This is one of those letters parents write to their children when they're small and unreasonable, so when they get a little older, they'll understand the cruel and usual punishments of parenthood, and that they were loved and/or tolerated regardless. Writing letters also helps parents sort through stockpiled last straws, and remember that there are cleaner and calmer days to come. Probably, anyway. At worst, documentation will help doctors pinpoint exactly when things started to go wrong.
What makes this letter different is that, after this morning, I may never see you again. That, and you're a dog, and you will never read this. You're leaving to join your new, more permanent foster family, one with a yard to poop in and kids to fight over who has to walk you.
I worry about you, but I know in a week's time you won't give a flying crap-in-a-baggie about me. Your new people will give you cheese-and-bacon-flavoured Buddy Biscuits, and we all know, just like the musicians I crush on and their bands, your relationship with chewy treats takes priority over all others. I would only ever have come second to you anyway.
The weeks we spent together were intense. At times, you were a total pain in my ass, and others, you were the sweetest, most wonderful hairy mammal I've ever cuddled. You followed me everywhere, forgiving me daily for making you go outside to poop, to where people would coo, "What a cute puppy!" while your back was arched and tail lifted. You'd shoot me a sideways glance, and I knew what you were thinking.
I fell in love with you, fast and hard. When you first moved in, I was really nervous. I wondered what we'd talk about all day, how I'd keep you entertained. You followed me everywhere, which is great, because again like some musicians I've dated, you couldn't be trusted alone.
Once, I was in the shower washing my hair, and when I rinsed the suds from my eyes, there you were, watching me. You'd pushed the curtain aside with your snout, and poked your tiny head over the edge of the tub. The spray was hitting your face, and you were blinking furiously, looking slightly miserable. It was then I knew you loved me, too.
Now, you have to go. I agreed to give you love and attention until the Foundation was able to find you a more permanent foster home, where you will stay until you are all grown-up and ready to be an assistant dog for someone who really needs you, not just someone who really wants you, like me. I can't give you the commitment you require, so it's the right thing to do, to let you go and do your good work. Yes, I'm reassuring myself.
I just want you to know that you've changed me for the better (and my house and its chewed and punctured contents are changed only slightly for the worse). You were my first, for this kind of love anyway, and someday, when I grow up, I want a puppy just like you, for keeps.
Your belly-scratching provider-of-treats.