of those we didn't adopt until she was 1 1/2. It doesn't matter if you adopt young or old, you never know just how much time you have. My husband and I have never been without a dog for more than a couple of weeks and wouldn't have it any other way.

Cindy

Andrea said...

Totally worth it! I was hesitant to adopt an older dog and so we adopted what we thought was a two year old. Rescue made a mistake and he's five. Whoops! I wouldn't have it any other way, he's amazing and I will always adopt an older doggie now. :)

DeeDee said...

Thanks so much for this post (and all the comments, too!). As much as it hurts me to think of one day not having my Dazzle with me, I wouldn't trade the experience of having her in my life just to prevent that pain. It's totally worth the chance - my life is brightened daily by Dazz's love, humor, and candor. In the year I've had her, I've learned so much about my own capacity to love bigger each day... pups are amazing teachers! <3

devineopine said...

This definitely applies to doggies with disabilities too. Totally worth it! We have a three legged pittie. I'm sure he'll have his share of health issues when he gets older, so far our biggest vet bill was after an encounter with a porcupine (no, he doesn't let the missing leg get him down). What you said about chances is so true. Prince has gotten so many chances. As a puppy he got loose and was hit by a car. His owners didn't keep him, for whatever reason and I don't judge, but they were thoughtful and surrendered him to the ASPCA. They did the surgery and rehabbed him. He was adopted as someone's "outside dog" which wasn't a good fit him, he's such a cuddly mush who thrives on human contact. They brought him back to the ASPCA after a few months. We adopted him at a year and half and have had him for almost 3 years now. He is such an amazing addition to our family, and even though he's been through a lot, he is so lucky that people brought him to a good organization who waited until the right family found him.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Good post cause mom always wonders if she could foster or not
Benny & Lily

Party of Three said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Party of Three said...

I tell them, "How could you look into their eyes and tell them they are not worth it".

Tracey Thompson said...

and on a side note - if anyone is thinking about/considering adding a second dog to their family - it is so worth! I have to say - it really isn't double the work - it's double the fun! We did four years ago and now - our little guy went to the Rainbow Bridge this past week. If it wasn't for little girl being there to be our comforter I would be a total wreck. She's grieving too - and I'm very hopeful we'll find her another buddy, play pal, snuggle butt, squirrel chasing, rock climbing pooch! The adjustment of going from two to one is by far harder than going from one to two! Yes - it's worth it - absolutely, no doubt in my heart! Thank you for sharing with us.

Michelle said...

Totally worth it. If I hadn't taken a chance, I never would have shared my life with my heart dog Jezzie for fifteen wonderful years. Not even a choice really. My heart craves the companionship of a dog.

adventuresofadogmom said...

When it comes to dogs, it's always worth it. Sure it hurts sometimes, it hurts a lot but that's how you know just how much you loved that pup.

Sam said...

I tell them it isn't worth it without them. We are looking to adopt a 14 year old pup. ;)

Sam

sweetemaline said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Yes, it is hard to foster knowing that you are going to be giving up that dog to his/her new owners... but that just makes the time we have together that much more precious. And knowing that I was able to play a small part in saving a life is priceless!

Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie
www.ourwaldobungie.com

Amy said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Opening yourself up to loss is part of really living and not just sleep walking through life. Bessie Belle, Miss M and Mr. B have brought so much to all our lives, and in return they've been well loved and spoiled - as it should be. No matter how long their with us, dogs make us better people.

Kelly Glew said...

The first foster is always the hardest to give up! After that it gets easier and the more your focus shifts from wanting the dog for yourself to helping save another life. It's always worth it in that respect!

Kelly Glew said...

The first foster is always the hardest to give up! After that it gets easier and the more your focus shifts from wanting the dog for yourself to helping save another life. It's always worth it in that respect!

thegirlandherdog.com said...

Never a doubt in my mind, it's always worth it!!

jet said...

Of course it's worth it! they give such unconditional love when they are with us and they are always teaching us something as well.

liliana876 said...

I could not imagine life without dogs. However, going through the difficult time we are going through with Sasha, I am not able to imagine having other dogs. Maybe its because she its her time, she leaves us with 4 others to take care of us, but even after these 4 guys leave us...I cannot imagine loving another dog as much as I love Sasha.

I guess one day I will have to take that chance because life without a dog is no life at all.

~Liliana
lilisnotes.com

Emily said...

Our rescue once pulled a sweet ten year old pittie who had lived his life malnourished and was set to be put down. He lived in foster for a few months where he was perfect with his doggie brother and sister and household cat. Before he left foster he passed away due to congestive heart failure. It was so sad for his foster mother and anyone who had been lucky to meet him. He never found his "adoptive" home but for a few months he lived a life with a foster mom who loved him like her own and he finally had the chance to experience what all dogs should. It saddens me that daily dogs meet their end without enjoying the simple pleasures all pups should be allowed. But you do what you can, absolutely.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Bessie's mom was so touched by everyone's thoughtful words, and she wanted to share the following: "Thank you for the incredible number of comments and outpouring of love and support. These comments showed me we all did the right thing in saving this precious life. She touched so many in so short a time.
Thinking about the follow-up blog post Two Pitties wrote about taking chances, and why we take them to save the animals left behind, in my mind, nothing physical or material lasts forever, so why not take a chance at making today wonderful? Bessie did that for me. Each day was filled with her loving companionship and gratitude for the morning walk. She also helped me develop compassionate friendships, deepened old ones and introduced me to communities of support. My life was immeasurably richer for all of these gifts. Why wouldn't I take that chance?
Before she passed, I thanked Bessie Belle for all she brought to my life. She was more than worth the chance."

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