Adios, Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen…
By Gage Ziehmn Ardağ
I know we’re a golden retriever rescue, but this time I think we can all take a lesson from the Kitten Lady. If you haven’t heard of her, the Kitten Lady is a kitten rescuer, humane educator, and New York Times bestselling author who has dedicated her life to finding innovative ways to protect animals.
As a huge advocate for fostering, she emphasizes the fact that “goodbye is the goal of fostering.” Fostering is the foundation of Golden Bond Rescue, and over 3,300 lives have been saved thanks to compassionate volunteers who open their homes as a temporary refuge for homeless dogs.
We often hear, “I could never foster – I’d get too attached and want to keep them all.” This statement comes from goodhearted and well-meaning people, but it has negative repercussions for the animals because it reduces the pool of eligible foster homes.
“Goodbye is the goal of fostering” frames the conversation about fostering by reinforcing adoption as the ultimate success. Saying goodbye to our foster babies (yes, they’re babies no matter their age) is in fact a huge win to be celebrated! Letting go and passing the torch means that we’ve done our jobs as foster parents in preparing the dogs for adoption by their forever family. We’ve given them a chance to decompress, build confidence, master new behaviors and skills, and heal.
Through fostering, we’ve also opened a physical space to save a life. Without this space, dogs could not be rescued at all. Golden Bond Rescue foster homes have given thousands of dogs a second chance at life. A foster home is the ultimate temporary shelter, and it’s important to emphasize that it’s just that: temporary.
If you’ve fostered before, you know that sometimes foster failure seems inevitable. We meet that one that’s too special and fits in too well to let go. However, our lives and our homes have a capacity – as much as we may wish they don’t. So, when we foster fail, it can mean that the energy and space we had for another pet is filled, leaving no room for further rotating fosters.
Amplify that, and if all potential foster homes ended up adopting their fosters, we’d need an entirely new pool of fosters to rely on. “Goodbye is the goal of foster” helps to keep the main objective at the forefront of our minds: letting go.
In “letting go”, we are ultimately able to make an impact on a much larger scale. Instead of touching the lives of our three owned dogs, we can touch the lives of 30 foster dogs and their adoptive families. Making a difference in the life of one dog is truly special, so bettering the lives of many is nothing short of magical. The dogs need us, so let’s magnify our impact and rejoice in triumphant victory that “goodbye is the goal of fostering.”