Sunday, January 18, 2009

The pain of giving up a family member ...

At yesterday's Pet Haven dog adoption event I took photos of many of our dogs still waiting, still single, and still hopeful that someone will open up their heart and they will finally have a place to call home. Yesterday I also had the chance to meet Osso, a 6 year old shepherd mix. He arrived with his owner at a hectic moment during the adoption event. For some reason, despite the flurry of activity, I noticed Osso standing quietly by our adoption table. His eyes caught mine and his soul touched mine. I remember thinking "i wonder what his story is? why does he look so sad?" Three seconds later I was pulled back into the flurry of activity as I was asked a question by a fellow volunteer. Then 10 minutes later I am asked by Pet Haven's intake coordinator to come over and meet Osso -- he was being surrendered by his owner and being taken into Pet Haven's foster program. For personal reasons, and certainly not by choice, his guardian was having to re-home him. The deep sadness was not only in Osso's heart and soul -- i felt it deep in the heart of his guardian. It was that deep sadness that pulled at my soul even in the midst of a crazy adoption event; it was that sadness that pulled at me to look over to our adoption table and notice Osso when they arrived; it's that deep sadness that pulls me to write this post.

We went outside the Petco to take some photos and as I walked alongside Osso and his guardian, i could sense the pain. Moments later I saw tears falling down her cheek as she desperately fought back tears. It was so clear she loved Osso and because her love was so deep for her family member she knew it would be in his best interest to be re-homed. I wanted to hug them both and tell them it would be alright. Strangers meeting for the first time -- yet a connection so deep because we share a love for these furry four-legged companions who add so much to our lives.

I assured her that we/Pet Haven would take good care of him and we would love him as our own until he was placed into a loving, forever home. Osso is a very special boy and we /Pet Haven are looking for a foster for Osso -- would you be willing to foster him? If so you can email me directly at

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