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"I promise we will take good care of her"

I repeat that over and over. I picked up this beautiful springer on my way home from Montana today. I met a lovely woman and her children who all came to say goodbye to their beloved dog.

You could tell she was loved. They brought her toys, two beds, a harness, her leash, and a picture of the food that she eats. The woman had tears in her eyes as she handed me her leash. She explained that their family had run into some medical issues and could no longer care for her.

I tell them that I understand, and I do. Sometimes life forces us to make hard choices, and there aren’t always right answers. What may be right in society’s eyes may be damaging to that which society cannot and does not actually see.

What may be wrong in society’s eyes may be the best-case scenario for all parties that are actually affected in a given situation. We all know this, and we have all lived it. We just forget from time to time when we aren’t the ones being judged.

These rescue cases are the hardest.

I would collect a thousand dogs off the reservation and out of puppy mills in all conditions before I would drive away from a wonderful family with a confused dog who doesn’t know why I am taking it.

There are inevitably always tears. There are feelings of shame and guilt that permeate the air regardless of what brought forth the surrender. It broke my heart a little extra knowing that this woman had to surrender her dog on Mother’s Day. Mothers carry the weight of the world, and one day of honor and celebration could truly never encompass what they are worth.

I often think of a random post I once saw in which a professor asked a class what they felt their purpose in life was, and a student replied, “To lighten the load of others.”

It is a privilege to be on the receiving end of these surrenders - to be a source of comfort and trust - if only for a moment in time.

"I promise we will take good care of her."

Thank you to English Springer Rescue America, Inc. (ESRA) for helping this sweet girl.

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