Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

3 min read

Hi, it’s Molly. I know my blog posts are usually from Mabel’s point of view, but this one is a heavy topic, so I thought it would be more fitting if I talked about it without Mabel’s help.

Many people think fostering is sad because it’s hard to give up the dogs. Yet, if you’ve been following this blog, you probably know that giving up dogs isn’t sad for me. In fact, it’s one of the happiest parts of fostering for me because I know that I’ve helped the dog find a perfect forever home. In fact, I even wrote a post about why fostering doesn’t make me sad.

However, a recent event made me realize that there is a part of fostering that’s heartbreaking. Not just for me, but for anyone who knew and loved the dog. It took me a while to write this post because it has been difficult for me to process, but I want to briefly share my experience.

The Saddest Part of Fostering

I won’t go into too many details for the sake of this dog’s family, but one of my former foster dogs passed away. Of course, every foster parent knows that will happen some day in the future, especially after fostering senior dogs, but it always seems like such a distant fate.

I’ve fostered several older dogs, so I’ve been aware that one of them might pass soon. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for it. However, my oldest foster wasn’t the one who passed. Neither was my second or third oldest. It ended up being Hazel the Beagle. She was only about eight years old, but she recently got diagnosed with cancer.

Thankfully, her family called me to let me know, and they even invited me over to say goodbye. I never would’ve expected Hazel to be the first one to pass, so I took it even harder than I anticipated. It just didn’t seem fair that a dog who spent her whole life breeding in poor conditions only got to spend two years in a loving home once she was free. She deserved so much more time than that.

No matter how sad foster parents get to send their foster dogs to a new home, I’m sure everyone would agree that moments like this are actually the saddest parts of fostering.

Staying Positive for the Future

Now, after hearing news like that and seeing a former foster at their weakest, most people would feel defeated. They might want to give up helping dogs for a while in fear of getting hurt more. Those thoughts crossed my mind at first, but they didn’t last long. Because as sad as Hazel’s death was, I still had something to be grateful for. Her last moments were spent in the most wonderful home imaginable. She was so loved in those last two years of her life all because she was fostered, found a wonderful family, and continued to get pampered by them until her final day. Instead of giving up volunteering because of sadness, I’d rather help more dogs find as much love as Hazel.

Of course, thinking about this is still sad, but I’m so grateful that Hazel was loved. All these foster dogs deserve so much love, especially since many of them didn’t get proper care in the past. So, that’s why I haven’t stopped helping dogs. In fact, I even took a new foster dog recently even though I planned on taking a fostering break for a while longer. Because even when sad things happen, it’s good to at least know that the dog ended up having an amazing life because people cared about them. I’m proud to be one of the people who has cared for each one of my 21 foster dogs.

So, if you’re a foster parent facing the loss of a former foster dog, it’s okay to be sad about it and feel defeated. It’s a difficult situation to go through. But just remember that you saved that dog and gave them a wonderful family, so even in their final days, they were surrounded by love.

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