It Was Awful, 5-11-2020

I had to return the puppies this morning at 11:00. I cried at home before I left, I cried at the shelter and I cried on my way home. Here they were last night in the bed under my machine – fat tummies and all.

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I really want to find a pal for Hazel and I thought maybe if I fostered I could find that special friend but I had never planned on puppies. I will stick to my guns about puppies in the future but how will I find a dog for Hazel? What if I adopt one and she hates him? Yes, I think it should be a boy. Any ideas for me?

Since I got home around 1:00, I decided to throw myself into cleaning up all trace of the puppies plus my house hadn’t had much attention since those puppies arrived last month. I have cleaned like a woman possessed! And boy, does it look better!

I hope I have a finish to show you tomorrow – anybody else have a finish?

59 thoughts on “It Was Awful, 5-11-2020

  1. Beryl in Owatonna

    I am so sorry, Mary. It is awful to have to give up those little creatures when yo have grown to love them. HUGS to you. I cried more than a day, that is for sure. I still do if I let myself think about it. I can still see the look on Trinkets face when I put her in the back of the car. Here I go again. That was last August.

    I’ll bet your place looks nice!! Sewing weather coming in a couple of days! Did you get all of your plants out? We have taken a couple of pots in closer to the house since the freeze warnings, most are doing quite well though.I noticed some corn up about 2″ already in a couple of fields.

    Thanks for the update, I have been praying for you.

    1. Margaret

      Oh they looked so much better than when you got them. What sweet puppies. I think there is a pal out there for Hazel but she might balk at first. Early spring in country gardens magazine I saw these concrete chicken and rabbit with succulents planted on them and I decided it was a goal for summer. At that time we were not confined and I got succulent at Lowe’s and finally got my chicken planted yesterday. I am so happy with how it turned out. Letting it get established before I set out. But hope it takes hold and grows, we have big garden planted too,well big for us.. have good day, glad you got things cleaned up, that’s a are such a kind, caring person.. have good day

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Beryl in Owatonna – I don’t know how you did it, really! Have you found a place to live yet? Could you have them back if you moved?

  2. Beth T.

    Oh, I can relate to your tears in saying goodbye. We raised only one litter of puppies, because we adopted a pregnant mother from a shelter years ago. Because the shelter hadn’t known/told us she was pregnant, they helped us place the pups. They did the initial review of applications (weeded out the unacceptable people) and we then met the finalists and chose the three sets of puppy parents. When it was time for the puppy hand-off, it happened at the shelter, and I just wept and wept. The shelter volunteers felt so bad for me, I’m sure, although I know they’ve seen worse things, like people who can no longer care for their dogs due to family tragedies, things like that. But I was bereft. That convinced us that we just aren’t built for fostering puppies. Some people are better at it than we are.

    As to bringing in a friend for Hazel, as a family who currently has 5 rescues our experience has been that if a dog is a bit testy or less-than-easy-going, it is better to introduce a dog of the opposite gender. Our laid-back dogs haven’t cared either way, but when we’ve ever trouble it’s been between our established dog and the new dog of the same gender, with the first dog putting a lot of energy into trying to put the newcomer into his or her place, or suddenly developing issues with food, things like that. It’s caused a lot of heartache and worry about what we were going to do until things have finally settled down. I hope our experiences might be helpful in smoothing the path to finding a friend for Hazel.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth T – yes! Thank you for your advice – I’ve been told never to place two female JRTs in the same household and that why I think a male would be better – a medium size male who still wants to play but isn’t dominant. Telly doesn’t want to play with Hazel and only wants to assert her dominance. Where did that come from? Telly hangs out with Rick 24/7 unless the car is leaving and then she’ll go with me. So that leaves me and Hazel and I’m not much fun.

