Shakespeare said “the eyes are the window to your soul”. And oh, those eyes. Wilma’s eyes touched my heart and said she was worth saving. Wilma’s eyes said I should take a chance on her. How could I not.?
Wilma arrived at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) last October. She was a mess physically. Thin patches of hair exposed skin that was scabby and smelled bad. Her skin condition must have been torture for her and she would relentlessly bite at herself. As sick as she was, she happily greeted everyone she met eager for attention. I knew I had to help this girl and offered to foster her. Due to Wilma’s need for extended medical treatment, the SCCAS reached out to placement partner, Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE). CAPE has been a life saver for so many shelter dogs that need that extra help and they stepped up for
Wilma. With CAPE’s help Wilma got the veterinary care she desperately needed. Along with good nutrition, love and attention, Wilma began to heal. As she felt better, she became a fun loving, adorable girl.
Wilma was with me for two months, which is a long time to have a foster. You get pretty attached after going through two months of care, watching them blossom and become ready for adoption. As a foster mom, I know to expect the day will come that my dogs will go to their new homes. I’ve thought about keeping a number of them because they are all special in their own way, but know that I can’t and my role is giving them the time to heal, adjust, thrive, and then help find the best home. CAPE is great at finding good homes for their foster dogs and a wonderful couple found
Wilma on their website. They seemed like an ideal home for her. They would give her adventures in the motor home, a canine brother to play with, love and attention, and we all agreed it was a good fit. The day I dropped Wilma off at her new home, I felt like I was betraying her. And that is the very worst part of fostering. Wilma had come to trust me and I adored her. It was so hard to say goodbye. Unfortunately, the problem with being a dog is that you don’t get a say in the matter. Wilma howled for
hours during the first night, she was so sad and upset.
I often thought of Wilma over the following months and regretted not keeping her. I kept in touch with her adopters, checking in and hearing that there were some issues but they were working on it and doing all the right things. They wanted it to work but Wilma’s happiness was also important. Wilma apparently had her own ideas and in May I was thrilled to welcome my girl back and make her mine. I have fostered a number of dogs since Wilma’s return and she is the best partner that I could imagine. With new dogs coming in to our home, she is welcoming and becomes their play partner and training helper.
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“"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."