For Foster Homes Everywhere
My dark round eyes look up at you, who reads the words created by the tap..tap..tap….
I lay beside my mistress, on tile where it is cool, and I will wait for however long she wishes to stay down here, and tap tap on her laptop.
Sometimes when I listen to her familiar sounds, a memory-wind brings to me sadness, of days when I was not permitted amongst those who walk on twos.
Of days when drink and food were the only interactions we had.
Of times when my litter after litter were given off to unfamiliar humans, never to be seen again.
On cold and rainy days, of snowy frosty days, of days so hot my coat felt like a prison out in the sun.
All those memories surface when that memory-breeze slides in… and that is why I look up at you.
Had it not been for you, with the kindness of your bottomless heart, in your arms that held me when I came, matted and feces infected, in your house amongst your own litter, I would not be here today, laying at my mistress’ feet, listening to those sacred familiar sounds in a home that I know is mine, away from elements of wind and cold–MINE.
I am adopted.
Had it not been for you, my foster home, I would not have known how to act inside, nor trusted this good woman’s touch, nor trusted the attention I receive consistently and tenderly.
I think of you when that memory-breeze comes by, for now you are associated with it, as my bridge from there to here. You sacrificed your own heart to allow me to find love amongst your kind.
I will forever be grateful for this.
When I was out alone in the cold and wet, the world was such an ugly place to belong. I never thought of wanting to be anywhere else but there, for I did not know there was anywhere else except there.
You proved me wrong.
I still remember your smells and the movements of your day. It was your touch that awakened me. You thought you were just removing mats from me.
All the while you were taking away the smallness of my world.
Do you think of me at times, as I do you? I could smell the many dogs that have been in your dwelling. For me, you were my only bridge. For you, there were many that came to you and left again. Were there so many that I am not one to be remembered? My eyes flit back and forth as I think of this, and my mistress instinctively drops her hand from her tap tap of her laptop and softly strokes me. It is her touch that assures me that you do remember me.
You chose her for me. If you loved me enough to give her to me, then I know you remember me. Thank you.
::::a soft sigh::::
My mistress looks down at me and smiles. She tells me we will be having company. There is a dog who will come to stay with us a short while, until he gets to go to his forever home.
My mistress cups my muzzle in her hands and reminds me we must give back what we are given.
I know my mistress’ heart. It will break her heart every time a dog will leave.
My tail thumps. Surely she needs me to get through this. It is what I am here for.
To love her when she needs to be loved. I rise and lay my head upon her lap.
I remember your eyes and realize the new dog will always remember my mistress’ eyes. Her touch.
It is wonderful to have an adopted home but our foster homes are just as important, even if we are only there for just a short while.
My mistress turns to tap tap again, and I lay my head back upon the tile. I settle into the wondrous familiarity of my home and begin to count the breaths until our foster dog arrives…