A post by the momma:
Corbin let me take over the blog for this, oh-so-special, Former Foster Friday. Last Saturday, while I was at our adoption event with Amelia, I was so excitedly greeted by my big, blue Brute!
Those of you who have been following our blog for the past year must remember our dear Brutus. For those of you who are relatively new readers, I'll give you a quick recap (editing note: it wasn't so quick!). Brutus was in a kill shelter in Kentucky that the rescue I work with regularly pulls from. I was taking in a female pit bull from North Carolina from a woman who's family lost their home after her and her husband lost their jobs and they were relocating to Albany to live with family while they got theirselves back on their feet. They weren't allowed to take their dogs to their temporary home due to allergies, so through some miracle, she got in touch with me and I agreed to take in her pit bull, Eva and her lab mix, Duke with the rescue. With our home ready to be filled with a new foster, and most of our other homes filled, we didn't have room for Brutus.
Tell me the story again, foster momma. The one where you saved my life.
I agreed to take Brutus anyway. We'd work it out some way. One of our fosters would double up for a week or two and take this handsome fella. I couldn't let him die.
Brutus got off of the transport that Saturday morning and I fell in love. And, I mean Fell. In. Love. This wiggley, friendly, drooley pup was just melting my heart with each passing minute. By the end of our adoption clinic that afternoon, he was coming home with me. We'd be that foster home doubling up on dogs. I brought him home and he and Corbin got along right off the bat. Later that afternoon, I picked up Eva and she joined the pack seamlessly. In front of me, I had 3 pit bulls that I could easily see myself looking at for the rest of my life. They fit so perfectly together.
Three little Pit Bulls, sitting in a tree...
Brutus found his first home at a large adoption event. I thought it was great, he'd have a large farm to run and play on, another dog to play with, and humans to love him. I was wrong. When he left me, I had a bad gut feeling. I figured it was just because I loved Brutey and didn't want to see him go. That day taught me one of the most valuable lessons in foster. Always trust your gut. 3 weeks later, Brutus returned to my house, scared and thin. He spirit wasn't popping out of those beautiful eyes, his legs weren't bouncing crazily around my house and his tongue wasn't handing out his sloppy kisses left and right. He didn't return the dog he was adopted out as. But, thankfully, it didn't take Brutey long to get his bounce back. He was happy to see Corbin, happy to snuggle with me and Adam, and happy to be "home." We thought hard about keeping him, but realized there was a better life for him.
What? They didn't love my drooley face?
Brutey's second adoption came almost two months after he was returned. His new owner loved him SO much and enjoyed every second. I kept in touch with him and when concerns started popping up, I spent hours on the phone trying to find solutions. In the end, Brutey's new owner realized he didn't have the time for Brutus and felt awful leaving him home for 10-12 hours a day, since he had to pick up an additional job after Brute went to live with him. Unlike the first time Brutey came back, this time he was healthy, happy and visually well cared for. No doubt in my mind, his temporary owner made the best decision for Brutus, as difficult as it was for him.
Seriously? Who wouldn't want this dog?
Brutey was returned on my birthday, just a few days after my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Having him back in the house brought me so much joy. His snuggles helped me make it through the days. As much as I wanted Brutus to have a home of his own, I was glad we'd have him around for a while again. Although, that wasn't the case. Half way through his first week with us, I chatted with a guy interested in Brutus. He seemed too good to be true and I fought hard not to get my hopes up... or down! The more I talked with him, the more I thought this was the perfect home for my big blue moose.
Will this new place have sticks for chewing?
I met him at our adoption event the following weekend. He came with his dog, a female pit bull about Brutey's age. They all hit it off so well, and I just knew Brutey wouldn't be coming home with me that week. I was so hesitant about letting him go after being back for just one week, but I knew I couldn't pass this home up. I said goodbye to the dog who stole my heart.
How do you say goodbye to a dog your heart loves?
It was a heartbreaking time in my life. I lost my dad just a few weeks after Brutus left. To be honest, I missed his snuggles, his soulful eyes that looked so deep into your heart, and his giant, drooly smile that spread a smile right across my own face. But, his new dad sent me pictures and updates and it made me so happy that Brutus found his perfect home. As much as I missed him, I knew he was happy.
No worries, foster momma... I have plenty of places to snooze here.
And, a beautiful sister to snooze with.
And, I have a great dad who loves me lots!
And, boy was I right. His dad had always offered to meet up with me to see Brutus, but my life has been so hectic lately, I just didn't have the time. So, when I was in New Jersey a few months ago for my future sister-in-laws bridal shower, I received a text message picture of Brutus from a friend. He had stopped into clinic to visit me, but I was 3 hours away. I literally cried in the car. So, we made arrangements for them to come visit a clinic that I would be at! I waited and waited with so much anticipation all morning, and finally he arrived. I ran out the door and ran right over to my wiggley, happy, smiley boy and hugged the life out of him.
1 happy, healthy Brutey!
Brutus looks fantastic. His coat is great and his personality hasn't changed a bit. I know deep in my heart that Brutus found the place he was always meant to be. People say all the time "I don't know how you can foster, I'd never be able to give them up." The truth is, I don't ever give them up. Each of our fosters lives in my heart and when I get the chance to see them living the life they deserve, it reminds me why I do this. I help save their lives so they can make it to the life they were meant to live. Yes, my heart breaks when each one leaves, but it's mended when a new one arrives. They've all left their pawprints on my heart, I will never forget them.