I’ll get too attached.
It’s not the right time.
Yes, you probably will get attached. And, it might not seem like the right time. But isn’t that so true for so many things? We can be very good at protecting ourselves; but, in this situation, I think almost anyone who has fostered a rescue animal in need would say it’s time to open yourself to the idea. For these animals, time is of the essence and could be the difference between life and death. Committing to adopting is a lifelong commitment to the animal. But fostering? While it is temporary, it may be one of the most significant things you ever do.
The thing is, we would all be lying if we said fostering was always easy. Seriously, sometimes it actually is simply fun and shockingly easy. But more often than not, you will encounter some challenges whether it’s adapting to a new routine, waking up a little earlier, having to sweep a little more often, spending a little more money on food, or...getting attached and having to say good bye. If you ended up here reading this, chances are you’re not the type of person who typically chooses the easy way out, are you? You’ve experienced the deep sense of fulfillment and pride when you worked really hard on a project, trained really hard for a race, or took in an animal in need and transformed his/her life. Easy things don’t give us that fulfillment and satisfaction, challenges do.
The thing is, we have that option. We can choose to say yes or no. We can choose to offer help or turn our head. Animals who are neglected, abused, dumped, abandoned..they can’t choose. They need us. While fostering is no doubt a commitment, it’s not permanent unless you want it to be. The life of the animal you foster will be forever changed by love and trust because of you. And, whether you expect it or not, the effect that will have on you is profound.
We asked our friends on social media to share with us what they thought was “the most surprising thing” about fostering. After reading the responses, the general theme that emerged was that the experience of connecting with these animals and sensing their gratitude is actually a gift to us. When we go into a foster situation to help them, somehow we are always surprised at the degree to which the animal helps us, whether we thought we needed it or not.
We’ve included a selection of the comments received from our instagram and facebook pages below.
We’ll be posting our next question regarding some of the challenges and difficult situations you’ve had with fostering and how you dealt with it. Stay tuned for that on social media, we’d love you to chime in as a contributor.
Special thanks to Polly Johnson of Southeast GSP Rescue for assisting with this article.