Thursday, September 8, 2011

And Then There Were Two

Alice went to her new home today.

Dragon Is Mine!
Home is where the dragon is!
Someone asked me if I was going to be okay about giving up Alice. They said it would be impossible for them to foster because we expect so much of dogs.

I foster because it is the right thing to do. For me, that is. It's not something I do because I find an inexplicable joy in potty training or child-proofing a room or broken plants and destroyed shoes. I don't, really. It's why I'm vegan - it's the right thing to do. Again, for me. The right thing is not always the easy thing and it is not always the thing that we seek out or necessarily enjoy. Hey, it took me nearly ten years to restart fostering ...the right thing can take time!

Don't get me wrong, I mostly like fostering. I do. Each dog brings with them uniqueness. It's a journey of patience and fun and ire and bonding.

I agree with this person about expectations, though. We do expect a lot of dogs. We expect them to thrive in shelters. We expect them to transition from a shelter to a foster home with little fanfare. And then we expect them, after they've finally shed the shackles of their previous neglect or abandonment, to leave what they're used to and adjust to something new - their (hopefully) permanent home. It's a lot to ask of another living being, one who cannot be told in words what is transpiring.

Since I cannot keep every foster, I invariably set dogs up for a failure which will ideally turn into a success. I will nurture them, train them, bond with them, learn from and about them, and they will return the favor. I will abandon them in the great hope they will find a love and relationship lasting their lifetime. If we lived in a world in which dogs were snatched from shelters with wild abandon and glee, foster dogs would have no need of me. They'd be adopted. They wouldn't languish in shelters. They wouldn't be threatened with death for being black or large or mouthy or a certain breed or type.

Until then, I'll keep on keeping on with the fostering. I'll take breaks, reassure Mina and Celeste that they're the best, and I'll continue to open hearth and home to perfectly troublesome canines. Because, for me, it is just the right thing to do.

Mina says fostering actually sucks and her side of the story should be told. In a picture. See what she has to deal with? Tragic.

No Means No!

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