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When my husband and I became dog fosters, we had no feel for how long it would last. We'd just lost our oldest dog and, since we were already active volunteers with a local rescue, we turned to fostering right away to provide a playmate for our younger dog, Rudi. And, of course, we loved the idea of helping to prepare a dog for his or her forever home. Those are some warm fuzzies right there.
It started off well. Really well. We started with Blackie, who was an excellent companion for Rudi. We worked with him on some basic obedience, took lots of cute pictures (he was surprisingly tolerant of hats and costumes for a year-old pup with so much energy), and took him everywhere with us, to make sure his forever family would have no trouble bringing him right into their lives.
When he was adopted, I cried. No, I sobbed. I was so happy he was going to a great home, but in just a few short weeks, he'd become a part of our family. He'd helped us begin to heal and had given us a way to displace our grief without any guilt. I was heartbroken to hand him over, but I knew he was only the first foster. I was ready to do it again.
We went through the cycle a few more times, spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with dogs who really just wanted the gift of a permanent home. And we helped that happen. It was never easy to say goodbye, but I like to think that my attachment made the new owners even more aware of how special their new four-legged friends were.
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