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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Special Kind of Heart

Has anyone wondered why so many foster dogs are returned?  Or why they "act out" with potential new owners?  They have already been through the "system" and then they finally find a home, only to find themselves shuffled through other families who bring them back.  I am sure there are stronger and deeper analogies, but I keep coming back to what I know about plants and what I have witnessed with them. 
When a plant is uprooted, it goes into shock.  Even when you transplant it into a bigger pot with fresh soil, it reacts as if in foreign territory.  It takes two to three times the amount of water to begin to re cooperate from the trauma it has undergone and may takes days or weeks to settle in and finally begin to root.

Imagine the shock that would occur if this same plant was uprooted over and over again, only to find it isn't fresh soil to root in, it is rocks or sand or clay without the right amount of water to recover from this shock.  Now imagine this upheaval every couple of days, weeks or months.  Over and over without receiving the care and nurture it once knew before.  Eventually the plant would never recover from the shock or the traumatic changes to it's environment and would die.

Now imagine that traumatize plant after all everything it has been through finding a home full of love and other dogs just like him to share their experience and struggles with.    That the dogs feels the warmth, love and security that they may even feel comfortable to root themselves with a sigh of relief that they are finally safe.  A dog knows what love is and and the last thing it wants is to loose it, even if they are a good family.  

I have to commend anyone who fosters, I don't know how you do it having all those special dogs in your home only to let them go.  Personally I couldn't do it.  I would just end up adopting them all.  It takes a special kind of heart to care for foster dogs and find a new home.  Maybe that is why so many dogs want to come back.     

15 comments:

Jeanne Pursell said...

I sure do agree with you on all counts here!! I commend everyone who fosters! Simply put, I could not do it either....I would have an entire house full of dogs!! I couldn't bear to give any of them away!! My LadyBug was returned a couple of times to her previous foster lady....and I believe that she has suffered so much trauma from that. I treasure each and every moment with her!

Lulu said...

Thank the angels for those foster carers, I couldnt do it either, I'd end up keeping them all! Although I did look after a gorgeous little old yorkie a while ago while his owner was in hospital, her op was cancelled so he'll be back soon when it's rescheduled. He's a cutie for sure! xxx

Molly The Wally said...

Those foster cares are great and nice post.
Best wishes Molly

Declan said...

Got to agree with you. It's great that people can love an animal then let it go...it's very brave & unselfish & we don't think we could do it. Deccy x

Keisha said...

Foster care is good. :)

Bassetmomma said...

I agree. It really does take a special person with a special heart to foster. Thank goodness for foster parents!

Emily said...

Of course that last comment made me cry!

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Fosters are the most special of Angels. Imagine taking scared, lost souls, many traumatized their entire lives, and slowly, gently helping them start to heal and learn to trust so that they can feel safe and loved and then sending these pups on the mend off with a piece of your soul to find happiness with another family. It is hard on the pups without doubt but the humans who can do that again and again have my hugest respect. And momma's inability to trust like a dog that the new environment will be forever and perfect is why we have a White Dog Army.

houndstooth said...

We fostered for quite a while, because we had the room and I believe it's very important. A lot of dogs need that experience to be able to go on and be successful in a new home. I went into it with the mindset that they were temporary visitors, and we did pretty well letting them go until Lilac showed up and nobody wanted her! lol

Pup Fan said...

I have so much respect for people who foster. I really hope to do it some day - it's so important and the people that do it are really amazing.

Kristine said...

I love the analogy with plants. It's so true, isn't it? And sad.

I'd love to foster but my living situation does not allow it. As soon as we are able to buy a home for ourselves, I have a feeling that will be changing!

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

I'd love to foster Greyhounds but I'm like you, I think I'd fail first up. I have so much admiration for people who do foster but I have even more admiration for the dogs who are fostered and then go on to their forever homes without looking back. I don't know if it's a Greyhound thing or a dog thing, having only experienced it with friends who foster many Greyhounds.

House of Carnivores said...

Fostering needs to be done properly. As your post discusses, uprooting a dog (or in my case, a cat) TOO many times is not good for them, and it's heart-breaking for everyone involved.

That said, fostering opens up so many cages in shelters, and helps reduce the euthanasia rate. I think that adopting straight out of a foster home CAN work well, as long as the new owner understands exactly what he/she is getting into. *sigh* It's every foster parent's nightmare to have their former "kid" returned.

It is hard to let them go. I suspect that I will cry every time it happens. But you know in your heart that you must, because there are other needy animals that need a place in your home, who can't be there until you let go of your current.

Pamela said...

Comparing a dog adjusting to a new home to transplant shock is a very smart analogy. I think you have something there.

I've loved fostering the puppies who have come to my home. But I could never do it without having Honey at my side. She's a great teacher and, best of all, when the foster goes to his new home, she's still at my side.

sagechronicles said...

I'm with you--I'd adopt them all! But I do love your analogy...a perfect fit. Same goes for dogs adopted from a shelter and brought back for whatever reason. That was our Toby, and what a wonderful dog he turned out to be.