Well, today is the day…Chelsea is going to her new home!!!! She started out terrified, hiding behind corners, and refusing to look me in the eye. Now, while she’s not completely carefree, she is playful & has learned to trust me. Considering I have only had her for a month, I think the change in her has been remarkable. And, it goes to show, with the right family, she CAN become carefree & happy like all dogs should be! So how did we get here? If you remember, I told you all about her adopter here. Last night, I brought Chelsea over to Kristine’s house to meet the rest of the family & their dog, Caleb (the cutest & friendliest little long haired chihuahua!). Chelsea was nervous as usual, but she really did great. She met everyone, and then ran around outside with Caleb for awhile. The family consists of Kristine (mom), Michael (dad), and three kids ranging from 10yr-1yr olds. The kids were super excited, but very patient & understanding of Chelsea’s needs. They were just dying to love on her! During most of the visit, mom & dad held on to the littlest one, just to be safe. (In my opinion, you should ALWAYS be over cautious with a new dog!) Finally, as we were finishing up, the little boy was freed! He went right over to see Chelsea, and she gave him a big, giant lick right on the face! The little boy just smiled & giggled, and Chelsea gave him a few more kisses. This reminded me…Chelsea’s previous family had a baby while she was with them, so she was present for a year of a baby’s life…I have a feeling she will bond to the little boy the fastest. I think he makes her feel at home, and that was so wonderful to see! So, we said our goodbyes & made the plans for Chelsea to return today for good! I can’t wait to hear updates from the family over the coming weeks, as Chelsea adjusts to life with her new forever family!
As I thought about this being our last day with her, I wondered what other foster doggie parents do to say goodbye to their temporary babies. For me, I like to give the foster dog some extra special attention. I usually let them sleep on my bed for the last night, and give them a few extra treats. I tell them what a good dog they are, and how proud I am that they have patiently waited for their family to find them…and yes, I do actually say this stuff out loud. I also tell Lucy (and now Oscar) that our friend is leaving.
(I know, I know, crazy dog lady.) I make sure the dogs all get some extra play time. Chelsea even layed out in the sun on the deck for a little bit, which is actually the first time she has ever done that!
I have heard of some people doing a little goodbye party, inviting those that have been a part of the pup’s temporary home. I think whatever you do, it is important to focus on the positive. Think about the good you are doing. You have helped this dog find it’s forever home. Does it always work out? No. Is it frustrating to have a dog returned? Sure. Is it sometimes really hard to say goodbye? Absolutely. But, you have to believe in what you are doing. Know that you have personally had a hand in saving this dog’s life. I look at my foster dogs, and the homes that they are all in now, and know that no matter what they’ve been through, and as hard as it may have been to leave them, it was worth it to see them now, with loyal committed loving doggie parents.
So to Kristine & her family, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart! And to Chelsea, I say good luck girl! May you one day be fearless and carefree, as you deserve. And until then, take comfort in the home filled with love that is now yours forever!