November 6th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Soooo... I'm experiencing a different reaction than expected with our first foster dog. This 2 yr old has been with us for 2 weeks and in that time, he's just transformed into a confident, goofy dude who's proved he can figure out housetraining and house manners, has gained weight and spirit and is a regular snuggly eager-to-please little dog. :cloud9:
When we signed up to be dog foster parents, I expected that we'd want to *keep* the fosters and did all the emotional work I could to prevent those emotions from happening. It helps that the foster program we're in does not allow new foster parents to adopt their foster animals for this very reason.
And now, I have no urge to keep our little friend however I'm finding myself increasingly worried that he'll be adopted into a family that just won't do right by him. I'm anxious and nervous and my heart is just burning with fear that the same type of people (grrr) that surrendered him will adopt him. The SPCA does interview adopter candidates but man, my urge is to sit in front of his kennel once he's moved to adoption and interrogate every potential adopter.
a) is this extreme anxiety normal?
b) if it is, will I have this reaction every time it comes time to return a foster?
c) are there any methods to help me?
We really enjoyed fostering and will do it again but I really need to figure out how to deal with my own emotions so that I'm not conveying my anxiety to these animals before they move out.
Thanks in advance for any experiences you can share...
November 6th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Well welcome to the world of rescue and foster.
I have had 65 foster dogs thus far. Some are easier to let go than others. I am in a unique position of actually talking and meeting potential families so I certainly understand your reservations.
Ensure that you provide the SPCA with accurate information in regards to your foster - the good, bad and even ugly. This will assist them in finding the RIGHT family for your foster.
It is a tough job to foster, but it is equally rewarding...almost addictive. I commend you and let me tell you that your anxiety is completely normal.
Best of luck to you and the foster pup. I am certain that everything will be fine. You have given this dog a second chance as he now has an :angel: in you.
November 7th, 2008, 02:18 PM
It is completely normal to feel that way and it does get easier. Fortunately for me I have the final word on where my fosters go so it makes it a bit easier. If I don't like the people I just don't let them adopt. Of course with some dogs, especially the ones that come to us with special needs it is a little harder to let them go. What always helps is an update from the new family. A picture and e-mail or phone call about how the dog is doing sets my mind at ease.
November 7th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Thanks BenMax & coppperbelle!
We took our little friend back today and it was smooth. I have a dogwalking shift on Sunday so I hope he'll be moved up to adoption by then so I can see him... yep, I'll probably be slyly stalking the people who will be peering in at him! :rolleyes:
On BenMax's advice, we put together a full sheet of the good and the bad and the UGLY because we don't have any role in picking his adoptive family and we want to be sure people know what they're getting into. He's sweet but does have some things he needs to work on and that's probably our biggest cause of anxiety, that he'll be adopted by someone who can't or won't work with him and he'll end up back at the shelter in even worse shape.
I can already see how this can be addictive. Today we turned down a puppy foster because we'll already have a house full of crazy dogs this weekend... but as we were leaving the shelter, my husband casually mentioned "sooooo... I wonder what those foster puppies look like?" LOL! I can see another foster coming our way soon!
:fingerscr:pray: for my first little foster. I so hope his new family adores him as much as we do.
November 7th, 2008, 08:19 PM
It's never easy letting them go, I've only had 3 so far. But the last one I think I cried everytime I thought of him. Now when I get updates and pictures of him from his new family, I just smile and think it's great he has a good home!
November 7th, 2008, 08:52 PM
I haven't fostered dogs, but have cats, and I can tell you your feelings are normal. I, unlike BenMax, have NO say in who they are adopted to and it really gives me great anxiety. I try to look forward to my next foster and always pray that my previous ones are in a happy home. :grouphug:
November 8th, 2008, 02:41 PM
I work in a Humane Society and have never fostered. I would love too. My cat on the other hand has made it known that she HATES every animal. She is 7, almost classifed as a senor..in a year or two. So, she has been on her own for 7 years. So sharing her terroritory is not happening. But oh I wish...fostering or a second cat.
December 6th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Hi-I have been fostering a dog for the past two weeks and today I took him to his hopefully, forever family. I can't stop crying, feeling like I abandoned this poor dog again. he was a starved, sick dog who also was the sweetest pup I have ever met. I can't help feeling that nobody can care for him the way I do. Thing is, I know the people who are adopting him-friend of a friend-i could not ask for a better situation-why do I feel so bad? I can't ask for him back-their 7 year old daughter has been waiting to meet him for 3 days. I know this is a good home for him, a family-but i miss this dog. I decided not to keep him because my old cats 14 and 16 yrs, would not accept him. Are these feelings normal? Thanks Kate Skirow91@comcast.net
December 6th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Are these feelings normal?
I'm guessing this was your first foster ? Yes it is normal. I had those same feelings at first. But when the families would send me updates and pictures , I knew the dogs were better off , and this way I could foster other dogs in need.
Try to only look at the good sides , you helped this dog get a second chance in life :thumbs up kuddos to you !
December 6th, 2008, 10:31 PM
Hi-I have been fostering a dog for the past two weeks and today I took him to his hopefully, forever family. I can't stop crying, feeling like I abandoned this poor dog again. he was a starved, sick dog who also was the sweetest pup I have ever met. I can't help feeling that nobody can care for him the way I do. Thing is, I know the people who are adopting him-friend of a friend-i could not ask for a better situation-why do I feel so bad? I can't ask for him back-their 7 year old daughter has been waiting to meet him for 3 days. I know this is a good home for him, a family-but i miss this dog. I decided not to keep him because my old cats 14 and 16 yrs, would not accept him. Are these feelings normal? Thanks Kate
It's absolutely normal to feel that way :grouphug: You've invested your heart to give this dog a new start. Of course you worry and you feel sad that he's gone. But look at what you've given him! A brand new family that will love him for the rest of his life. You're an :angel: for doing this. I know that I don't have the strength to foster (we have eight dogs because of it :o).
My hat's off to you, skirow91 :grouphug: You'll find a lot of people on the board who know exactly what you're going through.
December 7th, 2008, 05:52 PM
Thing is, I know the people who are adopting him-friend of a friend-i could not ask for a better situation-why do I feel so bad? I can't ask for him back-their 7 year old daughter has been waiting to meet him for 3 days. I know this is a good home for him, a family-but i miss this dog.
You are this dog's personal cheering squad and you care for him deeply. I think it's perfectly normal to wish you could continue to have him around you - it sounds like he worked his way into your heart! Grieving is normal when your friend is going to live with someone else, even if the someone else is fantastic.
Our first foster was the very worst for the anxiety and sadness - we're on #5 since mid-Oct (fostering is ADDICTIVE) and I'm more confident that they'll be ok even if I'm still sad to see them go.