      1. Beth T.

        Mary, I really have a lot of hope that this would work out well. Although I hate to say it–out of loyalty to our dogs and to my gender–it’s been the females we’ve typically had the most trouble with, as far as wanting to show who is boss. Add that to breeds that are a bit bossy by nature, and you don’t want two of them butting heads. When we brought in an old female to a stubborn but otherwise friendly female, we had a terrible time, shocking me. It started on the first night. After a difficult couple of years, we brought in a young male and the same female was patient and loving with him as he played with her, tugging and biting on her, leaping onto her from the couch–a 180-degree difference. 18 months later she is still very good with him, even now that he is much bigger, heavier, and clearly a dog as opposed to a puppy.
        (Funny story: when our four puppies were little, we were talking to our vet about them, as all “parents” do…their habits, their personalities, going on and on about their interactions, speculating which was the ‘alpha’. We kept debating which of the two boys was the boss until finally our vet couldn’t stand it any more. Our gender biases were showing. She burst out, “Why do you keep asking about Nick versus Teddy? It’s obvious that Mavis is the alpha! Females are almost always the alpha, and just look at her!” Sure enough–she was sweet, and she had the most empathetic heart of all of them, but she also ran that show. It took an outsider who wasn’t seeing it through our “Father Knows Best” eyes to tell us that in the dog world it isn’t all about the boys. I have viewed each of our subsequent dogs differently, and I’ve seen she is right. In our current crew of five, the alpha is a female, and if she weren’t, it would be the older female who is just too tired (or dotty) for the position.
        It will be fun for you when you can sit back and watch Hazel wear herself out with another dog.

        1. Diane and Squeak

          Beth T. That is a great story. Sometimes we just “overthink” the obvious. Been there, done that!! Thanks for a cute story:)

        2. CountryThreads Post author

          Beth T – when I was searching for Hazel, I wanted a girl even though EVERYBODY warned me about how headstrong and crazy the female JRTs were. I only wanted a girl so I could name her Hazel after my mom. My friend Jane, who has had both, now has two males and they are not such terrorists as the girls. I think Hazel has calmed down a lot but know that a male would probably be a better mix. The rescue is empty right now – what a great problem to have, right? – but I’ll be on the lookout for Hazel’s potential boyfriend and will certainly write about it on the blog. Thanks for a great story about your vet!!!

  3. Jan VanDeWalle

    In our area shelters you have to bring all family members and dogs to meet the new adoptee before you can finalize the adoption. Since you used to dog sit for people all the time I am sure you can tell if dogs will get along when they are introduced. Hazel being such a spoiled little miss, and queen of the house she might be hard to please. But a larger laid back fellow might be the answer, so she can still be the boss. Sometimes I think some dogs are meant to be the only child. My dog gets along well with the kids dogs but he is completely worn out and pleased when they go home. I am sure that he has ADHD and anxiety issues. He feels the same way about the grand kids. I have never considered fostering dogs or cats as we live too close to a road with no fence around the yard. My dog is on a tether when he goes outside. He has to be where I am so is mostly in the house unless I am working in the yard

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan VanDEalle – it takes my spoiled little miss a long time to warm up – and to think I’ve created that spoiled little dog! Dang!

      1. Beth T.

        Mary, it’s me again! Years ago, when we adopted our first shelter-dog, bringing her (the mom of the pups) home to be a friend to our precious Dusty, who had been an only dog and the light of our life, the shelter required us to bring Dusty down to meet the new dog. I was very nervous because when we went on a walk with a shelter volunteer leading Mary (our prospective dog), Dusty just ignored the Mary. I said as much to the volunteer and she reassured me, telling me that was fine. As long as they don’t fight or show signs of resentment or aggression it’s okay; that shows that Dusty is very confident in her position in the family and isn’t going to be threatened by the new dog. So if you take Hazel down for an intro and she just does her own thing and doesn’t do much interacting, it’s likely no big deal. But if you’re petting the new dog and Hazel intervenes, that might tell you something. (Post script: Dusty was extremely confident in her place in the family, and never blinked when, six weeks later the new dog gave birth to seven pups, four of whom we kept. Dusty knew she was our #1, and she liked the new friend we brought her, so she just rolled with it.)

