Willa joined our household on March 2, 2013 as our third foster. She immediately wormed her way into my heart. I instantly knew I was in love, which caused quite an inner struggle for me.
In my town, there was a city limit of three dogs per household. We already had two dogs, Cooper and June. Our third spot was reserved for our foster dog. I absolutely LOVE helping out and saving lives. Fostering is so vastly rewarding. I cannot even begin to describe the joy and pride you feel when your foster gets adopted into a wonderful forever family. You get to look at that little soul and know that you saved a life. You did an amazing thing. You made a difference. It truly is a tremendous feeling.
If I were to adopt Willa, I wouldn't be able to foster anymore. My house would be full and I wouldn't be able to open my home to any more pups. I knew that I could and would still help in other ways. I am the webmaster and the event & fundraising coordinator for Sea Dog Rescue. I also volunteer at our local shelter when my schedule allows. I love helping out and enjoy every minute of it. Even though I would still continue to make a difference, I knew that good foster homes were hard to come by. Keeping Willa would make me oh so happy, but I would also feel guilty for not fostering anymore.
What to do? What to do? I cried. I worried. I agonized. I called my poor mom daily for advice. I had an immense love for Willa, our sweet senior foster. I knew that she would have a wonderful life if she stayed with us. I also new that Paula would adopt her into a fully approved and wonderful forever home if she didn't stay with us. My torment continued.
I talked to Ben, my husband, about it. He told me that he supported my decision whatever I decided. He was very supportive indeed, but I really just wanted him to say, "Let's keep her!" That would have made things so much easier. I talked to my friend, Angela, about it daily as well. She said that I already knew my answer. I just had to listen to myself and quit over-analyzing everything. (Easier said than done of course!) My friend at the vet, Kayla, told me Willa was quite worth not being able to foster anymore. As Kayla is a fellow hound lover, I valued her opinion and left the vet office feeling much better about my pending decision.
I sent a message to my friend, Sarah, for her opinion. She was my foster role model and got me started in the wonderful world of rescue. (Thanks, Sarah!) She also had a foster failure. I asked her how she knew that Cramer was meant to be hers. I also asked her how she told her rescue. I couldn't help but worry about telling Paula that I was in love with Willa. (Although I think she already knew! I have no poker face!) I knew that she would be supportive of me and not mad in the slightest. I just couldn't help but feel, however, that I would disappoint her if I couldn't foster for her anymore. Sarah told me that I had to trust in myself and that, unfortunately, she couldn't answer for me. All of my friends gave me such great advice and were so supportive of my inner struggle. I had known my answer all along.
Willa was meant to be mine. My girl. Forever.
I had to talk to Paula about wanting to adopt Willa. Crunch time came when she had an application put in on her. Oh no! Someone wanted my sweet Willa! That just made my heart hurt thinking about her leaving. She of course had to be mine. I talked to Paula about keeping her. Paula was of course completely understanding and was happy that Willa would have a wonderful forever family. She even told me I was ridiculous for feeling guilty. She really is the best!
|Paula & Willa|
All was said and done. Willa was my girl. I had a chocolate lab and two foxhounds. June and Willa became twins. Our little family was complete. I couldn't have been happier. Unless of course I got to foster again. Maybe fate would be on my side with that. :)
|Our Twins: June & Willa|
The third time is definitely a
As always, please consider adopting (or fostering!) your next best friend from your local shelter or rescue group. You most certainly won't regret it!
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