We have another wonderful success story from the Knight family … and Boe. 😉 Abby originally wrote this on Sept. 15, but Bunny had just gone home with her new parents, Tyler and Brittany Hodnett, and we wanted to give them time to settle in and adjust before announcing it, which we were able to do on Facebook earlier this week. We thought this was a wonderful insight into the world of fostering — in learning to love them and in letting go. They may have only had her for a couple of weeks, but those couple of weeks were crucial in setting up Bunny’s forever life … which, as you can tell from the pics, is just awesome.

Bunny Hops Home

From Abby Symonds, Bailey and Lillian Knight and Boe

Naptime with Boe

It was another emotional weekend for us, as we gave last kisses and best wishes to Bunny (AKA Molly) as she went to her forever home.

We only had her two weeks.  I didn’t believe we had much of an impact on her in that short time.  But when we took her to the ranch on Sunday, I noticed a couple of positive changes.

First, she was comfortable on the leash.  We haven’t spent a lot of time on leash training, but she didn’t fight it and only got tangled in it once or twice.  She was content to follow along where I went.

Second, when we first got her, the first thing she did when she met a person was roll over on her back.  (I swear this is the Dachshund in her!)  She only did this twice on Sunday, despite the many people coming to talk to her and see her.  She just seemed a bit more confident.

Of course, Bunny taught us a few things in two weeks as well.

First, dogs are different. For most people who have dogs, that is a “duh” statement. But in less than three months, we introduced two new dogs into our household.  So we have seen this rather dramatically.  How we fit with them also differs.  Jessie, our first foster, was mine and Lillian’s dog.  She was our sweet shy girl.  She blossomed as she  learned how to play with Boe, but, more  importantly, as she learned how to interact with and trust in us.

Bunny was Boe’s dog. They hit it off from the beginning. They chased, played and teased. They chased each other around the house, taking turns being the alpha dog, and then would collapse on the couch and fall into sleep, Bunny resting her head  in Boe’s neck. Bunny did not require as much emotionally from her human family as Jessie did.  Instead, Bunny needed the structure we provided and the companionship that Boe provided.

If Jessie was our ugly duckling, then Bunny was our wild pony. We loved, love, them both, but in different ways.

I posted a status on Facebook last night about Bunny getting adopted.  One of my friends responded that it would take “some mind control not to become attached.”

As a foster, it is both incredibly hard and incredibly easy to let them go.  It is hard because I  do love these dogs.  I am  invested in them emotionally.  They have challenged my patience . Bunny and I had a couple of “Who is the most stubborn” moments.  But they have also smothered me in kisses and been comforted only by the presence of my hand on their head, stroking softly behind their ears. When they go, they take a piece of my heart with them.

On the other hand, I have always approached  our time with them as temporary.  We are a transitional home.  We are the cocoon between the caterpillar and the butterfly. We have a specific job to do – get them from rescue status to adopted status. We don’t talk in long term.  Last week, as I began getting emails about bringing Bunny to the ranch this past weekend for adoption, the kids and I began talking about our next foster.  We looked at the pictures on the website.  We talked about the best weekend to bring a new one home.

One habit we are developing is establishing downtime between each foster.  This is our family time when we get back into our one dog routine.  We let Boe be spoiled only dog for a few weeks.  After Jessie,  we vacuumed up her fine white JRT hair.  We wash dog bowls and blankets.  I know Donna  would have loved to have me take one home last night.  (And I was completely smitten by one of the rescues last night and would have.)  But just like the dogs that are fostered, the families need boundaries and guidelines as well in order to be successful.

Look for us and our further adventures in fostering in just a few weeks when we bring home #3.

Want to Foster?

Have questions about your commitment as a foster? You can find out everything you need to know on our Foster A Dog page. We do need to mention that, although we appreciate the offer from other states to foster, all potential fosters should live in the Atlanta area to make vet runs and/or to bring the dogs to adoption events or to meet prospective parents.