I was recently talking to a few volunteers about fostering, and it got me thinking about how we all handle it differently. One foster parent said she cries every time one of her dogs gets adopted. She asked how it is that I don’t get emotionally attached.
That is hard for me to answer, and it might seem mean…but basically, I find the reasons of why the dog doesn’t fit in to my family. That doesn’t mean we don’t love the dog, because we do. We certainly treat her like she belongs here. But, my dogs are so perfectly in tune and set to our routines. My dogs don’t whine, or go to the bathroom in the house. They play together, without squabbling over what toy belongs to who. Oscar and Lucy are the perfect match. This is why I WAS able to adopt Oscar, because he fit in right away, as if he had been here all along.
The foster dog however, usually does not fit in. It is a transition, sometimes a big one, depending on their past. Many times they aren’t potty trained, or crate trained. Some times they have anxiety, or health concerns. I have had fosters of all ages, breeds, and sizes…and the ones that are the most work, are the puppies! Why people over look adult dogs for puppies, is beyond me! I guess because puppies are oh so cute…but I’ve seen tons of adult dogs that are just as adorable, and they at least are usually potty and crate trained! Sometimes they even know tricks too! (Hint hint, adult dogs is where it’s at, so go adopt one and feel awesome-rrr than you already are!)
Foster dogs are a lot of work. Work that I am happy and willing to do, but still, work none the less! Once the dog settles in, I begin working on the basics. Potty training and crate training…two things that all adopters can appreciate! If those are already accomplished, then I work on basic obedience. Basically, when this dog meets a potential adopter, what will help them seem like a perfect addition to the person’s family? If the dog has some basic obedience skills, like “Sit”, “off”, “kennel”, this is usually a big draw for adopters. These are reasons for people to come to rescues for their new furry friend. The dog has been in a home setting, learning how to live and behave inside as a family pet.
As the foster parent, we should do whatever we can to help the pup be prepared for life as a forever family companion. And, if we do our job well, the adopter just might recommend a rescue dog to friends and family, which means another dog’s life will be saved!
Don’t get me wrong…it is never EASY to say goodbye to a foster dog. When a dog is adopted though, I feel accomplished. I know I’ve done my job for that dog, and now it is time to help another. I get to have a little bit of “normalcy” being back down to just my two dogs, and then we look forward to the next pup that we will take in. And when it comes right down to it, I can say goodbye because I helped save a life. I helped put love back in a dog’s heart. I know I did a good thing by helping an adopter find their new furry friend. All of this combined, is how I can handle saying goodbye!
Share with me if you are a fellow foster. How do you say goodbye? Do you celebrate; do you cry? I think it’s good for us to talk about it, and share with each other…so, tell me your stories!
*PS-Don’t forget, Tooley is adoptable through Last Hope Rescue! Please consider sharing this post via your social media sites, in order to help her find the forever home she deserves!