Updated: Mar 8
the first thing everyone says to mom is: "i could never do that [foster animals]. i'd get too attached!"
the funny thing is mom said that too, when she met the foster mom of jasmine, mom and dad's first dog together (mom's FIRST DOG!).
but mom knows the secret of fostering- giving them away means you can save another...and another...and she knows the reward of letting them go is far greater than keeping them all...
and way more people CAN foster than CAN'T- but they like to think otherwise because it's more convenient...
but how can you say you can't if you never tried?
the idea is scary, sure...but i promise it's scarier to think about it than to do it!
fostering is the greatest gift you can give someone- not least of which is to the animal you foster.
have you ever gotten something for a friend or family member. maybe it was even something YOU wanted, but you knew they'd love and appreciate it even more...you give it to them because their reaction is the reward for that gift, not you keeping the thing for yourself.
this is what it's like to foster!
when you see the little kid getting their first dog and they are so excited and proud holding the leash or the lonely elderly person who is adopting their new furry lap companion, YOU CAN'T BE SAD.
you may cry tears, but they will be ones of joy!
the other thing is your kids won't be the ones crying- you will. kids love fostering because new is novel for them. they get a different animal each time- which is so much more exciting than their own "boring" pets...while you may be bawling your eyes out because you will miss your foster, the kids will be asking "who are we fostering next!?"
motley zoo animal rescue has so many families with kids- ones who have grown up fostering and it has permanently changed who they are as individuals ready to change the world. they are empowered in a way that helps the kids realize they CAN do anything, including save the world- because they saved the pet they fostered!
of course, you will get attached. you will love the animals so much and you will be afraid they can't live without you- or you without them...but they can and so can you. actually, the trust they have found in you helps them trust new people faster and easier than before.
you find the doors to each animal's heart just barely ajar- and through the care you provide, you kick them open, preparing them for the love and comfort they will receive from their forever families.
you can't be the forever family for ever foster- even if you love them. not only can you save more animals if you don't keep them (and you WILL hit your limit in terms of the number of pets you do have/ keep), but you will be happy when they leave...because if a foster stays with you too long, you are more sad that no one loves or knows them as you do- so you want to try harder to find their perfect match!
mom always tells people to think about fostering like babysitting. if you babysit your friend's kid or niece, no matter how much you love them, you don't think about keeping them. it's not an option!
think about fostering like pet sitting- the pet has a home, you just don't know who it is yet. you don't know when they will come pick the animal up either, but when they do, you will be ready...because while you were there to love and care for the pet like your own, the animal wasn't yours...
...and you will realize this instantly when you meet that animal's perfect family!
mom always says try fostering ONCE. if you don't like, it, don't do it again...but you don't know what you're missing out on if you never consider it at all.
by changing the life of an animal, the life you change most just might just be your own!
for more on the matter, check out this article mom wrote about how her pets (and fostering) changed her life!
keep calm and foster on!