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Posted by: Mysti in The Dog Blog

Most any animal lover has thought about fostering animals in need at least a time or two in their lives. For me it was many times throughout the years, every time I came to the same conclusion - I would get way too attached and not be able to say goodbye. I felt that it was best for both myself and the animals to not end up on some television show about animal hoarding, so I remained firm in my decision.

A few months ago I became active in a local humane society and found myself faced everyday with what was really happening in the animal welfare industry. I started to see just how crucial a part fostering played in being able to save more animals from death at kill shelters. I knew though, or at least I thought I did, that this was still a crucial part better played by someone else.

One day in June I saw a picture of a little beagle mix that needed a foster or furever home. Her eyes showed the pain she had experienced in her life, and I saw the defeat in her face. In that moment everything I had told myself for years suddenly changed, and I immediately asked my husband about fostering this little dog. The next day we were filling out foster parent paperwork, and anxious to get this sweet girl into our home so we could start showing her the love that she had so obviously been lacking in her life. Once this sweet girl was rescued from the kill shelter she was immediately taken to the emergency vet. Sadly, it was found that she was in very bad health and could not be saved. This sweet girl, so briefly known as Bessy the Beagle, took the trip over the rainbow bridge surrounded by a few people who cared about her and loved her. So while I was never able to get her home and show her the love she so desperately needed, I was able to show her love just before she passed away, and for that I am thankful. So was this a terrible start to my fostering experience? No, it absolutely was not. While I shed some tears for a few days following that, her defeated face remains etched in my brain and gently reminds me everyday that there are so many more just like her who need our help. The need for fostering is so much greater than my own beliefs about my abilities or lack thereof.

I decided that fostering was something I could do after all, and would do. Do I get attached to all these sweet animals? Absolutely. I quickly learned its not about staying unemotional and not getting attached to the animals. All animal lovers are naturally going to love any animal they bring in their home, some more than others. Is it sad saying goodbye to them? Sure, a little. But the excitement usually overshadows any sadness. The process of seeing an animal go from death row, to grow and blossom under your care, then finally on to a loving furever home; is almost indescribable. The reward is immense, and the laughter and joy that each animal brings you along the way is amazing. 

In 3 short days another of our fosters is going to her furever home. I write this tonight with excitement and anticipation of what her future holds in her new home, and equal excitement and anticipation of what our next foster will bring to us as well. Its an incredible journey, and one I am so glad I decided to take, despite all my many excuses. <3

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hellodog787 , January 02, 2016

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