Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Confessions of a Rescue Foster Parent.. Medusa's Adoption


There comes a point during every foster situation where you know the time when you will have to part with your foster pup is approaching.  Its difficult, you try to enjoy every moment with them, soak up all their love and bestow as much as you can on them.

Scout would always steal her little crate 
The past month has been filled with little moments where my eyes well up whenever she came up and licked my face or nibbled my fingertips, because I remember how terrified and timid she was in November.

Medusa was picked up at four months old, completely alone in the first few days of the bitter cold weather this past winter had to offer. Her hind leg was wounded and she was a scared little mouse of a puppy. She didn't know how to play, she squirreled away any treat we gave her, and she was completely distrusting of us or any people she encountered.

She slowly improved, our dogs took her under their wing and showed her how to play tug of war and wrestle. They showed her the intricate art of begging for table scraps.. and succeeding (with me at least). Eventually Medusa was sleeping in bed with us, being the first to wake us up in the morning with a long wet lick across the cheek or a gentle nibble on our ears or hands. She greeted us at the door, jumping up and down excitedly, and vying for our attention with the other dogs. Whenever I watched a movie, or worked on this blog, she would jump into my lap and curl up and fall into the deep sleep of a street dog who has learned to love and trust her people.

I only received a handful of applications for her. Most of them were first time dog owners, just wanted a black lab puppy, or had no experience with rescued dogs. None of them were the right fit. I began to despair that we would not be able to find the right home for her. I was then sent the application for the perfect people. That was really when the end of fostering panic began to set in. I would hold her in my lap and watch sad movies, and she would struggle to get away because she just wanted to wrestle with Scout. I held on a little longer each time though.

When we did the home visit and started the trial sleepover for Medusa, I knew they were the ones for her. Their neighborhood is a dog's paradise. I kind of want them to adopt me, actually! We left Medusa there, I knew I would be back to sign adoption papers though, so I was alright. Two weeks later, when we returned, I stepped out the car and a black little streak came speeding towards me. Medusa was galloping through the grass with the biggest dog grin on her face and jumped into my lap. She greeted Randy the same way, although she gave him a bit more love.. he's the favorite. When we went inside to sign the adoption papers, she showed me all her awesome toys and her favorite nesting spot in the kitchen. I held her one last time, and kissed the top of her ebony head. Randy drove me home, and we discussed how wonderful her new family is, with smiles on our faces, but sadness in our hearts. They really are the perfect fit for her. Its hard to feel sad when she is in such a great home, but its also hard to feel happy without little puppy kisses to greet our mornings.

As I type this, there is a beautiful nine month old black lab puppy lying on her back with her mouth wide open and snoring rather loudly. Another dog in need of a foster home until we can find her perfect forever family. I guess thats what keeps me going even though it is incredibly hard. I know there are hundreds of dogs in our city that need the love and care that Randy and I are able to provide. Its one of the reasons we don't own a third dog. If we did, we would have no room to foster. Kaya is our new foster. She is the product of irresponsible pet ownership. But Randy and I are here to cradle, care for, and teach her everything she needs to know to be a good member of society. I find with each foster dog, I find that my capacity to love in increased. Multiplied really.

Meet Kaya
Fostering is so difficult, but I don't think there is anything more rewarding in this world. The heartache of having to part with dogs I'm emotionally invested in and have grown to love is worth it to know that once they are adopted (into the perfect family for them), I can help another animal in need.


  1. What a treasure. You have an incredible heart.

    1. Thanks so much Danielle! I really appreciate the comment.

  2. God bless you! I read this with tears in my eyes. Happy-sad days of parting indeed. Those are very lucky dogs.

    1. I wrote it with tears in my eyes, thank you so much for sweet the comment!

  3. This is almost heartbreaking! You are so wonderful to bring those little fur babies into your home and then give them to a deserving family. It must be hard to let go.

    It was great meeting you at #BBCSTL

    1. Thanks so much Carla! It was great to meet you too! I was glad I was sitting next to you, because you asked a lot of questions that I was too shy to ask myself haha!
      And fostering is one of those things where I always thought to myself "Somebody ought to do something about that" and then I realized I was somebody. =]