How Dog Fostering Can Break Your Heart!


Knowing that I’m in and out of my local shelter, a friend of my husband asked me to keep my eyes peeled for a “cute little dog for a cute little girl” – his five-year-old daughter. I spotted a great candidate, and brought her home to foster her until I could evaluate whether she would be appropriate for a family with young children.

I know that any dog I bring home from the shelter is going to live with me until I find him or her a perfect home. I knew it wouldn’t take long to find this darling girl a home, even if she didn’t work out for the family who asked me to look. In addition to being smart and confident, she is affectionate and snuggly. I gave the family my evaluation – that she would make a great little family dog – and they agreed to take her. But the custody change would take place in a couple of weeks, so she could be spayed and recover from the surgery, and so they could take a week-long vacation.

But oh my! How difficult it was to actually hand her over to her new family! I’ve fostered about five times now, and I’ve always been happy to see a dog go to a terrific home. But somehow, this little pup pulled my heartstrings like no other pup has so far. We really bonded, and I adored her. I spent almost two hours at the family’s home, going over all the things the puppy knew – the things I had taught her! – and making sure they had everything she needed to be safe and comfortable. Then I had to practically run out the door and drive quickly away so they wouldn’t see me burst into tears! I cried for an hour after leaving her, stopped long enough to have a nice phone conversation with the dad about how things went after I left, and then cried on and off again for the next two days. I miss that pup!

Happily, her new family seems to love her as much as I did. The little girl named her Belle, after her favorite Disney heroine, and Belle sleeps on the little girl’s bed. But I still don’t think I can foster again for a long time.


  1. Hello, Iam Sandy and I just wanted to know if what I feel is all part of this fostering journey. I rescued a beautiful husky 6 month old pup who was left behind buy some previous renters and a house near by. I walk my 1 yr old Rottweiler who’s also a rescue and my pug who was a gift to my daughter, we pass by that house daily on our twice a day walks with our doggies.
    For a while I would see cats nor lights inside, only porch lights and a white Siberian blue eyes husk ( soo beautiful).

    Anyway, my dogs always got near the fence and would play with him by running back and forth and licking each other through the fence ( so cute ).

    On one of our evenings walks as we passed that house I told my husband I didn’t feel right about always seeing him out alone and that he seemed skinny, my husband brushed it off saying maybe he’s just really active, I said no way, maybe he’s all alone, look at the house there’s never anyone home and only a porch light . He stayed thinking but we continued on our walk back home, needless to say , maybe out of desperation, hunger or the love we gave as we came to visit he decided to jump the fence and followed us home.

    All I can say is WOW , what a beautiful little soul, he’s gentle and so very playful and not aggressive. I kept him for a few days, posted him on FB, reached out to a friend who rescues all kinds of animals and she directed me to Husky Haven and a great human being called Kim Pink.

    They were willing to take him to a foster home far away but my daughter cried and asked me to please keep him longer.

    Bitter sweet people, I fell in love with him and so did my family. Unfortunately we live such crazy busy lives that adding him would just be a bit more difficult to be productive in other ways. I’m not saying money is better but managing your own business and having a teen with lots of activities, being BFF to the man child husband you have and trying to juggle that and let’s etc can be overwhelming, let’s not mention training the 6 mo Th s pup who needs more supervision because he’s at his chewing statue.

    I have cried for 2 days in a row any alone time I get. He’s sooo sweet and gentle, he doesn’t even snatch a snack from you, if he kisses you it’s the lightest lick ever and off he goes to play.

    My point, this is a rescue that I decided to foster but has be in a broken state . He’s all set to be transported tomorrow to his new foster home where there are plenty of other huskies to get to know and play with. My daughter,husband and Rottweiler will be very hurt as they fell in love with baby husk. My Rottweiler looks for him in the morning, gives him a big slobbery kiss and off they go to play.

    But at this point I’m trying to think and not allow all these emotions to drag me down.

    To be honest , I’m fooling myself, I’m in my room crying like a baby as I write this hoping no one sees me.

    I feel broken !!! I hope he can forgive me and be happy in his husky Haven.

  2. I’m also giving my puppy up next week. He is my first foster and has found a wonderful loving home with a large yard and a new dad that works from home. I’m a very busy grad student who spends approximately 10 hours a day in clinic but my fiancé has been home to help with the puppy while I’m not there. I’ve been crying, my fiancé has been crying, it’s terrible. We fell in love with this little ball of energy and to be honest I’m just hoping I don’t regret letting him go. I’m so sad and would keep him but feel like it would be the selfish thing to do due to my busy schedule. I think I would have if the family who’s adopting him didn’t sounds like a perfect fit. How do we let go? I don’t think I will be able to foster again because this sadness is too great. 😔