So what is the hardest part of fostering? The hard part is, when you place a puppy that you have grown to know and love like your very own, with a family and then that family decides to return the dog. THAT is the hard part. Not for me, but for the dog.
And that very thing happened last weekend. A former foster dog (that is now about a year old) was surrendered to my rescue on Friday night. A dog, that we had as a puppy, who lived with her family almost her entire life was relinquished to us on Friday night.
I decided to not to engage with the person who was returning the dog. I made her deal with my husband. I knew he wouldn't try to make her feel better about the whole situation. He would just be cordial and be most concerned about the dog.
And needless to say, the pup was scared and confused. It took over an hour to get her inside the house. She was cowering by a corner of our house the entire time. Once I was finally able to get her inside the house, she paced and drooled the entire night. And when I took her outside to pee, she immediately went to the gate looking for her family. Dogs aren't stupid. She knew her family left her.
Luckily, our dogs were happy to have her as a guest, and her next day was much better. She warmed up to Breaker first and the two of them became fast friends again. We did have some transition issues with her the entire week, like when she peed on the couch, not once but twice. And we had to help her get use to the kennel again. But honestly, she came around pretty quick. But still, it breaks my heart that she had to go through any of that.
But the best part of all? She was adopted (again) on Sunday.