Foster Failure

In the dog fostering world, there is a term called “foster failure”, where you take in a dog temporarily, but you love it sooooooo much that you decide to adopt it and keep it forever.  Last week, I brought home our 2nd foster dog, and it was an almost-immediate foster failure.  But not that kind.  The what-the-cluck-was-I-thinking kind.

The new dog was promising.  She was quiet and sweet, but also about twice as big as I thought she would be.  And she was supposedly housetrained.  NOT SO MUCH.

Less than an hour after bringing her home, hubs and I sat down for a brief dinner together, and in my attempt to convince him that foster dogs could be awesome and low maintenance, I let her roam the downstairs unattended for approximately 180 seconds.

Upon returning to the living room, I realized that THERE WAS DOG PISS EVERYWHERE.  On the hardwoods.  On Buster’s doggie bed.  The foster dog was mid-squat behind an armchair when I dragged her outside to do her business, the whole time thinking shitshitshit, hubs is going to kill me.

When I brought the dog back in, I started to tidy up, when I noticed a giant, splattery puddle on our couch.  Panic struck.

The couch in our living room is the ONLY piece of furniture that hubs and I have bought together.  It is holy.  It is sacred.  And it has NEVER been soiled.  Not by Buster, not by a rogue glass of red wine, not even by a chocolate chip cookie that my little brother left for dead directly on the cream-colored upholstery.

Knowing full well that a dog peeing on the couch is a dealbreaker, I started to cry as I walked back into the kitchen to tell hubs about the disaster area in the next room.  I prefaced it with, “please don’t yell at me,” and he didn’t.  I think he could sense my devastation, so he non-judgmentally helped me clean up as I cursed myself for bringing the damn dog into our house in the first place.  Before we could make much progress, she jumped up on the other end of the couch and peed a second time.  Insert F-bombs here.

It sucked.  So.  Badly.  We stuck the dog in her crate and started to blot away.  Luckily, my neat-freak friend has one of those steam vacs that is perfect for such occasions, so we borrowed it the next day, and all appeared right with the world.

Except for the foster dog.  I took her back to the vet the next morning.  And then I wrote myself an email reminding myself how much she sucked and how terrible of an idea it was to foster a dog at our house.  I copied hubs, so he could forward it back to me in case I come down with puppy amnesia and mention fostering a dog again anytime in the future.  He immediately sent it back to me, with the subject, “Too soon?”  It wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think that fostering dogs is a wonderful thing to do for all of the poor animals that are given a rough start in life and need the helping hand of a human to find their way again.  It just won’t be a hand from this human.

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One thought on “Foster Failure

  1. I completely FEEL for you. It WAS a wonderful thing that you tried to do, and peeing all over the furniture is a dealbreaker any way you look at it — especially since you were told the dog was housetrained. Hubs sounds like a wonderful man! I’m sure he has his not-so-incredibly-wonderful moments, too (like they all do), but knowing when NOT to say “I told you so” is true love. Mine has bitten his tongue many times on my behalf. I think it helps that, much like your situation, I am usually already weeping with regret….

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