We called her Penny because we said she was found like a lucky one–wandering the streets in the middle of traffic…we couldn’t believe someone wasn’t missing her. We tried to find her home to no avail, so she became ours—only temporarily. That’s how it works when you give a foster home—to a dog, or a child, or even a snail. It’s known from the start that this is just a stopover.
She won our hearts with her quiet faith in our goodness—with her sweet bovine face.
I set the alarm for 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday so I could get up and watch part of the lunar
She was my shadow.
Tonight we drove 45 minutes to meet her new family and they were quite lovely and she seemed fine—if not a little overwhelmed. When we drove away, I tried not to look at that silver Toyota Highlander—to strain for her sweet face in the window. When we reached the first stop light, there was a man on the side of the road with a woman in a wheelchair. He was holding a sign. The rain was icy and coming harder. I told Teddy to get some money from my wallet. We pulled over and handed him a few dollars and the silver Highlander just kept going. When we got on the interstate, Jeffrey cried for twenty five minutes and I wonder if I’m breeding attachment disorder in my children. We were stuck in rush hour traffic through Charleston and it was dark and the rain coming down struck the windshield in slushy drops. A huge flock of Grackles flew overhead and landed in two trees right beside the freeway. Jeffrey stopped crying and sang us a version of the 12 Days of Christmas that he had written at school today. When he stopped he said, I can’t wait to meet our next foster dog. I know he is remembering the conversation we had when Argus went to his new home. You can’t be afraid to love, I told him, just because you are afraid of getting hurt.
It’s about more than the dog, though, isn’t loving one of God’s creatures with the whole heart enough? These boys have learned about loss from these creatures. They’ve learned about grieving and responsibility and loving fully.
A promise is a promise, I thought, heart in my throat.
And as we pulled into our drive I stopped and texted my husband.
Penny is in good hands. And we’re going to be OK.