Just one more (and that’s it)

My sister once dreamed that I found our first dog; somehow I’d gained access to records that existed only in the dream. My sister and I must have been in our early 20s at the time, and our dog must have been in her late teens.

Once I got Katie back, according to my sister, I couldn’t say no to any animal who needed a home. My dream-home was filled with animals. One was a big woolly sheep.

I decided not to let that happen in real life. I waited a long time to adopt, and when I finally did I drew the line at three. They were all foster failures. I’ve said no to other animals I wanted to adopt because I was sure they’d get better homes. I also worried that taking “just one more” could compromise the well-being of the ones I already had.

The responsibility of a dog and two cats is overwhelming at times. Phoenix, Gemma and Bangsiri are all jealous of each other, and they all need more attention. If anything happens to me there’s no backup plan: they’re at the mercy of whoever finds them. There’s the stress of worrying about our next move—the new place will have to be pet-friendly, but it will almost certainly be smaller than the apartment we have now. And some day, there may be an international move in our future with all the stress and expenses that go along with it.

But Jellybean is part of our household now too. I don’t see a safe way to rehome her in Korea, and I’m having second thoughts about sending her to Canada with a transportation company.

If I adopt Jellybean, that will be it. No more rescues, at least not for many years. No more getting drawn into discussions where I know I’ll see urgent appeals for money, foster homes, and last-minute trips to the pound to save an animal from death row. The babies under my direct care are all rescues, and I won’t let myself forget it.

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