April 25, 2012

Lessons learned from Holly and BTTR

To start with, despite all our best efforts, we fell in love with Holly. Yes, she wasn't fully potty trained; yes, she was an escape artist; yes, she had some nervous tenancies that made her almost impossible to train. There were moments where we were going to pull our hair out, but we loved her anyway. That sweet baby girl was just too much of a charmer. And she loved Relay. To see the two of them together just melted hearts all across Hampton Roads.

2012-01-28 20.48.12-1.jpgUntitled

Reunited and it feels so goodUntitled

So, we understood that letting her go would be hard, but somehow I never thought it would happen as it did. I thought it would be as simple as everyone involved wants to help animals in need, and the most challenging aspect of fostering would be working though behavioral problems and letting go after adoption. Turns out I just completely forgot about human nature.

To say that we didn't get along with the head of BTTR is a large understatement. Thankfully, our interactions mostly went through a very kind hearted foster coordinator, but there were enough exchanges with the president that things came to a head. I wrote a very long email detailing the problems I had to that point. In retaliation, she took back Holly. "I don't need some snot-nosed do nothing telling me how to run my rescue." Jeff was furious, I was just heart-broken. Things had gotten so ugly, so quickly, but I wanted to put all that aside because Holly didn't deserve to be a casualty of someone's ego.  After a few days of diplomacy, we got her back for a few days. She went to an adoption day, where she caught the attention of a family already looking to adopt a puppy as well. BTTR did not want us involved in the adoption process, so we never saw Holly again.

The lack of closure hurts, but I know she is with a good family, even if I have not met them. My foster coordinator was kind enough to pass on my contact information, and I spoke to the mother once, and she even sent me some pictures of Holly at her new home. But I don't know if we'll get a chance to meet them all. I hope so.

In the end, BTTR taught us to vet our rescue organizations prior to accepting a foster. And Holly, she gave us a crash course in the full range of emotions that a foster could ever go through. But if we can experience the best and the worst and still come out okay in the end, I think we'll be alright in the rest of our fostering adventure.


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