A few months ago, when I got an email from the shelter that they were in need of short-term, large-dog fosters, it wasn't like I had started feeling that four dogs would be no big deal. I just gave in to the knowledge that even if it is a bit stressful to have this many wild, wacky beasts around, it is what I must do.
That, as I read somewhere recently, living your best life means living on the edge of what is comfortable and manageable. So I took in Grant, and Grant was (I thought at the time) the easiest, sweetest, calmest dog ever, and he was adopted in less than a week.
Then I took in Presley, who seemed like the sweetest, most good-natured, precious, incredible dog ever, and I wasn't sure I could ever let him go, and then he was adopted in less than a week.
That was Saturday, and on Monday I picked up Smokie, who is currently folded up against me, breathing deeply and relaxing, after stretching out against me and letting me hold him in my arms during a zoom yoga and meditation session, who is just the sweetest, most precious, gentle soul, just so happy to be loved and to have deep contact with other beings who love him, so happy and friendly and playful.
He has a likely adopter lined up already.
And as I felt his velvety, soft warmth against me, adding to the sensation of fulfillment and joy and celebration that has come into my life lately and that comes over me especially when I am in meditation, or in the garden in the sun, I wonder again if I can let him go.
How do you let go of such a beautiful being, one who knows such love in this house, one who is already attached to me and to all these other dogs, who seems so happy here and so grateful?
But I had the same feeling with Presley, and I will have the same feeling with every foster dog, and if I had given in to it with Presley, I never would have met Smokie, and I needed to meet Smokie.
Letting go is one of the most challenging things we must do, but it allows space for growth and for the next delightful thing.
And as I--right now--move into letting go of some of the things I have tried to hold on to for the past two years, and move into a more joyful space of experiencing what is in front of me rather than endlessly processing what is broken and in the past, fostering dogs is the best expression I can imagine of the liberation and love that is possible in letting go.