Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Goodbye Choco

This past Saturday, Choco the Wonder Foster went home with his forever family.  I'll admit it.  I cried like a baby.  In front of everyone at Petco.  And I spent the rest of the weekend moping around.

I started fostering with eyes wide open about how difficult it would be to give these dogs up, or so I thought.  Choco caught me a little off-guard.  The whole reason why I started with puppies was that they get adopted quickly and I've less time to bond.  It'll be easier with puppies, right?  But that's the thing about love.  In my experience, it's instantaneous.  I pretty much immediately fell in love with my husband, the one and only real love of my life.  Likewise, Choco stole my heart immediately.  From the second I brought him home, he just "fit" with our family.  The girls loved him - Sadie was more cuddly with him than any of the other puppies and Maggie...well, Maggie was as in love as I was.  Finally, she had a playmate for tug-o-war!  They would lay on a dog bed play-mouthing each other for hours every morning.  Even the hubbie mentioned adopting him...we all considered him part and parcel of our family, even if it was only for two weeks.  If I were a couple years down the road with fostering and the girls just a bit older, I probably would have kept him.  I keep telling myself that he won't be the last one that I feel this way about.  In all likelihood, the majority of fosters will elicit this type of response.  Next foster and adoption event?  I'm bringing tissues!

So it was hard when that last family of the day on Saturday came in to look at the puppies.  I understood how they felt though when they made their decision a few short moments after meeting him.  'Cause that's how I felt and how I believe everyone who meets Choco will feel.  He is one of those special dogs that just draws people in.  As selfish as my own emotions about him being adopted are, I know he is in the right place.  At the adoption event, he shined around all the kids, especially the little girls.   And he went home with HIS little girl.   The moment I knew he would be all right with his new family?  He woke up from his nap and started crawling all over his little girl.  I told her to tell him "off" and to turn away when he does that.  So she raised one finger up in the air, yelled "Off, Taco".  And kept repeating it.  Mom, Dad and I were in stitches.  Choco got off of her, for two seconds, and then his wiggly butt and tongue were back all over her.  He's gonna need some work on that one!

All in all, I think Choco showed me the most difficult part of fostering - letting them go.  Trusting that their new family will shower them with as much love as I gave them.  Trust is a funny thing.  It's absolutely a necessary part of being involved in animal rescue.   You ask the right questions, do your best to get a read on the adoptive family, accept that not every family is as dog-loving crazy as you are and may not shower them with quite as many treats, training and pampering as you do, but at the end of the day you have to trust that these people will treat them well.  I think I was hyper-sensitive to the trust part with Choco due to his breed.  As a pitbull owner, lover and developing advocate, I am all too aware of the awful things that people do to this breed.  And because of that, I find it harder to trust.  A big part of my mopey weekend was worrying that he would be treated well.  I never would have let him be adopted to this family if I had any inkling that he wouldn't but I still worry.

Enough of the mopey stuff.  Choco-photo montage!

The Choco-Sandwich

 I only caught them all sleeping on the same bed a couple of times.  Choco mostly cuddled with Sadie, who is hands-down the best cuddler in the house.

That's more like it!
Surely about to pounce on something.  Probably a sock.


  1. I guess it is bittersweet. We fostered once and I think I'm ok being the "middleman" in the whole adoption process. I have a hard time too trusting people, especially given Pit bulls are so mistreated. I would also have a hard time picking the dogs to be in the program, because I would want to foster them all. I think it is good Choco found a good home, and now you will be able to save so many more lives by having that space open to do more fostering.

  2. @Two Pitties in the City
    I have not been involved in the selection of the dogs yet. I agree that I would find that tremendously difficult and heart-wrenching. Fostering is not always easy but I do find it rewarding most of the time. And I hope that I will grow as a person and learn to trust but trust smartly.