Barney

Having Lucy in our apartment has made me think very seriously about getting a dog of our own. I am to my very core a dog person. I'm also a homebody and I think now, with grad school behind me, I'm ready for the kind of lifestyle that owning a dog entails. But the decision is not all mine and A, my boyfriend, has allergies. As much as I want to share our home with a dog, his health needs have to come first. So in a compromise, I signed up to foster dogs, pre-adoption, so we can trial run being dog owners.

This is how Barney came into our lives.

Barney arrived on a Thursday evening as a tiny (13lb), dirty scrap of a pup in a van from the Brooklyn Animal Care and Control shelter. He was freshly neutered and a little shy but so badly wanted to lean in on all the head scratchings you could give.

A few days into his stay with us, Barney's personality began to blossom. He was playful and feisty, loved chasing and throwing his tennis ball around and unfortunately for me revealed himself to have a penchant for shoes.

His chew toy didn't really hold his attention unless one of us was at the other end wiggling it, yet he destroyed two loafers, a pen and a highlighter.

We'd only had Barney for a few nights before an adoption application was submitted. It was bitter sweet. By this point we had both realized that as adorable and affectionate as Barney was, he was not our forever dog. While he was house broken, he would require training for separation anxiety and acclimatizing to other dogs, both things we aren't really experienced in doing.

So Sunday and Monday I spoke with referees, in between mad five minutes of play and sleepy hours of cuddles on the couch. Tuesday we had a meet and greet with his potential adopter.

A few people have told me that they could never foster an animal because giving them away after even a short period of bonding would be too hard. I fully understand this, and until I actually handed him over I wasn't sure that I'd be able to do it myself. But I did. Because even though the day before he left and the last evening at home we had together were fraught with choked back tears, I knew I was doing the right thing for everybody. And now, two days later I am even more convinced. We brought a scared little scrap of life into our home, cleaned him up and showed him love and comfort that he wouldn't have otherwise received in the pound. We vetted a very nice lady to be his new owner, who I am certain will provide him with the structure and love that he needs to become a confident, happy dog. We let him go with no regrets or misgivings.

Thursday, just one short week after we met him, Barney began his new life as Scout.

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