It makes sense. I hear it over and over again — and it makes sense. Why would I set myself up for heartbreak? I know that a sad goodbye lurks within some future day that my mind refuses to greet just yet. I know that the cultivation of a powerful relationship will feel as though it’s being broken down in the most bittersweet way. So, yes, what they say makes sense. At first.
Then, I remember why I invite these lonely dogs, these sweet souls, to share my home. It’s not only because I enjoy spending time with them. It’s not only because I’m proud to be a human ambassador to them or because I recognize a developing sense of trust from them. It’s because if I prioritize my own feelings, the dogs lose so much more.
You see, I cannot deny that it’s hard to watch them go. It’s impossible not to miss them and wonder how they’re doing. But eventually time brings peace in knowing that another lucky human has taken them under their wing. It’s then that I’m able to remember what would have never happened had I not fostered. Just that. They wouldn’t have found a home, a family, or a hopeful future. Dogs who are fostered need it because the pain of their past has caused them to become unequipped to live in a shelter environment. Other dogs who are fostered leave behind valuable room in a rescue or shelter for the next in desperate need. Either way, they rely on us as loving humans to use our ability and privilege to help.
When it feels so heavy to invest in something that is destined to end in a sad departure, I remind myself that the sadness merely comprises the surface. Within that sadness lies a sense of purpose and connection whose strength greatly exceeds that of sadness. I choose their lives over my own temporary emotions. A week, a month, or even a year for me could dictate a lifetime for them. And a second, the very second it takes to say no, could do the same.
So, when they ask me how I can bear to foster, it makes sense. But only at first.
– Kelly, MCR Volunteer
This holiday season, we’re celebrating rescue dogs and the people that love them. We’d be honored if you’d help us raise money on Giving Tuesday though our Look What Love Can Do campaign. The more money we are able to raise together, the more dogs we can save this holiday season and beyond!