  4. Sandy

    Hi Mary, give yourself a big part on the back for doing such a great job with the puppies, my friend Judy has had 4 pups for 7 weeks and it’s like running a 3 ring circus! They started as 5 week Olds and now 3 months , so ready for new homes.hope all is well, take care, best wishes, Sandy

    1. Ellie

      You have done a wonderful thing fostering the puppies. You have loved them and that’s why you were so successful getting them to be happy heathy pups , ready for their new homes. Fostering is a critical step in getting dogs ready to live in loving homes. Thank you for all your love and care.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – 4 pups for 7 weeks???? Yes, a 3 ring circus for sure! One of the other foster moms kept her two puppies in the basement- she didn’t even take them outside! Yes, it would have been easier but not fun for the puppies – I couldn’t handle it that way! How long will Judy have the pups? She really does have her hands full!

  5. Kate Schloemer

    I’m so sorry you had to return the puppies. I think it’s great people can foster dogs but I’m like you and would get to attached you them. I hope after awhile you will start the quest again to find a friend for Hazel.
    I have two quilt tops that need to be finished. I do alterations for people so my quilting has been taking a backseat right now. Plus making mask for a few people.
    My dog Sammy had all his teeth pulled except two, last week. I can’t believe how good he is doing. He’s running around and so happy.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate Schloemer – I’ll bet Sammy’s teeth wee hurting him – so it’s soft food for Sammy which he will love!

  6. Kathy in western NY

    I give you A+ for giving those puppies some fun and loving weeks with you. it’s hard to say goodbye to anyone or anything for me as I am too emotional. I know it and accept it as I chose to do things. When it came to adopting a companion dog for our rescue, ( as our vet advised) , the shelter does the same as Jan’s does and has you bring other family and animals in to see how they adjust. I also had to know if it would get along with cats which they assured with the resident cat living there. One liter of 3 jack russell terriers came up one by one to be with our dog and not one seemed accepted by our dog as the vet thought a smaller dog would be more welcomed. It took a couple visits before we found the bond with a 2 yr old 15 lb rat terrier and chiaquaua right off the bat. Cleaning is my go to when I can’t concentrate and after spending weeks sewing masks upon masks, I too need to do a good cleaning so will welcome the change.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – I am so glad I spent my sad day cleaning my house! It was wonderful to get up to clean floors. My rescue requires a meeting when picking up your new dog but I’ll bet she’d let me and Hazel, too, look around until we found Hazels new BFF! It’s worth a try.

  7. Lori

    Oh so sorry, I know it’s hard to let go once you get so attached. I’m sure they are missing you too.

  8. Kathy B

    😢😭😭 I pray the puppies get to live out their lives being absolutely spoiled. I bet they will miss you for awhile. 💔

  9. Gloria B.

    Mary, YOU win the Best Dog Companion award. Bless you for taking care of those pups. You clearly did a fantastic job giving them a fabulous start to life. Hazel already knows she won the human companion lottery. If and when it’s meant for her to have a doggy friend you’ll know. Pets come into our lives as gifts from God. Enjoy your clean house.

  10. Sheila

    Aww! Thank you for the time and love you invested in those two puppies. And even though it was so sad to leave them, please know that your investment will grow and grow for the puppies and their families. Thank you for sharing your love and care. ❤

  11. Diane Bauer

    I’m so sorry, Mary. I can’t imagine how hard it was to say goodbye to those precious pups. You grew to love them—how could you not? You did amazing work with them in an incredibly short period of time! Their furever homes are so fortunate to be adopting puppies who got such a loving start. Be gentle with yourself and hug Hazel close!!

  12. Lois Ann Johnson

    I will never forget the time that I introduced a 5 year old golden retriever (Max) to my household; I already had a 6 year old cat (Scamp). The cat ruled the house and immediately ran to the basement when she saw the dog come in. That went on for almost six months with the dog upstairs and the cat downstairs. One day I left the door to the basement open (deliberately) and here comes Scamp up to investigate. Max never even looked up when he saw Scamp and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Both of them slept with me in my bed until Scamp died of old age.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lois Ann – that is a lovely story with such a happy ending!

