Try to explain “fostering” to a dog..

11 Mar

This morning my phone alerted me that my “Timehop” for the day was ready. For those of you that don’t know, Timehop is an app that shows you what you did on this exact date over the past years.  It shows you pictures you may have taken, posts to Facebook, ect.  As I scrolled through I came to this post from three years ago: “Having a really hard time with Reds adoption :(.  We were his first home, and he loves it here.  I feel like to him we will always be the people that gave him up.  Unfortunately dogs don’t understand fostering.  Sometimes it’s hard to see how great it is because I feel like they think I’m abandoning them.”

This post hits me so hard.  I haven’t had a foster in months, but I don’t easily forget the punch in the gut I feet every time my foster’s get adopted.  Getting adopted is great news for them! It shouldn’t be so sad.. but it is!

This dog, Red, or Reddie, was a Redboned Coonhound (this was before I started fostering primarily Pitbulls).  He was part of an animal hoarding situation, and we were his first indoor home.  We walked him through going up and down stairs, getting on furniture and taught him how to cuddle with people.  He immediately became attached to my dogs because that was all he had ever known.  Someday I will have to give more details about Red and his adoption, but today I just want to give a voice to the struggle that is fostering.

People always say that the hardest part of fostering is giving up the animal.  That may be true, but for me MOST of the time (I say most because I do have one story to tell about a dog I almost couldn’t give up) it isn’t actually that I can’t live without the dog and that I’ll miss them SO much.. it’s that I feel like the dog must feel abandoned and disowned.  Here they are bonding with my family, getting used to my house and my routine; becoming comfortable.  And I kick them out.  It always feels like kicking them out, even though we’ve taken time and care to find great homes.  Wont they wonder why they weren’t good enough to be part of our family?

I don’t know if you ever get over that feeling.

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