Saying Goodbye to Candy, my first foster animal. It was hard.

This past weekend I got the news that Candy had a “meet and greet” with a potential adopter scheduled. So off Candy and I go. It went well and she went home with her new mom.

It wasn’t a foster fail. But it could have been. This particular shelter, Half-Way Home Animal Rescue, has a clause in their foster application that says that fosters cannot adopt the dogs they foster. I thought it a good policy. Well at least intellectual me understood the reasoning behind the policy and thought it good.

Plus I figured it would be a fail safe for me. The reason why I decided to foster in the first place was to keep a connection to animals and to do what I do best.

Shower them with love and attention.

And because I was not sure I was ready to have another pet in my life full-time. Mainly because I work full-time and am usually gone 8-10 hours a day. Since I tend to get breeds that love and need lots of attention, they would have bouts of separation anxiety and act out. Not good.

So fostering seemed to be the way to go.

And it was a good experience.

Except that I fell in love with Candy. The first week, a honeymoon period, I thought hard about asking to adopt her anyway. Then it got a little rougher as a lot of her terrier traits came busting through. Like digging and chewing. And exuberance displays of love and affection that came with waking me up at 5 am in the morning with slobbery kisses and lots of nipping which was hard to break her of doing.

Then as we settled into a routine that included a nightly walk and outside play time (on a long tie out) where she could run around, toss balls and her Kong into the air, and chase after them soccer-style. Her terrier traits of being so cute and funny came shining though. She became pals with one of the dogs next door and showed that she didn’t have a problem with strange dogs nor people, once she felt familiar with them.

We went through both a bout with kennel cough and her heat. Nursing an animal through “difficult stuff” is very bonding.

Candy was a great dog. IS a great dog.

And I was happy that I took her and “saved” her from possible–maybe probable–euthanasia (she was at a high kill shelter and had a “due date”).

Her new mom was “grateful” to us for everything we had done for Candy. And that is what fostering is all about. Helping a dog find their “best self” AGAIN. A best self that often gets lost when an animal gets dumped and finds themselves alone and scared at an unfamilar place like a shelter.

In the best situations, like Candy’s, the animal gets their groove back fairly quickly. Someone sees them on a site like Petfinder (where Candy’s new mom spotted her) or at a pet event and decide to give them a new home.

And become the family they need, showering them with love and affection anew.

Still it is hard. Bittersweet.

I am happy for Candy but also sad. I miss her but want the best for her. So with that, I bid Candy adieu.

Candy, first foster dog,  Half-Way Home Animal Rescue
Candy chillaxin mode.

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