My First Foster

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

I found myself tearing up as I was looking through photos from the couple months that we had Weeser. I had a lump in my throat when I would find myself talking about him, thinking about him and I couldn’t help but wonder – did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him?

Weeser was a weak four-month old pup when he was transported from Kentucky to Minnesota. The first photo I saw of him is burned in my head. He was in a dark dungeon-like shelter hiding behind rusty bars. He was just standing there on the concrete floor looking up into the bright flash of the camera. He looked helpless, miserable and he needed us.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

We contacted the rescue that was going to pull him from the shelter and said, “We’ll take him, we can foster him!”. That was all it took, we just saved his life…

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

Lola had just came into our lives a couple months prior and this whole idea of fostering was very new to us. I will never forget the day we went to the rescue and picked up Weeser. He was so weak. His legs bowed outwards and he looked like a newborn foal when he would run. He had virtually no muscle development. But after all, he had been living in a DARK dungeon with minimal exercise.

Lola and Weeser bonded immediately. They had so much to ‘talk’ about. They would wrestle, play (pee on the floor) and then recharge their little batteries like any two puppies would do. They were two peas in a pod and literally inseperable.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

The question began to enter my mind, how I am ever going to let him go?

Is it going to be like this with every dog that we foster?

Can we afford to keep two dogs?

Will Lola bond with another dog like she has with Weeser?

I still remember the moment when I received the first email with the subject line, “Adoption Application – Weeser”.

I’ll admit, I was basically conducting a thorough search of the applicant…stalking them as if they were applying for a job with the CIA, trying to figure out if they could ever possibly be fit to take care of my precious Weesy boy. Because how is anyone ever going to give him as good of a home as we can? Will they leave him home alone all the time in a crate? What if he ends up back in a shelter? The questions would not stop flooding my mind.

Two other applications came in and well, as much as I hated (yes, hated) to admit it…there was one family that sounded perfect. A mother and her three children – Weeser would receive lots of exercise and hardly ever be left home alone. So we agreed to meet them and it went wonderful. They loved him, he loved them. Of course they did, it was Weeser. It was bittersweet.

Another email came in from the rescue organization requesting for me to let them know how everything went with our meet-and-greet. I was hesitant – should I tell them it didn’t work out and we’ll be adopting Weeser? What should I do!?

Well, I replied and told them that I liked the family and everything went well – the truth.

Next, an email copying me, it read, “Congratulations, your home visit has been approved!”.

NOOOO… I had just approved the adoption and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Thirty minutes later another notification on my phone, an  email outlining the details of the adoption:

1) Adopter makes payment with a debit/credit card through our website.
2) Vetting Manager signs the adoption contract electronically via
Right Signature AFTER this animal is spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
Vet records will be emailed to the new owners
after an adoption is finalized.
3) Foster signs the contract electronically by opening the email from
Right Signature and clicking on the link. Please make sure to check
the boxes and fill in every blank next to the check boxes.
4) Adopter signs the contract electronically by opening the email from
Right Signature and clicking on the link provided. Once adopter signs
the form, another email from Right Signature will be sent to all
signers with the completed PDF contract attached (adopters, please
save this email since it’s proof of adoption).
5) Foster contacts Adopter to pick up new pet AFTER the adoption
contract is signed by everyone and payment has been made.

WAIT, what is happening. Can I have a few days to let this soak in? I WANT Weeser, I want to adopt him! I called my mom, distraught and upset. I think I just made the biggest mistake… Weeser is PERFECT. The bond between Weeser and Lola was truly one of the most precious things I have ever seen in my twenty something years of existence. How would we ever find another playmate like him? I cannot let him go…I can’t. But I have to. I broke down, my heart felt heavy and tears flooded my eyes, I had a giant lump in my throat.

Lola loved him so much. She even went into a mini depression period when he left. She would sulk around, head hanging and would lay in his favorite spot, waiting for him to come back… but we both knew he was gone. I cannot bring myself to delete any of his photos. Yes, I know I have 15 photos of one pose where his head may be turned slightly different.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

And to answer my own questions:

Is it going to be like this with every foster? > No.

Could every dog we have fostered fit into our family? > Yes.

Could we have afforded Weeser? > Yes.

Will Lola bond with another dog as she did with Weeser? > Well, no – not yet.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

I still miss Weeser, but we saved his life. He is living a beautiful life now and I know that he is loved – loved as much as I love him. I am still in contact with his family and they send me an occasional photo of Mr. Weesy.

