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Hard to say goodbye

November 16th, 2007, 09:51 PM
I'm having a hard time, and was looking to see how others deal with being separated from animals they get attached too.

I'm in school for vet tech, and every 3 weeks we have animals come into our clinic that is on site at the school. We take care of them every day, we're up with them at 6am, walking the dogs, feeding them, playing with the cats, making sure everyone is happy and healthy. Spaying/Neutering them if needed, giving them surgery if they are sick, etc. The only problem is that I find myself getting so attached to the animals, and every 3 weeks its the same thing...they get discharged back to the shelters they came from, and then we get new animals brought in. I always go in on Fridays (they get discharged on Saturdays) and say goodbye...and prey that they get adopted to a good home, but I'm always so sad to see them leave. It's almost like I wish I could find a way to not get so attached to them, but I see them all every day! And they are all so loving, and I just feel so bad that they don't have a loving home to be in. :(

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas of how to deal with saying goodbye (and not wanting to adopt them all and bring them home!!! :D)

November 16th, 2007, 09:59 PM
Oh, how I relate! :grouphug: We tried fostering once. Took us 4 days to decide we just couldn't part with her. :shrug: We now have 8 dogs instead of 7. :o

If I were in your position we'd be sooooo out of room... :rolleyes:

November 16th, 2007, 10:01 PM
I know what you mean...I wish I could just keep them all! I only have 1 dog and 1 cat...but in an apartment...being a student, I know that I just couldn't care for them the way they should be.

It's just hard and sad at the same time...I hope someone takes them who loves them and gives them the TLC they all deserve.

November 16th, 2007, 10:04 PM
At least you're able to give them a good start on their new lives! :thumbs up

November 16th, 2007, 10:07 PM
It's almost like I wish I could find a way to not get so attached to them,

Please don't ! That will make you the best vet tech , the more you love them , the more you will help them. When they do leave , just pat yourself in the back and tell yourself you did a good thing. :thumbs up

November 16th, 2007, 10:07 PM
Yes, that is very true :D I can't wait until I'm done school, and have a bigger place with a big back yard, I swear my boyfriend has no idea what he's in for!! Haha ;)

November 16th, 2007, 10:09 PM
Please don't ! That will make you the best vet tech , the more you love them , the more you will help them. When they do leave , just pat yourself in the back and tell yourself you did a good thing. :thumbs up

That is a good way of looking at it too, and I do try to think that way. I just try to think that they will all get adopted to a good home :)

November 16th, 2007, 10:12 PM
Please don't ! That will make you the best vet tech , the more you love them , the more you will help them. When they do leave , just pat yourself in the back and tell yourself you did a good thing. :thumbs up

I totally agree :thumbs up.

November 17th, 2007, 08:58 AM
Frenchy is so right,too many techs and vets lose sight of why they wanted to do animal medecine.I've fostered quite a few dogs and horses.I love them while they're here,but just not quite the same way I love my gang,not always easy which is why I live in a zoo.Keep going with your studies we need more like you!!:thumbs up

November 18th, 2007, 05:24 PM
I don't think there is good answer for that dilemna. I agree with previous logic that you have to take comfort in the fact you took care of them and made them healthier. When you make it big you can create a home for many pets to find a good home :)


November 19th, 2007, 06:39 AM
I am currently fostering for the first time and have become so attached to the kittens (momma I have adopted). I keep telling myself, this is for the good of the kitties and am doing it for them, even if is causes me some heartache in the end.

November 20th, 2007, 09:09 AM
I went through this when I was in school for the same thing. What you have to remember is that they would not all be better off with you although we would like to do that. Adopting very one of them would be chaos. Just believe that they are going to get a good home and you made a difference in their life although for a short time. They are going back to the shelter where they will be adopted out to a good home. They are going to be that little girl/boy's new best friend.

I tried everything when I went through this, I tried getting attached, I tried detaching myself as much as possible when around them all and just "doing my job". None of it worked except knowing that they are better off where they are going and I made a difference to them. Over time it will get easier but never let it get to the point where you don't care anymore. Believe it or not this is what happens to a lot of techs over time because they get desensitized. Stay grounded and know that they are going where they are better off.

November 20th, 2007, 05:18 PM

I don't do well with this! That is one reason I kept all 4 of the kittens my adopted stray had. By the time they were old enough to adopt out, I couldn't find them homes, and kept them all.

I could not be a vet tech - but am sure glad you are - we need more like you that care so much.

As for fostering - I could never do it, I get too attached.

Keep up the good work.

November 20th, 2007, 05:52 PM
It's almost like I wish I could find a way to not get so attached to them,

That sounds like a losing deal. The reason letting them go hurts so much is because of all the joy of getting to know them and to be with them. It's a trade-off, but a good trade, I think. Suppose you decide to not become attached, imagine your professional life as a string of long, gray days among all those wonderful animals, forcing yourself to shut yourself off from them. No pain, but no joy either, each day just like the last.

I'm not saying it'll be easy, and it'll be an emotional roller coaster that not everybody can take for long, but never forget what you've gained when you have to look at what you're losing. The day you decide the former isn't worth the latter is the day you probably ought to find something new to do - and that's OK, too.


November 20th, 2007, 06:27 PM
I go to the local kill shelter on my lunch breaks and play/walk with the dogs there. I try to just think that the time I spend with them helps to socialize them, train them and make them more adoptable. In my mind, they all get adopted to good homes.

November 20th, 2007, 07:04 PM
Thanks so much for everyone's great replies! It has helped alot, and has me looking at things at a different angle now.

We just got our new gang in over the weekend...and boy are they cute and loving! We have 15 cats and 4 dogs, so we have our hands full, but it's great and I love it.

Any spare time I have I head up to the clinic to spend time with them, but keeping in mind that they will be leaving in a few weeks to find wonderful new homes, and that's ok with me :) I'm happy to have them and give them 3 weeks of love, fun and happiness, and when they head back to their shelter, they will be finding a permanent home with someone who will do the same for life.

Even if they are only with us for 3 weeks, we make those weeks the best ever and that is just one more reason why I love what I do! Thanks again guys! :D

November 20th, 2007, 07:22 PM
I fostered many cats and you really do get attached. This will be your profession and you will be exposed to much happiness and also a lot of sadness at times. Just imagine what a great job you are doing by looking after them temporarily and they will never make more puppies or kittens to be abandoned again! You have a part in stopping their cycle of mysery. The rescuers get attached too. We are sad to see them go, but at the same time we are happy, because just like you we played a small part in their lives and future happiness.