Thursday, February 23

A New Life

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for the support, well wishes, strength, and love you have sent our way in the last few days. It has given great comfort even from across a country. <3

I really do not want to be writing this post right now but there are many of our loved ones who want to understand better what has been going on with the family dog, Kitty. I'm still dealing with the emotional roller coaster is has been.

I have been writing about her since she got out last Friday evening. After my family questioned neighbors and canvased the neighborhood, I discovered a posting on Craigslist about a salt and pepper Shih Tzu found in the exact neighborhood on Sunday morning. I was ecstatic. I replied to the scrambled anonymous assigned email. It had been posted two hours before. I sent it twice, just in case it may be filed under spam coming from Craigslist with different titles. It included a detailed description to prove that it was the same dog and contact information to arrange a pick-up. I called to let my family know that I had found her (in a way).

We did not hear back.

Panic started to set in again by Tuesday. That night, I blogged about the first time we met Kitty and posted a few pictures. The first is from the first night we brought her home. I had written my own ad on Craigslist to reference the one that the finder has posted, emailed again, and called local shelters and veterinarians. A few were kind enough to take down my information.

Still no word.

By Wednesday, yesterday. after many phone calls and much deliberation, my family and I had started to face a bit more of reality and start funneling our energy towards praying she was being taken care of, at the very least. It had been a relief to at least know she hadn't gotten into traffic or something crazy like be gator bait. My brother and I struggled the most but he had getting over being sick and midterms to also worry about this week. I have written blog posts about the heartache and frustration I went through.

Then, I got a phone call today that started to change everything.

After posting in distress on Facebook, a dear friend of mine had also tried to contact the Craigslist poster. However, she succeeded and almost immediately was in contact. She called me with the good news and right after I let my brother know, I called. It turns out, the lady that found Kitty is an animal rescuer who had not received my emails but had been actively looking for us. She runs a non-profit animal rescue that mostly handles cats (more about that later).

We had prayed that Kitty was in good hands but could not have dreamed for better care than what she received. She had been taken to the vet and her various issues (such as the fleas she contracted from the kitten my folks had temporarily tried to rescue a while back and the subsequent allergic reaction) were examined and intense treatment had begun. She was taken to the groomers as part of the treatment and the rescuer was already preparing for the mostly cosmetic surgery to remove her cherry eye. She was currently staying with a foster family.

There were many phone calls, texts, pictures, tears, and serious discussions over the past few hours. She was willing to give guidance and advice after making sure that we understood how deep Kitty's health issues had become and making sure that we did truly care about her. As torn up as I have been about the entire situation; I was humbled, grateful, and admired her passion for animals and compassion for people. I don't know the proper grammar for that previous statement.

Just before that phone call was made, my brother and I were already talking about how heartbroken we were but how we felt that maybe this was a way for Kitty to get the pampered life she truly deserves with a family that was at home often like ours used to do before long hours of work and school got in the way.

I arranged for my equally distraught brother to meet with the rescuer, foster mom, and Kitty. He and I discussed what was going to happen in the immediate future in terms of helping Kitty heal. I anxiously awaited to hear how the meeting went once the two of them got home.

After more than an hour and a flurry of phone calls...

I'm very proud of my brother. It was such a difficult decision to make after he heard and processed how my folks felt, how I felt, and how he felt. After the ecstatic reunion (he's her favorite), he stayed and talked with the ladies about the quirky things that Kitty does and knows. They also discussed the current home life. My brother is an honest guy.

There has always been the option/ offer to help Kitty find a new home. One that would guarantee that she would get all the loving attention such a sweet dog deserves that our family could not do anymore. More and more health concerns have been uncovered during her stay with the foster family and my brother knew that spending time at home was only going to become more difficult in the next few years. He made the decision to surrender Kitty.

Bless his poor heart, he couldn't bring himself to tell me right away. I admit, I started to get upset that he had decided against what we had discussed and planned right before he headed out. However, my heart aches for him too because I know they were extremely close. He saw how well she was handling everything and being handled and knew that he wouldn't be able to do as much as they could and have already. Kitty sat on his lap during the meeting. I am so proud of him for being so strong.

She will continue staying with the foster family, a husband and wife with two older labs and two cats, as she is treated and recovers. Then, the search for a new home will begin and, thanks to her rescuer who has really turned out to be closer to Kitty's guardian angel, it will definitely be an amazing environment for her. Such a sweet girl deserves the best she can get. My brother and I will be receiving updates and pictures of her progress and it's more than we/I could ever hope for under the circumstances.

Thank you for all of your support in helping us find her. Now, we'll have confirmation that she'll have a wonderful home soon. While my brother and I will take a while to heal ourselves, we both know that this is the best thing we could do for her. The bitterness I was beginning to build up over the past few days has nearly disappeared. I do wish it was our family who could have provided that type of environment for her but too much has changed in the past six and a half years (Yes! She's 6.5 years old!) for that to be plausible.

Here are some of the pictures I was texted today of Kitty at the foster home:
She looks like a puppy again. Doesn't she? It looks like she's two again! Well, minus the addition of a few rolls... The redness is her allergic reaction and the cherry eye will be removed soon. Her shots will be updated soon and she'll have a dental check-up as well.

I'm happy my brother was able to see her one last time and that I got these. I have felt the spectrum of emotions but this is about our baby girl and what's best for her. Got to keep reminding myself of that.

** I want to mention the rescuer and her organization. She has asked for nothing in return and I am now a great believer in both. I will be giving what I can when I can (especially since I know a part of it will directly help support Kitty! <3) and if you are able to, I would appreciate if you at least checked out her website: Purrfect Match Adoptions. Her name is Constance (or Connie) and she's excellent at keeping in touch with pets she has placed in new homes. Kitty will probably be featured in local media next month so people can start beating a path to try an qualify for the honor of being her new family. **

Again thanks to everyone whose hearts ached with ours and especially to my dear friend who helped find the last piece of this emotional puzzle. It's not what I had expected at all (with each and every development) and I really wish I could have been there to do more, but this has all happened for very obvious reasons. I know Kitty has so much love to give to the world and that her new family will absolutely adore her just like anyone else who has met her.

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