Last night we had a party with special treats and we all talked about what a good boy Volt is. Blondie and I knew what was going on, we’ve seen this several dozen times now. Often it’s no big deal, at least not to me. I’m stoic. But once in a while saying “good-bye” is hard … even for me.
Volt, of course had no clue. He was just happy to get special treats and have so much attention paid to him. I explained it to him after everyone went to bed.
When we got up this morning, Volt went into the den for some morning lovies from HairyFace. Nothing unusual about that. But when Volt reached way up and licked Hairy’s face and neck, that was unusual: Volt’s not a real kissy-guy. Hairy thought he was saying good-bye, but I knew he was saying, “Don’t send me away; this is my home. I like it here.” So I had another chat with him.
It’s harder for him to understand because he’s been here so long. He’s gotten settled.
“Volt, do you remember when you first arrived here; how I explained that Blondie and I live here, you are visiting? How when you are well again and trained, you will go find a forever home of your own?”
“Yeah, kind of.”
“Well, you are cured of the heart worms, your weight is right where it ought to be, and you are a very well-mannered boy. It’s time for you to graduate from here and take your next step.”
“Why can’t this be my forever home?”
“It doesn’t work that way. We take in lots of dogs. We take them in so they don’t die. We get them better and train them, but we can’t keep them – even though, sometimes, we really want to. If we kept all the dogs we fell in love with, we’d have more dogs than we could take proper care of. And that would be cruel to all of them. Each of us deserves a good home where we get all the love and attention we deserve.”
“Yeah … it would get pretty crowded.”
“So, you understand then?”
“Yeah. I don’t like it, but I understand.”
When the kibbles get dished up Volt always helps. He watches Hairy fill all the dishes. When the bucket gets snapped closed, Volt taps the lid to help secure it, then he gets a sample to be sure they’re still fresh. Volt likes helping.
But today, when HairyFace dished up the kibbles, Volt did not come. He stayed on a bed in the living room. “Someone else will have to be the kibble inspector now.”
After breakfast NiceLady got ready for work and Hairy removed the Piney Mountain Foster tag from Volt’s collar. Each dog here gets one when they come in: they would help Peoples get us back here if we got out and ran off. The Peoples decided to let him keep the new collar they bought him on his TSC adventure. He was so proud of it.
Normally, when Hairy snaps a leash on any of us we all get excited, “TRUCK RIDE, TRUCK RIDE! I want to go too!” but not this time. Blondie and I knew this was Volt’s day to ride, and we just watched.
Volt got right into the truck, and was a little sad and nervous at first:
When they got out on the go-really-fast-road he found some distractions.
They dropped NiceLady off at work, and Volt got upset. He never has quite understood that this is where she goes every day, they are not “dumping” her.
When they got to the shelter they went for a walk to get Volt emptied out. Brenda had a crate ready for him, so Hairy said good-bye and stressed that Volt was a good boy, he was not being punished. Hairy even gave him a hoofie to chew on while he waited for departure, but he wasn’t interested:
HairyFace fought the urge to go back and comfort him – that is the worst thing he could do. As tough as it is, he has to just walk away … and not cry. At least, not until he’s back in the truck.
When We Knew For Sure
So Hairy came home without Volt. Then he took Volt’s crate outside and scrubbed it out. That’s when we knew for sure that Volt was not ever coming back. That made us sad. Blondie and I couldn’t help but stay close together. We’ve been best buds for so long that sometimes we kind of ignore one another. But when one is sad, or sick, or upset, the other is always there for them. We are family.
“Farewell, Volt and a happy life to you. Blondie and I shall miss you.”
“But we still have each other.”
“Yes, we do have each other.”
“And HairyFace and NiceLady.”
“Yes, of course, our Peoples too.”
“Go to sleep Blondie.”
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