The floors have been swiffered. All the puppy towels have been laundered. The collapsible cage is back in the garage. Puppy toys washed and tucked into the sheepskin puppy bed. I slept thru the night uninterupted.
My puppies went back to the Humane Society early Friday morning.
They started their Friday by 'paging' me to come let them out of their cage...at 5 am. Seems the baths I had given them the night before (the traditional 'Spa Night' where I bathe them and clip their nails before starting the next chapter in their lives) had inspired them to get dirty all over again. Yep, a cage full of danced-in poop awaited me.
So, bath time all over again. First for Cairo while Conor howled like devils were beating down his cage door. Then it was Conor's turn. As soon as I lowered his paws into the warm soapy water he relaxed and stopped howling...and the tail started wagging...Conor just loves a good bubble bath!
While toweling off Conor, Cairo took a dump and decided to sit in it...sooo...another bath for Cairo. Got Cairo dried off and went back to toweling off Conor, when Cairo took a spin around the kitchen and wound up body surfing in a huge pee spot that Conor had deposited while I was bathing Cairo. In case you're counting, final bath tally was 3 for Cairo, 1 for Conor. All this before 5:30 am.
Eventually got them dried, cleaned up the cage and the floors and sat back to enjoy my last hour with them. Lots of play-fighting, biting, barking, charging each other, racing down the hall, around the wall and back thru the kitchen until they were out of breath.
Popped them back in the cage for 1/2 hour while I got ready for work, then it was time to say round one of our goodbyes before I put them into their carry-crate.
Cairo howled most of the drive to Ft. Lauderdale...finally fell asleep right before we got off the turnpike. Driving down Griffin Road I started thinking 'Ok, I'm gonna keep Cairo. I'll tell them to have his surgery today and I'll pick him up first thing Saturday. Yeah, he'll be big but he won't be THAT big and yeah, I know I said I'm not ready to have a dog full-time but I just can't do this anymore'....
By then we were in the parking lot and it was time for the handover.
Carried them in and was buzzed thru to the clinic. Ines came to meet me. I took the kids out of the cage to show her how much they'd grown in two weeks. She commented how nice they smelled and I told her about the baths...and I started crying as I handed Conor and Cairo over to her. Asked to hold Cairo once more...just because. After a minute or so of me crying and Cairo giving puppy kisses I knew I had to get out of there before I adopted both of them.
So I left the same way I always leave after dropping off puppies...crying my heart out yet knowing that I did the right thing.
Was ok by the time I got to work...for the most part.
Whenever I tell someone that I am a Foster Parent for puppies, they always say they couldn't do what I do...it would be too hard to give them back. It IS hard...and it doesn't get easier. It takes time, energy, patience...LOTS of patience and a sense of humor comes in handy as well. Each time I give back a set of puppies, I am a bit sadder than the time before. But not sad enough to stop Fostering.
Until the next call comes, this is the last in the series of the Cairo and Conor Puppy Chronicles.
Have a good life, pupsters. I'll miss you very much!