“A heart that’s been broken is a heart that’s been loved…” —Ed Sheeran, Supermarket Flowers
I have all the respect in the world for foster parents of both children and animals alike. One of my former neighbors fostered dogs for a few months at a time, caring for as many as five at once, including the two she claims as her permanent family members. I always felt it would hurt my heart too much to follow in her footsteps because I get attached too quickly and too strongly to handle the inevitable goodbye when the dogs find their forever homes.
So what do I do instead? I work at a barn comprised mostly of senior horses that still like to go for trail rides and the occasional canter, and whose days are undeniably numbered. So basically, I’m fostering them for the few months or years they have remaining, attempting to make their final hours their finest, as wonderful and pain-free as humanly possible.
As it turns out, I was right. Fostering hurts my heart far too much. I get too attached too quickly and too strongly for this, but I keep going back to the equine retirement community like a moth to a flame, drawn to their beautiful, quiet light, ready to get burnt. And now I have been burnt yet again, but not burnt out. Our beautiful Peachie Girl passed away last night.
I knew when I started riding her that she was in her late twenties and our joy rides would come to an abrupt end, so what was I thinking? How many goodbyes can a heart handle? I had just said farewell to my dear departed Sportie. But I wasn’t thinking, I was feeling: feeling lost and Peachie found me. We had an instant undeniable connection that grew stronger every week. For six months her big ears caught my secrets that she would never tell. Getting to know her gorgeous strong personality and learning the lessons she had to teach me are worth the hole in my heart she has left behind.
Run with the wind Sweet Peachie Girl. Nicker “hi” to my good old Sportie for me.