Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Almost Home

Holden almost wasn't my foster at all. My first foster was a boston baby who after 30 minutes in my car was claimed by his owner. After 3 weeks missing, the owner heard about our rescue and contacted our then administrator. Had that dog not been claimed, Holden would have gone to another volunteer to foster.

Holden almost didn't stay at my house past the first 2 weeks. Although he arrived completely house trained, crate trained acclimated to warm beds and furniture, and a perfect gentlemen with my cat, he was less than used to taking a passive role to another dog. Unfortunately, my senior boston female was very used to taking the dominant role. The first time she snapped at him and he did not walk away as she was accustomed, she lost 3 front teeth in the battle. This happened the morning that Holden was on his way to the vet for surgery. When I got him to the vet, I really didn't expect that it would be me who would be picking him up. I was guilt ridden that I had brought the source of Kelsey's injury into her home and quite sure she would never recover or forgive me. In the 2 days he was gone however, she recovered quickly and did not seem to carry any grudges against me or the situation. I relented, realizing that Holden had been abandoned enough lately and retrieved him. Holden has the sweetest face is absolutely the best snuggler under the covers and I realized that I had forgiven him for his previous manners with my baby and was falling in love. Holden didn't give kisses like every other boston I knew, but boy can he wiggle that cute little tail. So when he bestowed on my cheek his first kiss, I was smitten.

Holden almost did not become anyone's forever baby. The vet called with the results of the surgery. Holden has mast cell cancer and had several tumors removed but several more were present. It was feared that the cancer had already entered his blood stream and his life would be cut short. When we ordered the detailed blood work, the consensus was that we would probably be sending Holden to the Bridge very soon. The blood work however came back looking clean as a whistle and fabulous. The mast cells had not yet shown any signs of active cancer.

Holden almost was adopted by a family with a small child. I was notified shortly after the blood results that a family was interested in adopting Holden. Holden is absolutely wonderful with children, making it pretty evident he had been raised with them. When my cousin and her 4 young children visited for the weekend, Holden had the time of his life following behind them and playing. So, if it was time for Holden to go, then I would have room for another. I put him in the car and drove half way to meet a volunteer to take him to his forever home. It was a long ride that day and I'll never forget the last look he gave me when I placed him in Betsy's car. Kelsey was however joyous at his absence. My house was empty and oh how I missed his head on my shoulder at night. I went about my daily life, with somewhat less enthusiasm, but I was waiting for the next foster.

Two weeks later, I got the call from the adoption coordinator. Holden wasn't working out with the family. Would I consider fostering him again? No, I said, No, I won't foster him again, but please bring him home for good. So 2.5 years ago Holden became my forever baby. No more almosts. Just all the love and snuggling anyone could ask for. Kelsey, well, she has learned to pretend he is invisible. Now when he jumps in my lap and lays his head wherever on me he can, I hug him close and am thankful for the almosts that led him to me.



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