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How Can You Love a Foster When You Know They Will Leave?

I love all of my fosters very much, but I always think of ALL the dogs waiting in the same shelters that my fosters came from. They are waiting, just like my foster was, for a rescue. I like to think of myself as a bridge to a better life, for my fosters.

When homeless pets are in shelters, they are in danger of being euthanized. They can’t save themselves and find their own way to a great family that will love them.  They are too sick, too scared, or just simply unwanted by the first family they had. They need someone to bridge the distance; to teach them how to live inside like a family member. They need someone to take them for their medical treatment, to clip their nails and give them a bath.

At any given time, there are only so many homeless pets that can fit in my home, so I always remind myself that no matter how much I love my fosters and no matter how much fun they are having at my house, there is a more perfect place for them to be, a family where they can be the center of the universe. While they are welcome to stay for as long as they need; when they are strong and no longer the weakened animal that came to me, then its time for them to find their own family so that another homeless pet can have the same chance they did.fostering system always has to be moving, getting one homeless pet ready for their new life and out into the world with a different outlook and different experiences that counter what neglect and possible abuse they may have known prior to being rescued. All so the next homeless pet can use my home as a bridge to a better life.

Adopting a foster isn’t unheard of. I ended up adopting one of my fosters earlier this year. Dash had been in a foster home before he came to me and had a difficult time adjusting. But he blossomed in my home and was with me for almost a year. When he was transported to New York to his new home, his behavior deteriorated and he was sent back to me. It was never my intention to adopt Dash (even though I loved him very much) but his special behavioral issues did not leave him many options. I never wanted him to be at risk because of his special personality, so in the end, I adopted him because he needed  the safety and love my home could provide. Adopting Dash hasn’t hindered my ability to continue to foster other dogs, and I continue to be the bridge for many that come through our facility.

To be a foster home, you have to love enough to let go and dedicate yourself to the next scared, weakened creature that will come through your doors, knowing that you made a difference in the ones that have used your home as their bridge. And the knowledge that they made it to the other side radiant with the love and care you gave and into the waiting arms of a family is the best feeling in the world.

To become a foster home for Pawmetto Lifeline, contact Amber King at aking@pawmettolifeline.org or call 465-9189.

by: Amber King, Foster Coordinator for Pawmetto Lifeline

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