We are used to getting attached to the puppies we foster. It's inevitable, especially as we often have them for 3 months or morel We tell ourselves we can't keep all the puppies we fall in love with or we'd have dozens of them and we can't keep fostering newborns if we have too many of our own. So we plod along, taking care of the wee beasties, falling in love, and saying goodbye.
Sometimes one of the beasties snuggles their way into our hearts in a special way. Sometimes they are the ones who get attached to us. We tell ourselves, it's the breed; certain breeds will bond quickly and be very loyal to their humans. We know this.
We think we have everything under control, then one little pup jumped on my lap and rested his head on my chest, looking up at me as if to say, "I love you Mommy". He followed me everywhere and, when visitors came, made it clear he wanted nothing to do with them.
It was charming, but we were concerned, too. We knew we couldn't keep him, so what was going to happen when it came time for him to be adopted?
The first attempt failed. The adoptive family came to meet him and we handed him over. He fought to get away until they finally put him down and he ran straight to Emma's lap. Not completely satisfied, he even barked at them.
It's the breed, we tell ourselves. Don't fall for it. It's just a loyal breed. He'll get attached to his adoptive family, too. But how will he ever be adopted if he won't go to anyone else?
At the big adoption event, we were sure a cute little Min Pin like him would be adopted. Instead, there were so many people and so many dogs, he was overwhelmed. He seemed to melt into us so he wouldn't be seen. When others tried to pick him up, he cried and fought to get away. I fought back tears. What were we doing here? It felt like we were abandoning our baby!
This was dangerous thinking. What happens if a dog doesn't want to be adopted? Do they stay a foster dog forever? I'd never heard of that happening, not with our group. On the other hand, he did get along so well with all of us and Bennie.... and... and...
Finally, Emma and I needed to leave. It was a pre-arranged family gathering, but it was the excuse we needed to leave the little pup there at the adoption event. There was one staff member who seemed to understand the pup's needs and we entrusted the wee beastie into his care.
Half an hour after we left, little pup was adopted. So much for loyalty. Without us there, he went to other people just fine. I wasn't too offended. The rescue group (Life is Better Rescue) took a photo of him with his new "Mom". He looks happy. We're sure he'll bond with her very, very quickly.
It's the breed.