Regret comes in all shapes and sizes.
Some are small, like when we do a bad thing for a good reason. Some are bigger, like when you let down a friend.
Some of us escape the pain of regret by making the right choice.
Some of us have little time for regret because we're looking forward into the future.
Sometimes we have to fight to come to terms with the past, and sometimes we bury our regret by promising to change our own ways.
But, our biggest regrets are not for the things we did - but for the things we did not do when we had the chance.
The people that know how I feel about regret also know that I do live with one regret in my heart and that is not being the one to be with my Jack Russell when he was put to sleep. It was something I could not change or reverse and I hated that feeling. It is since that day that I promised myself "no regrets".
I am saddened to say that I have broken my promise to myself and have added a regret....
Things happen in life and as much as I don't believe in regrets I also believe that we need to accept that there are things we are just not meant to question. We need to accept certain things and learn to let them go without having answers. Then there are times when I think it is our duty to think about it a bit more, question behaviour, life, things in general
Being blessed with the exposure of fostering dogs teaches one a lot. Things you never even knew you could or had to learn. Not only about dogs but people too.
I think we can sometimes blinker ourselves to the point of being blind to what we are actually doing. Not being honest with ourselves that perhaps we need these "broken" animals more than they need us. Do we see things in them that aren't there because we want to feel more of a "saint" or as though we are making a bigger difference than we are already making by just giving something they did not have?
Is just giving them love and care not good enough for us anymore?
I have been asking myself this question more and more since getting involved with fostering less than a year ago. Experiencing people who prefer to be unsung heroes and people who almost "will" the dog to be more "damaged" than it is. Why - only they will know. Don't get me wrong, every single person willing to assist in the adoption process in any way I believe at their core is a good person and means well.
I do however feel, after experiencing what I have, that when people volunteer they need to not just "throw" themselves out there and look inside themselves as to the reason they want to help. Especially when it comes to fostering.
By offering to foster without it 100% being about the animal (and this takes major looking within yourself - one can't just flippantly say "I am in it for the animals") I would not recommend it. If that animal is coming to you because you need that sense of self worth or acknowledgement or recognition or you won't be able to admit "defeat" if your surroundings are not what is right for that animal. Being a good foster is letting go or stepping back and saying to yourself "not this time".
At the same token fostering does take it's toll on your emotions when you open yourself up to putting them before yourself. I never do so to the detriment of my own dogs, but my own dogs have taught me how to foster with unconditional love, "tough love" and fairness. They lead the way in approach, I hope because they have absolute confidence that no dog will stay to the detriment of them. If they tell me it's not OK. It's not OK. This has been my promise to every one of them.
A dog came into my life that needed our help and I let him go. I thought I was making the right decision at the time, but I let my emotions get the better of me and convinced myself I was doing what was best for him and my dogs.
I still have no words to describe or any understanding or answers to the question "Why this dog?" I don't know why he is different or why he has touched me so profoundly. This to me is one of those questions I feel I need to let go and just accept how I feel, regardless of the "Why".
I feel if I can do anything now it is to put the energy out there in hope that Jet will feel the love I have for him and hopefully, maybe, it helps him and allows him to trust the way Elnette and I saw him trust us and our dogs. This is all I can do for him, after not taking my chance to help him and embracing it.
You are a beautiful, amazing dog and you need to let people help you now so you stop getting misunderstood. I so wish that I could just come to you and hug you and tell you you are safe and need to let others in, the way you let us in. Everyone wants the best for you. You just need to believe it.
Knowing you is loving you.