Fostering can be one of the most rewarding experiences a dog lover ever embarks on. A foster home temporarily houses a rescue dog until he finds a permanent home. This gives the rescue dog a chance to live in a home environment outside of a shelter, socialize with people and also feel the warmth and love of a family. It's often an instrumental part of finding a rescue dog his forever home, but even this bit of "light at the end of the tunnel" can be overshadowed by preparing to say goodbye.
Have special playdates with the adoptive family prior to your foster pooch going to his forever home. If you're working with a rescue, this may likely already be part of the procedure, but having the adoptive family come over several times to interact is one way to get your pup ready for his forever family.
Talk with the rescue you're working with to see how you can be more involved. Getting involved with the adoption process is something that helps a lot of foster parents.
Make a list of your foster pup's favorite things, quirks and behaviors, and pack up some of his favorite things. This will help the adoptive family out, especially in the beginning, but it will also be a way to send some of your love with your pup. Give his favorite toys, treats and his special blanket to the adoptive family.
Have a celebration when you say goodbye. Celebrating the fact that your foster pooch was one lucky dog to find a permanent home can help ease some of the sadness you're feeling about saying goodbye.
Keep in contact with the adoptive family, if they're up for it. Getting pictures of your foster dogs in their new homes -- and possibly even seeing them at a nearby dog park every now and then -- can keep your bond with the dog, while also helping you realize that you made his happiness happen.
Network with other foster parents. Talking with people who have been through the foster process can help you feel better about your work, provide you with a shoulder to lean on, and you might even help another foster family out with their grieving process.
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