Why I’m Giving Up My Foster Dog

We kept him off the bed for, hmmm... about 22 hours. 
We kept him off the bed for, hmmm… about 22 hours.

Yesterday, I brought Warren to his first adoption event. Truth be told, I found myself on the verge of tears a few times.

Two and a half weeks ago, we agreed to foster this little pup. He’d been wandering around north Minneapolis for who knows how long. I remember seeing him in person for the first time and thinking, “Hmm, well he doesn’t look like the kind of dog I’d be all into.”

Au contraire.

In weeks, this dog has gone from a cute-but-not-my-type pup who wouldn’t stop peeing and pooping on my floor (and wouldn’t leave Patsy alone for a second), to a mostly housebroken dog who follows me everywhere. He sits and lays down on command. He naps on my feet while I write, do the dishes and cook dinner. I often find him and Patsy laying in pools of sunlight on our hardwood floor, side by side.

Who needs interns when you have dogs?
Who needs interns when you have dogs?

I’ve totally fallen in love with this dog.

And yet…

There’s something in the pit of my stomach that says we should not keep him. It’s been there the whole time and has never gone away.

At yesterday’s adoption event, I spoke to a couple longtime dog fosterers. I asked if the first one is the hardest, and they said yes, definitely. But everyone also encouraged me to give him up because there are so many other dogs still needing to be fostered. There is a forever home for Warren and it’s not with Josh, Patsy, Bogart and me. They promised when I see him go to his forever family, I’ll actually be happy.

And still, I cried when I got home. Fostering is hard. HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS WITH ACTUAL HUMAN BABIES & KIDS???!

But I knew this would be hard and I signed up for it anyway. Now I need to see it through. To prove I can do it, to give some other family a four-legged family member I know they’ll love, and maybe to prove to some you considering fostering that they could do it, too.

Trust me, if I can do it, you can.

We're barely in love.
We’re barely in love.
He's not cute at all. 
He’s not cute at all.

* * *

Want more animal-related Hey Eleanor posts? Thought so. There was the time I brought a puppy through US Customs (sounds way scarier than it was!), the time I did a ride-along with a Mpls K-9 Unit (those dogs are insane) and the time Patsy was a therapy dog intern. Oh, and how ’bout the time I broke up a dog fight?!

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Comments (12)

  • Diana 5 years ago Reply

    I’m staunchly Team Cat, and even I want Warren. So cute.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    That’s exactly why I think we need to give him up. He’s SOOOO adoptable & would make a great dog for anyone who treats him like the sweetheart he is.

  • Adam 5 years ago Reply

    What a great start to that little guy’s life – great job !

  • Ashley 5 years ago Reply

    I applaud you!! It must be so difficult. One day, when I am in a position to do so, I would love to foster dogs (specifically GSPs like my pup) and I worry about being able to let them go. Warren will make a great pet for a family somewhere!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    What’s a GSP? I guess i could just google it. 🙂 Fostering has been great, but yes, also very emotional. Ugh.

    Ashley 5 years ago

    Short for German Shorthair Pointer. They’re all-purpose hunting dogs, mostly used for duck/bird hunting. Therefore they tend to be a little on the high-strung side 🙂 I’ve now owned two, and I follow a couple GSP rescues that really make me want to foster. We live with my SIL though, and there is another dog in the house (and two cats which would count out a lot of prey driven pointers!) so it’s not feasible right now. But one day!

  • April Hill 5 years ago Reply

    I had a feeling this would be outcome when you said I might be surprised 🙂 I know it’s hard, but it’s true you can help so many more in need by continuing to foster! I know the shelters in STL and Dallas are always begging for them. It’s so great that you are helping your local rescue, and I look forward to seeing your future fosters!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Yes, I’m trying to keep the need for fostering in mind. That’s why it’s more important to give him up than keep him…but I still kinda want to be selfish about it and keep him all to myself!

  • Caran Mollner 5 years ago Reply

    Hang in there Molly…I think you’re doing the right thing. I’m not even really a dog person…but I’ve come to feel like I know Warren through your posts and I can see how very hard that would be. But…there is a loving family that is waiting for him and you’ve done the very best in getting him ready to move on – you’ve been a good puppy-momma.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Thanks Caran!

  • Ashley 3 years ago Reply

    Out of curiosity did you keep this baby? I am struggling with these emotions right now? I am absolutely in love with our foster dog but at the same time I have that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I should let him be adopted. Its one of the most difficult decisions I have ever been faced with 🙁

    Molly Mogren 3 years ago Reply

    Hi! We did not keep him and I was a hysterical bawling mess after he was adopted. However, he ended up in a great home and eventually I was so proud of myself for letting someone else have him. In the time since, we fostered nearly 10 dogs and did not adopt any (though we were close to foster failing with two others). Our last foster was the hardest to give up. I was pregnant and incredibly emotional about the decision. In the end, some of our best friends (who moved into the first floor of our duplex!) ended up with him. He technically lives in the first floor of our house (!) and I am so happy they have him now. Two dogs and a baby would’ve been way too much. I always ended up feeling good about the decision when I met a potential adoptee that was a good fit. When it clicked, it made it so much easier to let them go. It’s a hard process but an important one. Good for you for stepping up and saving an animal– whether it be in your home for a bit or forever. 🙂

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