People are generally supportive and nice about the fact I foster dogs. Some people clearly just think I am some sort of nutty dog person, or a hoarder, but most make positive comments. They talk about how nice I must be. They say they couldn’t do it, couldn’t bring a dog in and then let it go. That I must be a special (I suspect they mean short bus) kind of person.
It’s interesting, because it seems to me that the reason I can do it, might well be that I am not particularly nice or warm-hearted. They are not my dogs. They are fosters. I am goal oriented. They are supposed to find homes, so when they do, I feel I have achieved my goal.
I’m not saying I have zero feelings for them. I enjoy them. I snuggle them and train them. I try to teach them to trust people (some of them don’t when they get here). I want them to feel safe and loved and comfortable. I want them to be better pets at the end of their stay with us, than they are at the beginning, so that they are more adoptable. That requires time and attention, and I give them both.
Like, Laney, the puppy right now. She takes a lot of time and attention. I could just feed her and keep her healthy and prevent her from tearing up the house. It makes more sense to put in a little extra time and start her on some basic training. She is a lot of work, but I enjoy her, and I will miss her when she goes. I’ll also be very happy whens she goes. I hope her family raises her to be the dog that fits in just right with their family, and they are all very happy together for her entire life. I’ll be very glad to sleep in a little, and get up and go get coffee before I have to stumble outside in the freezing cold so the puppy can go to the bathroom.
So, perhaps, for me, being good at fostering is more about having some sort of emotional defect. Now, before you go thinking that is your cue to tell me how nice I am, this is not a plea for validation. Also, I am not saying that everybody who fosters animals has an emotional defect. I’m just musing upon my own aptitudes and incapacities.
In other very tangentially related news, tonight I had lamb tartare for the first time. Why? I don’t know. Let me be clear, I don’t mean why did I try it, I mean, why the fuck didn’t somebody serve me that before? I did develop an intense, but one sided, emotional bond with it, but then I ate it all, and the relationship was over.