I’m still exhausted from the events with Buddy. On Saturday, I ran some errands, and took a 3 hour nap afterwards. It did a lot to clear my head. But I’m still upset about everything.
Below is a letter of sorts that I've written directly to Buddy’s first family because they are or have been readers/followers of my blog. They are the reason behind what has happened with Buddy and why I am feeling the way I am -- And this post picks up about where my last one ended yesterday. They are words that I really want to say to them, but felt "muted" until now.
Dear Peter and Family,
When the decision was made to let Buddy go, I wanted to be kind and keep my word, and so I contacted your son to let him know that we were going to let Buddy go. It is, and always will be a decision that is difficult to make. But it's one made out of love for that particular dog, and I felt strongly that it was Buddy's time.
My plan was to meet your son at the Vet’s office and give him all the time he wanted to spend with Buddy. Then, quietly, and peacefully, as it should always be, we would all be there as he left this life for the next.
At least, that was my plan. What came after I contacted your son has truly changed everything. Your son’s insistence that he be allowed to take Buddy overnight of course came with my resistance. Then being told your daughter was coming from out of state along with all your text messages didn’t help the stress I was already under and the emotions I was already feeling. Then being told by your son “that he was on his way to get him” really made it worse.
I will say here that in the time that I had Buddy, I never ever played the “you are no longer his owner card,” but this time I did to both you and your son. You no longer legally owned Buddy. You signed your ownership of him over to the rescue. I was not, under any circumstances going to allow Buddy to leave our house with your son. I thought that agreeing to let your son and daughter spend time with him was more than fair.
And I’ll also add that believe it or not, there are rules and protocols that the rescue has in place and I have agreed to those rules, and I intended to follow them. But I will of course have to confess that I broke a few of them in allowing your son to visit Buddy. In my defense, I tried to create a distance between us, that is why Peter, I never answered any of your e-mails and didn't mention him much on my blog - I needed and wanted the space to care for Buddy on my own and make those decisions that I or WE felt best for him and not be judged for them. And now knowing how you have "intervened" shows that my thinking that was correct.
But anyway, none of that appears to have mattered. In the end, you never showed any amount of respect for me, or to an organization that had accepted Buddy into their program. We never thought of Buddy as anything but "our dog" and the rescue never hesitated to provide him with everything that he needed.
Your actions spoke volumes when I refused to do as you were asking, because you took it one step farther and you made me feel bullied. When the comment was made that “he should be with his family and that he should be made comfortable” really stung. I’m not sure what that meant that we had been doing for him? The care we had given Buddy the last 175+ days were never considered and our feelings were totally tossed aside by what you wanted, not what may have been best for Buddy. You never once considered anything but your own need to control everything and you said as much in a text message. We were caring for Buddy in a place where he was comfortable, and content. He had other dogs (and cats) around, us around, and I think he was happy here. That night in the kitchen, and “Angel’s dream” I think confirmed that. Buddy was in a place that he felt comfortable (he hardly ever barked by the way) and he ALSO knew us and knew what to expect.
I know, I know, this is all a moot point, but I have to say it. Peter, you all got what you wanted, Buddy has been returned to you with barely even a thank-you from you; but there has been plenty of criticism of the rescue, and maybe even me, that has provided Buddy with everything, and that you have shown nothing but disrespect towards. In case you didn't know, the rescue is a non-profit all volunteer organization that relies on donations to help pay for the expenses of nearly 1000 labs each year. And your son scoffed at a nominal adoption fee of $125 that was asked for by the rescue, and that would have helped to offset a very small amount of Buddy's expenses - which by the way was almost $1000. I think the rescue waiving that small fee in the end says more about an organization that I support as much as it does about you. For the rescue, it’s always about “the dog.” and their needed care.
In the end, I don't know if any of this matters to you. Because you got what you wanted and what you demanded, and didn't care who you stepped on in that process. You have Buddy back. You are free to make any and all the decisions for him. And it has come at no expense to you. For me, it has cost me plenty, including the trust the rescue has had in me. I worry that I may not be asked to foster for them again. I am angry at myself that I allowed you to manipulate, control, and bully me and the rescue to get what you selfishly wanted. Giving him back to your family was just easier and I do find some consolation in that he is with someone who loves him- How YOU all felt was never ever in doubt, and is why I allowed your son to visit and be part of Buddy's life. I know now, I should never, ever have allowed or agreed to those visits.
Finally and for the record, I am angry at myself for so many things - One being sorry for the problems I have caused the rescue, and for what it has cost them financially. And, I am hurt that I personally will not get that “good-bye” to Buddy when his time comes. The stress of getting him "packed up" at the last minute (not even having time to feed him his dinner) and the chaos of the entire day, affected everyone in our household.
But I don’t regret having the chance to get to know Buddy, to love and care for him for 175-ish days. Peter, I fell in love with the Buddy you first told me about back in August. The one that jumped on the trampoline and was the world traveler and whose charm and spirit allowed him to be loved by so many, including me and my husband. I look forward to the day when I get to see ‘that big-eyed boy’ once again, whole and brand-new, smiling, his tail wagging, his eyes happy and sparkling like they were that night, in that perfect moment we shared in my kitchen.
Best regards to you and your family. I do wish you all well.