I love him. Bruno, that is. I love him from the same place where the love for all creatures in my care is formed, deeply and fully; there is not a separate pot — one for “mine” and another for those in temporary care. That’s the damned double edge of fostering. The whole point is to give love and tenderness where it has been so badly lacking. Bruno absorbs it seemingly without a saturation point. The more you love him, the more he craves loving. All of which is to say, letting go of Bruno will be wretchedly hard and yet, letting go is what we are pursuing.
Why, oh why?
Well, it’s because we love him. We have the ability to give to Bruno a carefully selected life which meets his needs in ways that we cannot always meet. Bruno is a “be with” dog. When you have ten dogs (which we do), you are forced to dole out “be with” opportunities like car rides and sleeping on the bed on a size, volume, or who-is-clean basis. There just seriously is not enough room for everyone! Bruno accepts those limitations along with everyone else, but, oh how his eyes shine when he is the chosen one! I want Bruno to experience being chosen all the time, no limitation. Okay, maybe along with a brother or sister, but as companionship, not competition.
Bruno is ten years old and I have seen how, as a dog ages, those “be with” experiences become the highlight of their lives. Even Molly, who is fourteen, deaf, and more than a few steps down the road into la-la land, jumps around like a circus puppy at mealtimes because she has the special privilege of helping me scoop the food. Every meal, without fail. It’s adorable. The rest of Bruno’s life needs to make up for the sorry state of affairs he had to endure to get here. There should be trips in the car, ice cream cones, walks in the park, snuggles on the couch, and affection lavished upon him until his eyes roll back into his head.
And you know what?
While I believe that someone is out there with a Bruno-sized piece of their heart waiting to be activated, if, wildly and unbelievably, that person can’t be found, well then, Bruno is fine right here. There is no hurry and no demand for departure. He came to us as a cautious, defensive, damaged little soul. Almost six months later, he is settled into the routine of life here with us, crazy though it may be. He has weathered the physical and mental challenges of heartworm treatment and is happy, happy, happy, now that he is free to roam off-leash and be a full part of the day’s activities. I am so dang proud of him, of his resiliency and so damn grateful to be a part of his life. Either way this goes, happiness will never be taken away from him. That’s how love works.
P.S. If you live in Florida and are interested in become Bruno’s new love, please contact the Florida Wheaten Rescue.