For the past 6 months, Teddy has been my baby... especially because I've had him since he was just a baby. Teddy entered my life as a 6 week old puppy, when I rescued his litter of 8 tiny puppies from inevitable euthanasia in a shelter. The reason for their pending deaths: their breed.
Teddy's mom was a Pit Bull. Obviously, this makes Teddy a Pit Bull mix. And even though he is every bit as much a "Boxer mix" (which, by the way, is considered "acceptable" by most shelter standards), the Pit Bull label assured his fate--death.
And so, I rescued 8 Pit Bull mix puppies... and brought them back to life. Several of these pups were malnourished, requiring additional vet care, frequent feedings, and expensive supplements.
Teddy was one of those sick babies, and out of the 8, he needed the most from me. He was so tiny... and I remember how he'd snuggle his little body in my arms and shower me with kisses as I nursed him back to health. I treasured every minute of those early days with my Teddy, and those memories will stay in my heart for as long as I live.
Soon, three of the healthy pups, Brutus, Duke, and Bam Bam, were adopted and transported to Minnesota. The remaining 5 lived with me... healing, growing, and learning. Each day, they became a little healthier, got a little bigger, and learned a little more.
Each day... they changed my life.
Shortly thereafter, Darcy, Lexi, and Ellie were adopted.
And then... there were 2: Teddy and Brody.
Teddy and Brody are best friends. From the beginning, Teddy has played the role of "big brother" to Brody, and I could always see the admiration in Brody's eyes for his cool big bro. Teddy showed Brody the ropes, and Brody willingly followed Ted's lead. Their special relationship with each other, and with me, has impacted my life more than words can express. When the 3 of us are together, the world is exactly as it should be. Well... almost.
As much as I love them, I want more for my babies. Families. Homes. The chance to be special. This is my dream for my children. So, for months, I've waited... for one, or both, of them to get that chance.
A few months ago, I thought Teddy's chance had arrived. I approved an amazing adopter and set-up transport. But the week he was meant to leave me, the adopter called me in tears. Her insurance company was going to drop her family if she adopted a "Pit Bull mix," and they couldn't afford to switch companies. Just like that... a misinformed corporation stole my baby's chance for a family...
And my heart shattered. I cried as I told Teddy the news. I apologized over and over again, for something that wasn't my fault, and certainly wasn't any fault of Teddy's. But it didn't matter whose fault it was. Teddy wasn't going home.
A couple months later, another adopter was set to adopt my Teddy. Then, the morning of the scheduled transport, the adopter backed out. So... for the second time in Teddy's short little life, his chance for a family was ripped away from him.
I was blown away. Teddy is one of the most gorgeous, awesome dogs I've ever rescued. He has the coolest personality, with a happy-go-lucky disposition and a gentle, loving soul. Teddy is simply amazing.
Yet, he's been "in-waiting" all of his life. Most days, I blamed myself for this, assuming that I must suck at my job if I can't even find a home for this incredible dog. I'd tell myself that I must be the problem here, feeling that Teddy has never had a real family... because of me.
Well... this week, that all changed, when I approved the perfect adopter for my Teddy. Of course, I was worried... considering that his past 2 adoptions fell through last minute, so I tried not to get my hopes up. I scheduled the transport and set my heart on this chance for Teddy's future.
Today --transport day-- I woke up, said a special prayer, and prepared to let my baby go... to finally send him home. My stomach was in knots all morning, wondering if, once again, bad news would come last minute... and preparing my heart for another potential letdown.
I loaded Teddy into the car and drove to meet P.E.T.S., the transport company that would get him to New York. I was in constant contact with the adopter, Melissa, and she couldn't wait for Teddy to be on his way to her family.
When we got there, I realized that this was really happening... Teddy was really going home. I could hardly believe it. I did it.
As we said our final goodbyes, Teddy's life played like a movie in my mind. Suddenly, I realized that my baby... the sick little puppy who needed his mama... was all grown up. He was healthy, happy, and ready for his future. Months of my time, energy, and love had made this moment possible for him-- the biggest moment of his life.
In that moment, I forgave myself... for thinking that I'd failed my baby boy. Because in truth, I never failed him... not once. Every time he needed me, I was there for him, and I'm the only reason he's alive today.
|Brad & I with Teddy|
As we loaded him on the transport truck, Teddy couldn't understand why I wasn't coming with him. I'm his mom... the only mom he's ever known, and he didn't want to go. But on Saturday, when he meets his new family, he'll understand why I did it. I did it for him.
I gave Teddy life, love, and hope.
Then... I let him go.
That's what I do.
*And then... there was one: Brody.
UPDATE: Click to read Brody's adoption story: http://luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/and-then-there-were-none.html