Saturday, November 2, 2013

The worst thing you can say to a foster parent...

People mean well.  They really do.  And while they don't think there's anything wrong with what they are saying - well - I know my fellow foster families know what I'm talking about...

Your friends see that picture you post - you know - of the new foster dog on the couch snuggled up next to the other dogs?  Or maybe the one of the dog curled up next to you?  They see your posts about how well Fido fits in with the rest of your dogs, and they see how much you love your new temporary addition.

And that's when it starts.  The comments come flooding in: I think you should keep him.  Fido fits in so well with the rest of the pack.  I don't think he'll be leaving.  How can you stand to let him go?

You know what?  You just said the worst thing possible.  I ALREADY want to keep half of the dogs that I foster.  I already fall in love with all of them.  My dogs fall in love with them, too.  So... PLEASE refrain from validating my adoration for these animals.  PLEASE don't tell me that I should keep this one.  Fostering is hard enough... but it gets even harder when you friends remind you how well a dog fits in.

So instead of reminding us how amazing it would be to add our fosters as permanent residents, remind us how important it is to let them go to a new family.  Yes, they fit in great... but tap us on the shoulder and remind us that Fido has the perfect family out there somewhere... and that once he's adopted, we can save another.  'Nuff said.