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Foster Fail: The Best Way to Fail

I fell in love with Brodie instantly. His purely sweet nature and innocent demeanor was irresistible. I knew going home with my first “foster” dog that I was in for an emotional ride.

We had lost our dog, Chewie, prematurely to poisoning a week before we closed on our dream house. This was supposed to be one of the happiest times of our lives, but we were in a deep dark pitt of sadness. Losing Chewie hit us both really hard. I quit my job. I worked in Carmel (a huge dog-lovers town) and I used to take Chewie to work with me. It was just too hard for me to continue working in a place where everyone else in the office brought their dogs, and I no longer had my baby with me. I was deeply depressed and gained nearly 30 pounds.

Our new house was everything we had dreamed of, but our home felt empty without the pitter-patter of four little paws. So we decided to try our hand at fostering. We felt the best way to honor Chewie, would be to foster dogs from the shelter where we had adopted him. At the time, I had a friend working there and I told her to just “bring me a dog that needed a home.”

We were told Brodie would be a short-term foster. He was dubbed a “border collie mix” which is a highly sought after breed. He also had a few applications lined up already.

We were also told that Brodie had been a surrender to the SPCA where he was deemed “too shy for adoption” and put directly on the kill list. This is where our local no-kill rescue group stepped in. From there he was adopted out within four days but then returned in less that a week because he didn’t bond with the families other dogs as they hoped.

This is where my husband and I came into the picture. Already having been through 2 homes that we know of. We were not told that Brodie also came with a long list of special needs. Mainly, being his SEVERE separation anxiety. He could not be left alone for any amount of time. Remember, I had just quit my job, so this would not be a problem. I would be home all day to work with our new foster.

We had Brodie for 10 days as the rescue group chose the best applicant. All the while my husband and I fell more in love with this foster problem-child of ours. My husband thought long and hard about keeping him at this point but decided we went into this process wanting to foster, so we should follow through with that plan. We discussed that for whatever reason the adopters returned him, we would keep him at that point. We just couldn't put him through another re-homing. I cried like a baby when I dropped him off the day his adopters were supposed to pick him up. I sat on the bench in front of the adoption center bawling my eyes out as people walked by staring.

I reached out to the adopter the next day to see how everything was going and she said he was so sweet and we could visit anytime. We felt good about our decision and thought Brodie had found a good home.

The following week I went down to the adoption center to pick up 2 Shih Tzu puppies that were to be our next foster dogs. While I was there, the adoption coordinator had gotten the call that the people who adopted Brodie were returning him. When she told me the news I burst into tears. It was a hot-mess-mix of emotions. I was sad that Brodie had been through yet another re-homing. But mainly I was happy because I knew Brodie would finally be coming “home.”

That first night we got him back, he snored so loudly, I knew that he knew he was finally in his forever home.

To find your next best friend please consider adoption. #adoptdontshop

If you are local, Monterey Bay Area, please check out all adoptable pets at Animal Friends Rescue Project

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