Yesterday marked one week with the fostercake and things continue to go really well. So well, in fact, that I am having a near-constant back-and-forth conversation with myself about what is right, what is reasonable, and what my heart wants for both of these dogs. My friends are teasing me endlessly about foster failing and the rescue coordinator referred to Lydia as my foster, in quotes, on a Facebook thread. I must admit that I hate failing at anything and even though I know it isn't really a failure for dog or human, there is a part of me that wants to buck up the fostering fortitude and get Lydia adopted out! I don't think anyone is wired to exist comfortably in limbo, and so every day my brain struggles to side one way or another, even though I know it's too early to decide.
It's no secret that I've pondered the possibility of two dogs as far back as January, although I have also been enjoying life with an only dog. I know all too well that two dogs complicate everything, that expenses increase, and that it adds that much more unpredictability to life. I carry pet insurance for Ruby and it does ease my mind somewhat in the area of unexpected vet costs. My most important consideration is the dynamic between Ruby and Lydia, since Freya and Lasya were not well-matched in that regard and it resulted in several injuries and much tension in the nine years they were together. More than once I said I would not have two female dogs again, although I've since realized that canine relationships have more to do with individual than gender.
I've learned a lot more about Lydia's background from the rescue coordinator and the director at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama. She was trapped as a stray in April 2013, emaciated and nursing seven puppies, which were found days later and did not survive. Since then she has been living at the shelter, spending most of her time outside with as many as one hundred other dogs. It is my understanding that there is almost zero chance of adoption for these dogs on the islands. Lydia has probably never been in a home or had a person to call her own. She is definitely shy, although she bonded with and trusted me right away. I have cleaned her ears, bathed her, looked at her teeth, handled her paws. My dad has been staying with me for the week and she is very wary of him but slowly warming up. She is lovely to walk on a leash and has truly been no trouble. She is interested but respectful of my elder-kitty, Nina. She is happy in her crate, often choosing to retire there on her own. Every day she relaxes a little more, her tail swings side to side increasingly, and I've seen that open-mouthed smile that so endeared me to her picture from the Bahamas. This morning she gave me kisses on my chin.
I am not overly fond of the name Lydia, and have been using it sparingly, though she doesn't particularly respond to it. I've been calling her "sugar" quite a bit, and do have some name choices narrowed down, although I'm hesitant to commit to one. I named both of my previous fosters, Bjorn and Vlad, and had no trouble letting them go to wonderful new homes, but this is different somehow. There was a possibility from the beginning, and it's no coincidence that Ruby and Lydia have coordinated coat colors. I've taken to calling them Gingerdogs. For now I am trying hard to remain in the gray, to let time tell, and make the right decision for all of us.
I have one more announcement: Ruby was selected as the Alcott Share Your Adventure winner for the month of April! We won $100 to spend in their store and I decided on one of their bolster beds (along with a bookmark and a ball). I expect the bed will hold up much better than the $20 beds I buy at TJ Maxx.