It’s been 16 days since I was separated from a huge part of my life. Toro. Toro was the best dog that I could’ve asked for.
Since deciding that Egypt is where we are going to go for a short while, I knew that that would mean that we would have to find a new home for Toro. He was used to life in Minnesota. I had to separate my heart from my head and tell myself that he would’ve have a full, happy life in Egypt. Even while asking people if they were interested in taking Toro, my heart was telling me that it would never happen. He would never get rehomed. I guess my head won this battle this time.
Loss is such a weird emotion. We always associate a “loss” to a person or animal that passes away. But this time this feeling of loss is not related to death. Even though this is not a death it still breaks my heart the same way. You reminisce about those times that you loved and you so badly wish that there could be more memories to be made in the future.
I always considered Toro to be my dog. Nabih and I drove to go get him and he threw up and peed on Nabih on the first car ride home. So obviously I was his favorite. ;) We picked him up when he was just 6 weeks old. Too early. He still missed his biological mom at that point in his life and I had to step in to be that safety net while he grew up. He cried through the nights for weeks. I would snuggle him and did all I could do to comfort him. My heart opened up so much to him and vice-versa. I taught him how to roll, shake, jump up, stay, and so on. He finally stopped crying at night and I realized that he finally felt at home. At that point I knew that he would always have a special place in my heart.
When we found a new owner for Toro that we thought would be a good fit, I set up a meeting with him. Throughout the meeting I secretly hoped that he wouldn’t like Toro. I knew we couldn’t bring him to Egypt, but I really couldn’t imagine giving him away. Towards the end of the meeting, I asked him if he for sure wanted Toro and he said yes. I couldn’t really breathe at that point. I acted strong and told him I would bring Toro inside and get his things together for him. I knelt down face-to-face with the dog that had such a special place in my life and we just looked at each other for a while. I gave him a hug and told him that I found him a great new family and that he would love it there and I prayed that he understood.
Truth of the matter is that I was breaking inside as I was telling him these words. When I fell down in life and needed someone to pick me up it was him that was always there for me. The way that dogs seem to always be there for the humans in their lives. He was there when I broke down and cried, he knew when I was pregnant with Zeyad before I did, he did the quirkiest things when I needed a laugh. All of these special moments were flowing around in my mind as I was getting ready to say goodbye.
I finally mustered up the courage to go back outside to his new owner, wiping away the tears. I got his stuff together and told the kids to say goodbye to Toro. They, of course, were very nonchalant and said “Bye, Toro” in a very upbeat manner. You have to appreciate the naivety of kids.
Of course, when it came time for Toro to actually get in the car to leave he ran the other way, typical Toro fashion. I picked him up, like I normally would since he hates car rides, and placed him in his new car. It took everything in me to not completely break down right there. He looked at me as if he was confused. I felt as if I was giving up on him and I closed the car door and walked quickly inside where I let it all out. Nabih came in shortly afterwards and gave me a hug while I cried on his shoulder.
I couldn’t help but think of how he was feeling. I’m sure he was confused why I wasn’t coming with in the car. He had to leave the only family he ever knew and was forced to have new relationships with strangers. It completely broke my heart. The next few days were rough, to say the least. I would find his toys laying around and immediately tear up. I would hear a firetruck siren sound and lose it because he would always mimic that sound. I would see a woman walking a dog around the block and my heart would hurt knowing that I wouldn’t be doing that with Toro anymore.
I constantly have to remind myself that this was the best move for Toro. Even if he didn’t quite understand it. Sometimes life takes turns that we don’t expect and don’t want to accept. Sacrificing my happiness and time with Toro to make him have a better life is something that I had to do. He deserves the most fulfilled life and I had to let go for him to have that. No matter how painful it still is, I can’t regret it. Sometimes the things that happen in life are completely heart-wrenching and painful, but it shows real strength in the end when you can overcome those hardships.
I’ll end with a message to my best furry friend,
Toro, thank you for allowing me to be your mom.
Thanks for supporting me throughout my life,
Thanks for being that rock when I felt like I had no one else.
Thank you for chasing your tail and mimicking sirens so I could have a good laugh.
I don’t thank you for destroying every fluffy toy I ever bought you,
But I at least know you had a good time doing it. Haha!
I will forever wonder how you’re doing and pray that your life is everything you deserve.
I will always long for that moment to reunite,
But if it never comes in this life than we both will be just fine,
Because I’m sure we’ll see each other again on the other side.
Your First Human Mom
(Only 1 million tears were shed writing this post. Haha…)