Friday, August 28, 2009

Today this little lady is on my mind. She is my most recent foster dog and was adopted four weeks ago already. I've missed her everyday. Days like this I wish I would have adopted her myself. She was only with us 10 weeks and she is definitely not the type of foster I'm attracted to. I prefer the challenging dogs; the scared and unsocialized, the special needs and seniors. Basically, I'm attracted to the dogs that are hard to place because they need special attention. This little lady was the complete opposite. First of all she was a puppy (6.5 months) and had been rescued at a puppy mill auction while still young enough to have avoided a lot of the mental and emotional damage. She was calm, well-mannered, and friendly--perfectly adoptable. That was my rational for letting her go-why keep such a "normal" girl when there are so many "special" ones still needing a foster home. So she left and I cried for 2 days and "A" made me hold ice-packs on my swollen eyes. Four weeks and I still miss her...the house is too quiet.

Fostering dogs is not an easy or glorious job. Many of these critters come to you scared, unsocialized and definitely not housetrained. You may spend hours cleaning up after messes and lying on the floor trying to gain the trust of an animal who has never felt one human kindness in their entire life. They chew on things they aren't supposed to, pee on your carpet, keep you up at night and test your patience and problem-solving skills but I wouldn't change anything. Then of course there's always the chance of "foster-failures" where they come to your home and never leave. Our last adoption was a 7.5 year old retired puppy mill mama. After 6 months in our home and no one had inquired about her we decided to make her a permanent addition to our pack of misfits.

My Honey loves the fostering and rescue too but she can sometimes be less patient. I thought her head was going to explode when our latest foster decided to play tug-o-war with the perennials in her flower beds, ripped up the peony bushes (as documented in the photo above) and ate pine cones and vomited then on the couch. I respond by taking a deep breath, wrapping my arms around her and reminding her that these are only possessions; the plants will grow back, the couch can be cleaned and then remind her children would cause much more damage. That always makes her smile.


Lindsay said...

hi i stumbled upon your blog and saw this post about fostering. i have gone back and forth about fostering. i have even contacted a few organizations and received some info (not very helpful info though) about the process. i just want to be in a good place before i take on such a huge responsibility to provide the best loving and learning environment for the dog. i'm glad you are an avid foster-er. :)

shane rocket said...

good job on the fostering... they need it!! it takes a special breed to foster. to take the damaged and make them "normal" again!!! peony bushes beware!