I have to look back and remember that moment, that moment that we said we could foster him and those few words changed his life forever. And while I am tearing up as I write this, I have to accept that what I did was right. I loved him, I cared for him, I helped him grow strong and I ensured that his perfect family found him, my job here was done. I believe that Weeser came into our lives for a very special reason and I feel fortunate to have made an impact on his life and in return, he made one on mine.

And the moment I knew it was right was when his new mom walked in the door to pick him up. Weeser greeted her with a wagging tail, excitement, and tons of puppy kisses. We said our goodbyes and then they left and suddenly I knew everything was going to be alright…

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16 Replies to “My First Foster”

  1. Awww! Bless your heart! That is the sweetest story and I know I would be the same way if we were to foster. You did a selfless thing and Weeser is lucky to have had you! Two paws up for fostering!

    UH HELLO!!
    At least Weeser is in a home! a home where he is loved.. I know Rio can get on your nerves a bit.. he gets on my nerves.. HE STEALS ALL MY BONES AND TOYS FOR GOODNESS SAKES!
    Lola <3

  3. Bittersweet story for sure. We’ve fostered in the past and it is hard because it’s so easy to get attached. I found myself keeping my distance so I wouldn’t.

    1. I know, it’s really hard because you want to give them your all but there is no doubt that you will get attached. But if I can foster – anyone can ;).

  4. You are a much stronger woman than I. Weeser’s face alone is unbearably adorable, Lola AND Weeser together, ohhh! So very cute and sweet.
    I plan to foster and then the next thing I know, I’m emotionally planning to bring in a dog for keeps. But I have to keep in mind, just as you have, you can do more good as a foster, helping dogs find wonderful homes (even if not yours…*gulp*). We are forever grateful to Huffle’s foster mom for keeping him and loving him for a year until we found him, so it seems fair to pass that gift along.

    1. I promise you, if I can do it – you can! I was a mess but came to the realization that ‘everything was going to be alright’ and that I did make the right decision. I can’t believe your pup was in rescue for that long, what a great foster home he must’ve lived in. Thanks for giving him a wonderful home, let me know how it goes if you do decide to foster in the future :).

  5. I wish I would’ve kept a pitbull mix puppy I fostered in 2009. She was about four months old and straight out of a dungeon-like shelter as well. She was transported from Iowa to North Dakota where I lived at the time. She had an application right away from friends of ours and she has the best home with them. Still … I’m jealous. Should’ve kept that one!

    Then there was an American Eskimo I fostered for five months. I really just should’ve kept him because he fit so well into our lives. He was super lazy and loved to just lounge around. Yet he was fun to train and very treat motivated. He found a great home as well with a single, retired guy. Still, I miss Cosmo!

    My other fosters … as much as I loved them it was a relief to see some of them get adopted! Some dogs just don’t fit in as well and are a little more stress 🙂

    1. Hi Lindsay, haha – you sound like I do when I reminisce about our past fosters. We have had pretty good luck with the foster dogs fitting in, but there is always that one exception ;). Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Really looking so pretty and cute with your foster dog. I really love such type of lovely dog. Here, you have post really a very nice story and it’s great pleasure for me that i have read it.

  7. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS! We just went through the same thing! We had our first foster dog and just loved him to pieces. Even my dog, who has had a TON of problems with issues towards other dogs, just loved our little foster. I cried and cried and cried when I sent him on to a special needs rescue that agreed to take him in up in NY (our foster was a sweet by, but deaf as deaf could be). The rescue has kept be updated on progress and I know it was for the best, but it was SO HARD! Thank you for letting me know I am not the only one who has a hard time with it!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      It can be hard! And the first foster was by FAR the hardest for me. I’m glad you are still in touch w/ his progress, I’m sure that helps a ton :). Thanks for stopping by!!

  8. thank you so much for writing this. I just handed my very first foster over to his forever family and I am a mess. I related to everything you wrote; the “could anyone else take care of him like we can?”, the online stalking potential adopters, the first picture I saw of him in the shelter ingrained in my head.

    He’s in a great home but I still can’t help but worry about him. He is such a nervous little guy and I can’t help but think that he is wondering why we left him just like his previous owners did.

    Anyway, thank you so much for writing this. It’s nice to know that someone can relate and that it will be ok!

  9. Thanks for sharing! I am going through this right now. My first foster is currently at a trial run with potential adopters and its going great. Which makes me happy – and making me cry all day. I love that little pittie pup. I am going to meet with them and say my final goodbye this week and I know I am going to be a mess. I know it’s the right thing to do and want to help others in the future , but it is so hard!

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