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fostering dogs

September 9th, 2007, 11:56 AM
my boyfriend and i thought about foster dogs, but we also have a 3 year old child. we are concerned of him getting to attached to the dogs. whats a good age to start fostering with a child. Any advice?

September 9th, 2007, 08:09 PM
How is your son with his toys and books? I have a 12 year old niece who still has some of the things she played with/ read when she was five ~ she can't bear to give them up even though she knows they will be going to disadvantaged children. I think alot depends on whether your son is able to understand that you are only caring for a foster dog for a short time to get them ready for a forever family. If he has huge attachment issues with things and is a dog-lover he may not be able to grasp the foster concept. Maybe try it out with short-term babysitting of a dog belonging to a friend or relative.

September 20th, 2007, 10:57 AM
I have a daughter who will be 3 in December, and I just brought away a dog we had fostered for about 4 or 5 months. This is my experience.

Audrey became attached to Woody right away, even though he was #6 for us, (but the only foster), she even named one of her stuffed toys after him, something she has not done for any of the other dogs. She would help me feed the dogs every day, and played with them all when I went out to the kennels. The day he was leaving, I told her when I loaded him into the truck that "Woody is going to live with some other people now, so Mommy is taking him to them". She seamed to understand, and got into the truck for the short ride to Nana's, where she stayed while I delivered the dog. I had her come out to say good bye before I left, and she gave him a pat, then went on her merry way. When I returned, she never asked about him. Once we got home, I said we have to let the dogs out, something I tell her whenever we get home, and she went over all the dog's names, including Woody. I told her "remember, Woody is going to live with other people now, so he is not here anymore". He was actually going out of province, so I told her all about he plane ride he would be going on. I showed her the empty kennel in the truck, took her out to the kennels to let the other dogs out and she saw that he was not there either.

She has never asked about him again, I think she kinda got it. I thought she would have a hard time with it, but she took it much better then I though she would, I think it helps that we have dogs in the house that are ours, and it would have been much different if we came home to an empty house.

My suggestion would be to try to explain to your son what is happening, although he is only 3, they do seem to understand more than we think. If it is at all possible, maybe adopt a dog yourself, one that you will keep, this way, he will always have one around and will not feel so alone once the foster is adopted out.

Only you will know what your son can handle, and how he will take it, all you can do is try, if it is too much for him, perhaps you will have to wait until he is older and understands that they are not staying. Once you do a few fosters, it will probably become easier for him, knowing that the dog will not be around forever. If he has a chance to meet the people, that will probably be a bonus, and seeing photos of the dog in its new home will help him realize that the dog is not just "gone".

Good luck, rescues are always looking for kind hearts like yourselves.

September 20th, 2007, 11:38 AM
What an excellent question, kara, but wonder what some of the answers will be. There are some adults that aren't able to give up their fosters because they become too attached:eek:... hazel, want4rain, etc, etc :laughing: