How hard is it to say goodbye to a foster?

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

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Mexican- Mutt-a-roonie
Barked: Tue Dec 21, '10 4:55pm PST 
We're going to be moving to a much bigger place in a few months, with a big fenced in yard, and I would LOVE to start fostering.

My problem is getting attached to the dogs we foster.
Is it hard to let them go, or does it get easier over time the more dogs you foster?

Any other tips or suggestions on fostering would be great too! =)
Spuds "The- Angel Potato- Head"

Thinking of my- pal Troop!!
Barked: Tue Dec 21, '10 5:04pm PST 
shrugshrug We failed at fostering before I even met Spuds..... His other foster family has visited us and we have been back to see them. Well, we were Dogster friends before Spuds, now real life friends.... They has Spuds for just over 2 weeks before I was able to get him, they had a hard time letting him go and made me promise that if for any reason Spuds ever needed a new home, they would get him back.

Miss Diva to- you!!
Barked: Tue Dec 21, '10 6:17pm PST 
It is very hard to let go but you have to think that you KNOW they are going to a good place and once you find them a great home you get to save another life big grin
You are going to get attached, but if/when you adopt them out you can probably work out a way to get updates from them so you can see how they progress blue dog Fostering is such an amazing thing to do and you can save so many lives, just try to keep that in mind as they are going to their furever homes big grin
I don't know if you consider what I have done fostering but I guess it can be called that shrugI took in Kable, a jack russell/mini schnauzer mix and rehomed him(man was it hard but he is now happy and completely inseperable from his new boy) and Bandit a Pug/Norwegian Elkhound mix, he has been rehomed as well. It wasn't easy, but I feel good knowing I saved their lives and they now get some great lovings snoopy


Barked: Tue Dec 21, '10 6:28pm PST 
It's hard. I went into fostering knowing that I shouldn't get attached. I also knew that if I kept a foster, I would no longer be able to foster others (4 dogs is definitely my limit for now). My first foster dog was the hardest to give up. Then he was returned after a few months. Adopting him out the second time was even harder!!! Luckily, his new home is only 15 minutes away and I can see him whenever I'd like. That really helped.

I have had a few fosters that I was happy to let go. Some of them didn't really fit as well into our pack as others. Or I just knew they belonged somewhere else.

I think the biggest thing that got me through each one was knowing that I could help another. That is what I kept in the back of my mind always.

Fostering is such a rewarding experience. I will never forget any of my foster dogs. They all mean so much to me in their own different ways. Good luck!

This tail never- stops wagging!!
Barked: Tue Dec 21, '10 6:46pm PST 
Saying goodbye to them is both the hardest & most rewarding thing you will ever do.hug

I am the- Chocolate boy!
Barked: Wed Dec 22, '10 12:51am PST 
T.C. came to us pregnant. She had 10 puppies that all survived and went to wonderful homes. T.C. was our foster failure. Each puppy got harder to say goodbye to as they left. Colt was the hardest. We had him for four months. I had put alot of time and effort into him and we were thinking about keeping him. He had many issues that most people wouldn't be able to deal with. We had a friend that was interested in him and knew all of his issues. They had two teenage daughters and four other dogs. Colt, once placed in their arms, was calm and relaxed. They absolutely loved him. I had let go of my tears the night before and while in the car before they arrived. He seemed to know and while we were n the car he crawled into my lap, put his two front paws on my chest and licked my face. Something he had never done before. He had licked me once or twice but after he was returned to us (another long story, Colt was originally placed into a home, got a text 6 hours later saying they didn't want him. A week after fighting to get Colt back, they returned him and when we got him back, he seemed to have all sorts of issues)he was very hand shy and afraid of people so I took what I could. When he was licking my face, I sobbed a bit and just pet him. When I handed him over to his new owners later, I had my professional face on and after a while of talking (we talked for like 3 hours) Colt licked his new owner's chin and they left. They were super nice and let me say one last goodbye to him.

They did decide to keep his name that I gave him because they said I was a huge part of his life and they didn't feel it was right to not only change his home that he had for the first 4 months of his life, but to change his name would be even harder. They promised me when they go out of town, I get to pet sit him. We will be planning playdates between Colt and T.C. as well since T.C. had a really hard time after Colt left. To this day she won't go to bed without the wubba Colt loved to play with. They also send me photos about Colt and we are facebook friends and talk about him through facebook.

One thing I did was not only do I have my own personal facebook account but I created one for TC and her puppies where the new owners still add photos and talk through it. I have made alot of friends by these puppies.

Is it hard? Yes, it tore me apart and I am not an emotional person. Is it a rewarding experience? Most definitely. If we didn't find T.C., she would of had her pups on the street and would of most likely lost them all, would of been in the shelter where she would of most likely been put to sleep, or would of wound up being passed from home to home. It is awesome knowing you had a big impact on a dog's life and it is awesome seeing your fosters in their new homes making other people as happy as they made you.

Mexican- Mutt-a-roonie
Barked: Thu Dec 23, '10 3:09pm PST 
Thanks for your replies and stories, everyone! Very much appreciated. =)

I'm your new- best friend! Pet- me!
Barked: Thu Dec 23, '10 3:11pm PST 
I've fostered over 50 cats and kittens and it does get easier. The main thing that keeps me searching for homes is that I know once those leave there will be more who need help.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Thu Dec 23, '10 3:43pm PST 
We fostered cats for several years and found that it completely depended on the cat...

The first few were really tough, but as we got used to the fostering routine, it got easier.

We only took in sick cats (upper respiratory infections) and they would stay with us from 3-8 weeks until they were healthy and could be returned to the SPCA to be adopted out.

Many of the cats' personalities just didn't mesh with ours, some had habits that made me insane (plant munchers, incessant meyowlers etc), and others took pieces of my heart away with them when they left.

We went into it knowing we couldn't keep any of them (we did end up keeping our last two though...), and eventually had to come to the realization that we did the best we could, got them back to health, returned them to the shelter, and then let things unfold as they will.

We had no say in who took them home etc. We would watch for them, make sure that they did not get sick again, and when we heard that they had finally been adopted, I'd simply have to trust that the right decision had been made and that this was how it was meant to unfold.

Childish and naive maybe, but it left me my sanity. I brought them back to health and then let them go.

Thinking of a few of them still makes my heart ache, and I still wonder how many we could have saved had we not made the decision to keep Buster and Jeri.

It has made me determined to always adopt.
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Thu Dec 23, '10 3:46pm PST 
It depends on the dog! Some dogs I have been more than happy to say "adios!" to. Some really melt your heart. I foster failed on the 3rd dog I had. The fourth dog I fostered was really hard to give up. The rest have been kind of in the middle, except for a few crazies that I get really excited to give away! My number one advice is Know Your Limit. Know what you can and can't handle in terms of size, age, health, temperament, number of animals. Find a group that you trust. If you find out that a dog isn't working in your home (like fights, tormenting other pets, kinds in danger) don't be afraid to ask for help. Many rescues will try and guilt you into doing more and more and more. You need to be able to say "no".
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