As I shared yesterday on Facebook, Polly’s “adopted” status has been changed back to “available.”
Over the past few months, I had been talking with Polly’s adopter about some challenges she had been facing after moving from a house to an apartment with Polly. Polly was having anxiety while she was away at work, and she finally decided that her home was not the best for Polly. I am bummed that it didn’t work out, frustrated that a lot of my advice didn’t seem to be followed, and heartbroken that Polly is now at a shelter instead of back in foster with me due to our current circumstances (trying to move, just coming off a long foster situation, etc). But there is good news…
Because Polly’s adopter had been in contact with me, I was able to arrange for Polly to be returned to Great Plains SPCA, the No-Kill shelter where I work, instead of the underfunded, open-admission shelter she had come from (where Polly most likely would have been put to sleep due to the lack of resources they have for dealing with pets with anxiety). She was nice enough to wait for several days to return her until there was room at the intake center. Once Polly arrived, the amazing staff at the intake center sat with Polly while she adjusted to the smells and sounds of the shelter, and once she was ready, helped her work out some of her energy in playgroups (which Polly loved).
The whole time I was kept up to speed on what was going on with her, and yesterday I was able to go over and see her. She instantly recognized me and laid against me with the full weight of her body while I pet her and promised her that I would do everything in my power to find her the perfect home again. I promised her that once she was moved over to the adoption floor in my building, I would bring her over to my desk to hang out when the adoption center was closed. I promised her that she won’t be sad forever. I told her that the last year and a half was just a stepping stone to her forever. That her adopted mom had loved her very much but just didn’t have the ability to care for her the way she needed, but loved her enough to make sure that she didn’t end up in a place where she would be left to languish. That I was sorry she couldn’t come home with me, that I felt like I had failed her in a million ways. And she just looked at me with her giant smile and licked my tears and put her paws onto my lap as if to say “I know.”
This is a first for me. Not my first returned foster (Ginger was returned twice before we found her forever family) but my first returned foster that I couldn’t take back into my home. And let me tell you, that is one sucky feeling. But I am choosing to look at the bright side of all of this… Polly is in amazing hands with the animal care team at Great Plains SPCA. I can see her every day if I want to. Polly is a fantastic dog with so much love to give – and her forever family is out there, just waiting for her to come into their lives. So I am going to focus on that. Being mad doesn’t help anything. It certainly won’t help her find a home.
So there it is. Polly is back. So expect to see lots of adorable photos of her in the coming days. And if you think about it, won’t you share her story? Who knows? You could be the one who finds her forever family!
Thank you for your support, too. I was hesitant to share this because I want to focus on Polly’s future, not her past, but I also feel like so often as foster parents we want to believe that we have found THE ONE for our foster dogs, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. That is a hard feeling to wrestle with – the feeling that you failed them in some way. So, if any of my fellow foster parents have felt this, just know, I’m right there with you.