Last week, I talked about “real change,” and it’s absolutely time for that in my life. Over the weekend, I made those lists, looked at my calendar/schedule, and had some heart-to-heart conversations with my girls.
First thing on the list to de-stress my life is finding a home for Thorin, a place where he will be happy, so I emailed the Australian Terrier rescue. Same as with Sam, we believe his happiness will only be with someone who actively desires his specific breed and will spend time with him and treat him as part of the family. On the website, I read reassuring words from Darlene Evans, the President of ATR: “Rescue is done with the heart. Sometimes in rescue there are difficult decisions that have to be made, but they are offset by the happy look of an Aussie as he is going off to his new and final home. That is what rescue is all about.” That is what we want for Thorin. Within two days, a woman from Georgia called to ask about Thorin and passed his info along, cautioning me that it could be difficult to find someone to take a dog so old.
By Wed, a woman contacted me who wants to adopt Thorin! She has had Aussies in the past and loves them and now has a tiny Yorkie, so Thorin will have a pal to hang out with. The dogs are not left alone more than a few hours at a time and even go on vacation with her and her husband. They live close to Orlando and would be happy to send us updates and photos of a happy Thorin, and we could even visit him. This weekend, we will take Thorin to their home and see if it works out.
A huge weight of relief fell off of my shoulders after that phone conversation. Again, we do not have to say a forever goodbye, which is such a blessing, as this decision is difficult to make. At times, I wonder if we could work it out somehow. Thorin, such a sweetheart, follows me around like a little shadow, and we have fallen into a semi-workable routine this week. When we take him on longer walks, he is less likely to mess in the house, and he still adores car rides with us. However, it is an added expense, an extra responsibility, and it takes so much time from our already over-busy schedule. Some days, things appear to flow more smoothly, and it works out. Other days, it is a real struggle to find time to walk Thorin in the morning or rush back to him after church or work. Bottom line is that it’s too much right now, and it’s not fair to him to be locked up several days a week.
Yet I am sad to think of saying any sort of goodbye to Thorin this weekend. He has been part of our family for eleven years, and we are giving him to another family, which hurts. At the same time, I realized this week that Lexi was right from the very beginning when she said that God was using the situation with the dogs to help us work through and release some things from our past.
Once upon a time, we were a family of six (two adults, two kids, two dogs). In the meantime, divorce, life, circumstances changed our family, breaking it into two separate ones. It has taken time, but those separate families are healing, learning, evolving, and growing stronger. Seeing the dogs and having them here in our new life where they don’t really fit anymore has helped us accept the past and our new paths. Being part of their recovery and healing has brought fresh healing for us. Saying goodbye to our dogs has allowed us to release the past and some of our expectations of the future. Finding them new homes where they will thrive shows us our chance to thrive. We are all going in separate, new directions, but it is good. And they all lived happily ever after with their new families.