Cobie is on her way to Indiana.
In September I reached out to the rescue division of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America. I knew that we weren't going to be able to keep Cobie as part of our family, and I wanted her to be with someone who understood the breed. The chairperson, a lovely woman named Nancy Butler, told me it might be a while before we could place Cobie, because the foster families in my area were busy with other dogs.
I didn't mind waiting, because I kept thinking we could fix Cobie. We made real progress with her, but each time I reconsidered giving her up, she usually messed in my house for no reason, or ran away. Twice. Finally, I decided I could not take care of my children, have my mother move in, and train a needy dog. It turns out I am not actually Wonder Woman.
It took about six weeks, but a spot opened up with a foster family in south Jersey. Connie and Charles are in their late 70's, and they've had Wheatens all their adult lives. Cobie and I drove to meet them early Sunday morning three weeks ago. The Captain had offered to take her, but I needed to finish our journey together. It was a sunny day, there was no traffic on the Turnpike, and Cobie slept the whole way there. I couldn't have asked for more.
Connie met us at the door, and when Cobie jumped up to meet her, she said, "Oh! It's a Wheaten greetin'!" I knew I'd brought her to the right place. Charles took her around their yard, and then for a walk in the neighborhood. Connie and I talked particulars, and I met their sweet, older Wheaten, Noelle. When Cobie got back, I hugged and kissed her good-bye. She acted like one of my teenage boys, throwing me a cursory tail wag as she sniffed at Noelle.
I was a little sad on the drive home, but I knew we'd made the right choice. Mom's furniture and boxes moved in the following Wednesday, and we lost power that Saturday. It would have been impossible to manage Cobie in the midst of the chaos.
I spoke with Connie after our power returned. She said Cobie had done a great job of adjusting, but she was still a little high maintenance. Charles walked her often, and they took her with them on all their errands. I thanked her for her efforts.
"No; thank you!" she said. "We're so glad you didn't take her to a shelter. She's sweet, but she needs a lot of attention. I don't know how you did it."
She told me Cobie's new mom was driving 700 miles from Indiana to get her. The woman had lost her husband, her son, and her dog all in a short period of time. She was tired of death, and she wanted to share her life with a young dog.
That's how, and why, we did it. For Indiana.