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Dealing With Relinquishment

Lady Mary

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I am so glad to have found this forum today because I just relinquished my beloved Greyhound, Bingley yesterday (11-Apr-09) to a foster home; so this a very UN-happy Easter for me.

The reason I chose to relinquish Bingley is I have been given the opportunity to attend a university overseas this September - a dream I have had for years - but I would not have been able to take her with me, as I will have to live in the dorm and the 4-year program requires a lot of field work, some of it abroad. When I made the decision to accept the offer, I knew the day was coming when I would have to let her go, and have tried very hard to mentally prepare myself for it, but the closer the time came, the harder it was. It was painful for me, filling out the relinquishment forms and equally as hard once I sent them to the Greyhound adoption. For me, that was the beginning of the end. I feel guilty and like an unfaithful mother because I've attempted to (cheaply) console myself by saying stupid things like, "...in the end, she's still a dog." I KNEW it wasn't true then and berated myself every time I even thought the words, because that is a cruel thing to say and because I don't even remotely believe that. Bingley is FAR more to me than "just" a dog...Bingley is my baby girl and my family.

Bingley has been with me since she was 1-1/2 years old (she will be 9 on Oct 27). - I brought her home with me from the foster's in July 2002 - and she's been a comfort to me ever since. She has always been my pride and my joy, bringing light into my life with her cuteness and her happy personality. She offered comfort when I've been sad and just letting me hug her and cry on her shoulder when I didn't have anyone else. For the last couple of days, I've been getting things ready for the relinquishment and they have been the hardest days of my life. For years she has slept on my bed with me at night, but for the last month or so she has gone into her crate at night (on her own), hardly sleeping with me. I've felt that she was somehow trying to sever the bonds so that it wouldn't hurt but it did hurt, and still hurts today, because I don't want the bonds of our hearts to be severed. I admit that I sometimes prayed that she'd die in her sleep so I could keep her with me always and not have to do this, but it wasn't to be. I feel guilty for praying for that because I love my Bingley and would NEVER do anything to hurt her. I realize the thought comes from being selfish because I don't want her to die; I want her to live, but I just want her with me forever and that would've been the only way. I feel so ashamed.

Friday night, I took down her crate and prepared her things for the trip yesterday. I prayed she would sleep with me on the last night and she didn't right away, but she came up about 11.30 and slept with me through the night, even rested her sweet face across my leg. I remember petting her and sobbing, thinking that if dogs could hug, this is how they do it and what it would feel like. The idea was somewhat comforting but I felt such grief and overwhelming sadness, knowing that within hours, it would never happen again. I feel like this is a nightmare and I want only to wake up from it, but I can't. I can't because it is real and it will never stop. The foster told me that my situation is better than some (due to the economy), and I realize my overall situation is nothing compared to dealing with a death, but knowing this is of zero emotional comfort to me.

Now that she is gone my heart is breaking to pieces and I cry all the time. When I came home last night, I opened the door and caught myself thinking I had to watch out for Bingley so I didn't hit her with it, but it tore me up when she wasn't there to jump on me, dance around and wag her tail to see me. Then, as I chatted with my boyfriend online I thought I heard her claws dancing on the stone floor but when I looked, she wasn't there. My place is so empty, so quiet. I'm not sure I have ever felt this lonely and I want her to come back so badly. I want to go back the foster home and say I've made a horrible mistake and bring her home, but I know it is impossible. I kept her soft little squeaky toy, Bully (a soft toy that looks like a smiling bull) next to me all night and even gave him kisses, and cried on him. I was blessed to have her squeak it in front of me one last time yesterday.

I know I will be fulfilling a life-long dream but I am uprooting my entire life and have torn my family apart in order to realize it. I should probably feel grateful that she will end up in a loving home, because the Greyhound adoption agency doesn't place these babies with just anyone, but I can't help feeling like I've done my beloved Bingley a gross injustice. I also worry that she will forget me someday, and I don't want her to ever forget me, because I will NEVER forget her. I want there to be a heaven for pets and read The Rainbow Bridge, which brings me to tears. It gives me hope of better things, with a hope that I will see her again some day, if not in this life. I was chatting to my boyfriend again this morning and was telling him about the weather outside and how it matched my mood. He quipped that it was like a song so I saved it in Word, with other things I will have dedicated to my Bingley. My words simply read:

It’s not a sunny day...it’s rainy and grey...just how I feel really

I know I will get through this - I have to get through this - but does the pain ever stop?


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