  13. Jackie Baumhauer

    Mary, You did a great job with the puppies. We are so grateful for you caring for them. If people only knew the heartbreak, work and expense of not spaying/neutering. Be thankful they are all adopted. Job well done, but my heart goes out to you.
    We fostered for a short while and ended up with four Schnauzers. The first one we adopted before he was given to us. We were afraid he would be adopted, before we could foster him. Number four, Bucky was to be picked up within a few days. I tried to be strong, but my husband started crying. So we kept him too.
    God bless you for fostering them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jackie B – maybe I’d get used to fostering or maybe, like you, I’d have a lot of dogs! Haha!

  14. Cathy D

    God Bless you Mary for loving those little pups and giving them the care and attention they needed. 🐶❤🐶

  15. Sharon Lowy

    I am so sad for you. This is why I could never do what you did. Fostering in noble but a heart breaker. Could you have adopted them?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sharon Lowy – no, they were already placed and besides, Hazel andTelly hated them – maybe just because they were puppies but fostering to adopt can happen only once – I don’t want 10 dogs and that’s what I’d have.

  16. Jan from TN

    Oh Mary. I bet it was sooooo hard to say goodbye to those puppies. 😕🐾
    A reputable shelter or rescue agency will allow you to bring Hazel to meet any dog you may be interested in to see if they get along. You can check online with the local shelters/rescues to see what’s available, make an appointment & then go for a visit. I hope you can find a shelter/rescue dog that both of you love.
    Our Brody was the first rescue dog we’ve ever had & we love him sooooo much! He’s now spoiled rotten & brings both of us such joy! He’s completely different than the cocker spaniels we’ve had over the past 20+ years. Brody is very active but also a great lap dog! Good luck to you & Hazel. 🤞

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan from TN – actually they require a meet and greet when you pick up your new adoptee but maybe I could take Hazel for a occasional visit to look around. She’s so timid however at first and when she gets comfortable she turns into a terrorist!

  17. Ann in Va.

    I can only imagine how hard it was to give them back. But, remember you gave them a wonderful
    start in this world–helped them stay alive and grow healthy. You are a loving caregiver!!
    Bless you

  18. Gayle Shumaker

    Mary, many hugs to you. I can’t foster animal’s because I become so attached to them I become distraught. Not healthy for me with my autoimmune disease. My husband drove me to the LAQ to pick up my grandsons quilt. Now to bind it and then mail it to him. Take care and keep blogging we love reading your blog.

  19. Launa

    You gave the two sweet puppies such a wonderful start on life. All your blog friends are so thankful for the TLC you gave them and shared with us! A BIG thank you!
    A sunny morning up here in Idaho and there are five deer 🦌 visiting on the property this morning. They are a pleasure to watch and seem to know we mean them no harm here.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – is spring finally coming to you? Hugs to Pepper!

  20. Launa

    You gave the two sweet puppies such a wonderful start on life. All your blog friends are so thankful for the TLC you gave them and shared with us! A BIG thank you!
    A sunny morning up here in Idaho and there are five deer 🦌 visiting on the property this morning. They are a pleasure to watch and seem to know we mean them no harm here.

  21. Mary Says Sew!

    I’m so sorry sending the puppies on to their homes was so hard for you, but I understand. Give yourself a few days, knowing it will hurt right now.

    Good for you for channeling your energy into cleaning your house!

    And when you start missing the puppies again, think about all the diarrhea you had to clean up when they first arrived…. ;’)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Says Sew! – haha! Yes, I DID think about all that diarrhea as I scrubbed the floors yesterday – today I’m sanitizing the kennel room. Then I’ll sew

  22. Mareen

    Mary I know it broke your heart but I also know you gave them the best start at life they could possibly have. You did an awesome job of caring for them till their families take them home!! Thank you for your selfless love of these adorable babies – the hard work and messy start at their lives is in the past – watch out world – they have the best start and they were blessed and so were you!!

