Friday, January 7, 2011

Somewhere between Selfish and Selfless

It has been nearly two months since Gert left the house. I missed her terribly on the first night when I had to go out and start shoveling the 18 inches of snow Boston received December 26th. She would have loved the snow; jumping over, through, and into the drifts, running after unseen squirrels, sniffing at buried food treasures and playing with me and the snow I was throwing off the end of the shovel. I had put her reindeer hat on the tree and remembered how she always looked at me when I put it on her head. "Really? You really want me to sit here with this on my head? I am not a reindog. I will sit here and not move, but you will know I am not happy. Hey, enough with the pictures." I had a tear or two in my eye.

So, now I have received an email asking me to take in a 7 year old female German Shorthaired Pointer that is being relocated from the Midwest. I am perplexed. This is only a foster situation, and is not intended to be permanent.

But wait. Gert was a foster as well. But the one reason I kept her is because I didn't think anybody would be able to manage her. She was one tough cookie. I thought it best that she stay with me. In the end, that of course was the correct course of action.

So, will it be different with this dog? I keep telling myself it will be. I will be a transfer station so that she can find her forever home.

Many people ask if I am ready for a new dog and I say of course. I was ready in my heart the minute Gert was carried away. There is always room for a dog. What I'm not ready for is the renewed responsibility of a dog. I like being in bed with my coffee watching the Today show and having no need to get up and go for a walk in the rain. I like not having to rush home, go for a walk, fix dinner, go for another walk, and do all that dog stuff. But on the other side of the coin, I do miss my morning dog walks and coffee talk with friends in the park. I miss the neighborhood walks and looking through the trash on garbage days. I miss the dog smile when I return home.

The question comes down to me; where do I want to be on the scale between selfish and selfless? It is a bigger question than just fostering a dog. It is about our time and how we dole it out to make the world a better place. Period. Whether it be a foster dog, a food bank, a neighborhood clean up, a political action group, or a donation to a charity -- where do we want to be in that chasm between selfish and selfless?

I am fighting with myself right now on this topic and all about a dog that will have a new home whether I give it to her or not. But for me, it is growing to be more about something inside me and my evolving world and my involvement in it.

It is time to grease the skids between Selfish and Selfless.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when I lost my dog. One of the worst days of my life.


January 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM  

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