This is Brambles:
She died a couple of weeks ago. Had to be put down. Neurological damage from distemper; she couldn't move her back legs and suffered from random seizures, which were getting worse.
This is Batina, or Bats:
When we woke up this morning, she was dead at the end of the bed. She was Brambles' sister, and she'd been a bit sick, but we thought - I'd convinced myself - that maybe she could make it. Last night she was still running across the road for a wee with the Big Dogs.
I've been walking around all day on the verge of tears. I'm going to have to stop typing in a minute, when the brine-soaked keyboard finally shorts out. We've had these guys living with us for over 6 weeks - probably half their lives - and no matter how often you tell yourself that its just for awhile, and you're going to give them back, they become part of the family. And its always "give them back... to a good home." Thats what makes it possible to do.
And after six weeks of stepping in poop, and howling in the middle of the night, and things chewed that shouldn't be, and a barely two-year-old house that smells a bit like wee no matter how much you clean, it ends like this? Why the hell do we do this to ourselves?
This is why:
Thats Navarre. He's Bramble's and Bats' brother, and he's healthy as an ox. Got some blood tests today - to make sure he isn't carrying anything anyone else could catch - and then he goes back for adoption. And you know what? These guys too:
Thats a picture of every foster we've had that I could find a picture of. I don't even remember half their names. And as far as I know - and if you know otherwise don't you dare tell me - every damned crap-factory in the lot survived and were adopted into good homes. And yeah, even these idiots, who we never gave back and never will:
I'm sorry; that was a bastard of a thing to do to spring on you first thing in the whenever-it-is wherever-you-are. But it helps me to write about it. Hell, just putting that collage together made me laugh for the first time today. Not just remembering, but trying to articulate why we do this makes it real. And in a few weeks - maybe a month - when we're sure that there's nothing in the house that a new batch could catch, we'll do it again.
So y'know: sorry, but thanks.