  23. Bea knight

    Hi Mary
    So very sorry to hear you had to give puppies to rescue. I don’t think I could do it either. Foster that is.
    I’m so sorry it was so sad but hope you wrote the letters and maybe new owners will keep in touch and send pics
    My husband an I live in Boca Raton florida he wants a Pygmy goat! The homeowners association will not allow it. We are not on farm land.
    Anyway I find this to be very funny. If you can watch the show. “Saved by the barn”. On Animal planet. It is so cute. I think you would really enjoy it.
    Blessings to you
    Bea knight

  24. Annie in NC

    I’m so sorry your puppies are gone now, I’ve needed the “cheer” you’ve been spreading through your post stories about them, and that nutty Hazel also. I took in a set of brother-sister Tuxedo kitties at 6-months old in late October 2002, since their mom had just had another litter, yikes. It was like bringing flying squirrels home, after having 2 yellow tabby sisters who’d lived good long lives in my “kitty-cat nursing home.” So here come the brother-sister young ‘uns to turn my life upside down. But they grew into wonderful companions. He outlived her by 4 years, and the “poop issues” started during his 17th yr. When it happened again on March 30, right after the “stay at home order” in NC, I dropped him off in the vet’s parking lot the next morning, and we discussed what to do by phone. I didn’t want to put him thru all of it again, so I let him go to be with his sister … and never saw him again. The following week, they handed me his ashes through my car window. It was awful … he would’ve been 19 in June, without a gray hair in his b/w fur anywhere, just the constipation issues they couldn’t fix.
    I could never do what you’ve been doing with those 2 adorable puppies … I would probably kidnap them and never give them back as promised. Kudos to you and your strength, not to mention your gigantic heart. I’m sitting here blubbering just thinking about it. Hang in there … you’re a wonderful, sweet person.

  25. Judy Brennan

    Mary, thank you for giving these puppies a great start in life and sharing you with them – the love. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for you to return them. We can only hope and pray they go to happy homes that will take care of them for the next 10-15 years. You are a dear.

  26. Karen

    Mary, hugs for taking care of those puppies. How hard to have to give them up. Hang in there.
    On a happier note I did finish a quilt that has been wanting a binding for 16 years. The vintage quilt top was purchased at an estate sale 16 years ago and was then quilted by a friend. For several reason pertaining to the quilt I did not bind it and it sat waiting patiently for all those years. The binding is on, I love the quilt.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen – would you like to send a picture of your long running UFO?

  27. Deb Harrison

    Mary, those little cuties had been blessed to have started their lives under your loving care. You imprinted that care in their little brains and I am positive that their relationships with their families, other doggie and any progeny they may have will show up in their personalities for generations. The bridge they crossed, yesterday, was a golden bridge showing them the way to new wonderful lives, all thanks to you and Rick!

  28. Melinda

    Mary, Great job on all the puppies. We soft hearted animal lovers must remember it is all about the puppies, kittens, dogs, cats and NOT about ourselves. Even through the tears we have to hold true that we helped the most vulnerable when they needed a human most. It’s okay to be proud and an example to others who may get the courage to help the animals in need. Thanks for your caring attitude. God bless you and all your critters…including Rick!!!

  29. Felicia Hamlin

    A big hug to you, Mary. Stay strong and if you need to cry some more, go ahead. I hope the puppies will have a good life.

  30. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, the lady who had the foster pups in the basement all the time sounds very much like the family that kept all their kids chained to their beds, didn’t feed them, care for them or anything. You would never do that to anything. You treat everything, whether animal or human, with all the love and caring you have making a wonderful foster parent. The other lady’s foster pups didn’t have that loving care and the pups will think all people are like that. Hopefully they go to another loving family will treat them like family — not the ugly foster kid. That is why you get so attached to them. Somebody is getting very loving, happy pups.
    In the meantime, we’re all waiting to see the new patterns. This quarantine stuff is wearing thin. We need some new ideas.

  31. Sandy

    Hi Mary, Judy has a daughter and adult grandson at home to help her with the 4 pups, plus her own rescue dog Crawford ( named after the road he was found on). I think the pups will go back soon as we open up on Thursday to shops cinemas and cafes,yay! My spoilt dog Bella is looking forward to a sleep over at Andrew’s, as she loves him! Best wishes, sandy

  32. Linda in So Cal

    The pups sure have grown since they arrived at your house thanks to your love & care. I feel bad that they are no longer living with you & your husband and each other. If you’re going to leave the pups in the basement why bother fostering them? Beats me. Sad. They need socialization. Like some of your readers I could not foster puppies because I couldn’t give them up. I too cry when it comes to my animals. I’m sure you will find a pal for Hazel…when you least expect it.


    Mary, I have read all the sweet and lovely comments from your blog readers and I have to say, these ladies are special aren’t they? I agree with all their sentiments but I did want to share something that came to mind as I read this blog and the comments. This verse from Matthew 6:26 came to mind: ” Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Did it ever occur to you that your heavenly Father chose you specifically to care for these puppies? Now we know puppies need a lot more care than flying birds and so He chose a woman with experience, a gentle loving heart and the inner strength to choose what was right for her own dogs and the puppies instead of her loving heart. The end of this verse says: are you not more worth than they?? I believe that you are headed for untold blessing from the Father for your selfless love, for remember you are His main concern. I like to think of the people that may get these puppies, a young family with children, a lonely older couple with children far away, a lonely single. Who knows but all I can say is WELL DONE GIRL! SUCH AN EXAMPLE TO US ALL

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn Barnett – oh my goodness! I’m not sure all of that praise is deserving – I’m sure it’s not! But thank you for the lovely thoughts! The puppies will always be dear to my heart.

  34. mary jane

    Mary, what a wonderful gift you have and are willing to share it, being a lover and protector of all critters, Puppies, owls, birds and chicks and goats. and etc. Really most of us couldn’t or even wouldn’t do it or even try to do it..That is why we have wonderful people like you, the caregiver.

    You also have a photo blog of all the events that took place while the Pups were visiting you, Rick and of course Hazel. That should offer some comfort at times. I must say also that we, your bloggers ,will miss their cute little faces too. So thanks for sharing them with us. mj

  35. Judith Ann Jaques

    No time to read all the responses right not leg cramping but I want to say about getting a friend for your girl. Not sure if you have many rescue places but take her to visit. If they have a space to do that.I got my girl Abby for Ziva after my Tom died.Ziva missed him so much.Abby and ziva were ok with each other but never pals. It was ok. then when I got Ava(puppy in feb.) Abby was not thrilled but as puppy grew up they now play and chase. Abby is not a young dog. Not sure how old but guessing about 8 now.It has been good for her.Ziva never played with her. so what I am saying is it is a crapshoot. I do want to say how I admire you for taking in the puppies hard as it was to let them go. You did GOOD! j

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judith Ann – boy, this sounds like Telly and Hazel! Yes, Im going to take Hazel to the shelter to visit soon – great idea!

  36. Diane and Squeak

    Oh, Mary. Consider this a long distance hug. That is so hard to give up those adorable babies. They look SO much healthier now than when they came to you. You did a great job with them:) Just think, some little boy or girl, or family, or older couple is having a great time loving on those puppies:)
    The ads must have picked up on the word puppies in the blog because I have lots of ads to close and many are about puppies!!
    Our friends just got a standard poodle that had not been adopted and their relatives had the brother. Zeke is just adorable and they are loving him up. It’s a whole new world here for him with 2 cats in the house and lots of neighborhood dogs to meet. Our Irish Setter, Arsenic, loved our cats and they learned to love him and sleep on their warm, living blanket in the winter–lol.

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