Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Foster Failing

A post by the momma:

If you're a fan of Corbin on facebook, you may have seen a picture post by Amelia last week announcing a new pair of Sirius Republic collars... one for her and one for Corbin.  However, neither collar will say "Adopt Me" on it.  Amelia's hoping it means we've forever fallen for her beautiful honey brown eyes and her oh-so-close snuggles. 

Foster lady just ordered new Sirius Republic collars...
one for Corbee and one for me! 
But, I did notice that the one for me doesn't say "Adopt Me" on it...
do you think my magic honey eyes have worked on her and foster dad?!

The truth?  We've totally fallen for those beautiful honey brown eyes and her oh-so-close snuggles. 

Super sensitive neck calls for a fleece lined collar.

The reality?  Figuring out if a second dog is within our budget and our current lifestyle.

Amelia is our 29th foster since the Corbin foster fail.  We have loved each and every one of those fosters and thought about keeping a few of them.  They either got adopted quickly or there were a few things that made us realize we might not be the best forever home for them... and most importantly, adopting a second dog means no more, or limited, fostering.  And, I'm sure everyone who's been reading for the past year remembers Brutus and how much I desperately wanted to keep my Brutey.  But, he was still a growing pup and I knew one day he would out weigh Corbin, and a second dog Corbin's size, or bigger, was just too much for our little house and our little boat.  Thankfully, Brute found the most amazing forever home, and his forever dad sends me updates often on my Big Blue. 

First thing that has us second guessing a second dog?  Double the number of dogs in the house doubles the vet bills (although, hopefully no dog will have the medical issues Corbin does!), doubles the dog food, doubles the doggie insurance, doubles the addictions to dog beds, collars, coats, sweatshirts... doubles the dogs needing a sitter when we're out of town.

The other thing that has held us back from keeping one of our former foster dogs?  Corbin's tolerance, or lack there of, for foster dogs hanging around too long.  He usually gets tired of them after a few weeks, which causes him to get grumpy.  He's not grumpy with Amelia, if anything, he loves her more.

And, my biggest hesitation?  The one Adam reminds me of every time I fall in love.  All the rest of the "Amelia's" we won't be able to help if we keep a second dog.  All of our friends urged us to keep Sophie because she was so adorable and such a doll.  But, if we kept Sophie, Amelia wouldn't have had a chance.  You see, Amelia's journey to me is extra special...

Amelia was found as a stray and brought to the shelter, where she was adopted out by a couple, but returned because she "destroyed the house."  She has never touched a thing that wasn't hers in our house (except the occasional underpants) and her house training was as close to flawless as house training comes.  I think her fear of being inside the house was too much for them to handle, and I can see how that would happen with an inexperienced person.  Once Amelia was returned, she was put on the euthanization list and only had 24 hours to make her break for it.  She was loved by so many of the shelter staff and a very special vet and they did everything to find a place for her.  My rescue contact in Kentucky, who was out of the country at the time, was asked by the vet if she had anyone willing to take in a great Pit Bull, they were running out of time.  She heard pit bull, thought of me and quickly gave the vet my number. I received her plea and saw Amelia's face and my heart broke. And, although I wasn't sure I'd have the room for her in the rescue since we had Serena at the time, I told the vet not to let anything happen to that beautiful baby, that I would take her as soon as they could arrange transport.  Amelia was saved literally minutes before she was scheduled to die.

It was a Thursday when I agreed to take Amelia.  I figured I'd have to wait at least a week or more to see her, but she was already vetted since she was adopted and had already been fixed, so Amelia was ready to make her journey and we squeezed her last minute onto our transport heading to New York, from Kentucky, that Friday evening. 

On Saturday morning when she arrived, that beautiful little face beamed up at me and my heart melted.  As fate would have it, Serena was adopted that day and little Amelia came home with me.  It was one of the most flawless dog introductions we've ever had in our house.  Corbin loved her off the bat and they were sharing a dog bed as soon as that night.

The thought in my head the day I was texted her picture is the same thought I've had week after week of no interest in adopting her... How in the world can anyone refuse this beautiful face? This sweet soul?  This perfect dog?!  Everyone who meets her, loves her.  But, everyone has their reasons about why they can't adopt her.  There was one family interested, but living with another dominate female wouldn't work with Amelia.  Other than that?  No one.  8 weeks and not 1 single application.  Not 1 single person coming to see her.  Not 1 single email inquiring on her adorableness.  I've never had that happen before, with any of my foster dogs.

So, in the next few weeks, we will be seriously weighing the pros and cons of how a second dog will fit into our life, if we're the best place for Amelia to live forever and if it's the best decision for all parties involved to keep her.  We know Amelia and Corbin have made up their minds, they're just waiting for me and foster dad to follow suit. 

Perhaps her journey to find me was the last journey she was to go on without me.  Perhaps I didn't come into her life to save her, but she came into mine to save me.  Perhaps, she made her way to me to be my dog, Corbin's sister, and live her life in the safety of our home. Oh, Amelia... where shall your journey continue?


  1. Wow, this brings me to tears. Maybe there is a reason why there is no other interest in Amelia. I don't know but I'm sure whatever the decision, you'll know what is right.

  2. There are indeed lots of reasons not to keep her and yes she will double lots of things for you...but I guess the biggest thing she will double is the amount of sheer unconditional love fur babies give and that is priceless. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we just have to except what fate delivers.....why has there been no one interested in Amelia ....maybe because she found the perfect home she needed right from day one.....why did Corbin love her more than any of the other fosters.....there is always lots of questions and always lots of answers.....but I guess the most important one now will you all feel without her?

  3. Sometimes you just have to go with your heart. Sounds like Corbin has found his soul mate which is a rare thing. Yup, more of everything, but also more love and snuggles and joy.

    Mango Momma

  4. EEK! We totally understand all the things to wrestle with here, but you don't seriously think we're gong to tell you not to do it?! That picture of Corbin and Amelia in the bed together is just the cutest thing!! Good luck with this TOUGH decision!!

  5. As a five doggy family wee nose all abouts da forts yoo is havin BUTTS ifs Corbin is happisome an Amelia is happisome like our Momster says 'wee will finds da pennies somehow'. Wee finks yoo will follow yor hearts on dis an makes da rite decision fur yor famly. Wee has to say tho thats da Corbin looks so veri happisome n contents wivs da loverly Miss Amelia

  6. It sounds to us that Miss Amelia has found her perfect home. A big brother to hang out with and feel comfortable cuddling up to and a mom and dad to love her forever. We say fail again! BTW we love having each other around to play with. It is great to have a sibling around all the time.

    Millie & Walter

  7. How many times have we said .... the PERFECT HOME is out there SOMEWHERE??? How many times have we said.. when it comes along it will be instantly RECOGNIZED ?? WELL, it sounds as though Corbin and Amelia have FOUND and RECOGNIZED a FOREVER HOME.
    BRAVO !!!

  8. Couldn't you just consider it a reward for all the other dogs you have helped? Maybe someone out there knows your love is great enough to have two...


  9. It's a tough decision to make but in the end I know you'll decide to do what is right for Amelia and for you.

    But, not to try and sway you there is a reason there hasn't been any interest if you ask me, it's because Amelia is already home. Corbin loves her which is a good thing and I know you how you feel about her.

  10. Whatever you decide, Amelia is one lucky lady and that's all do to you!

  11. I'm pretty sure you already know my story. About how mom and dad weren't looking for another doggie when they met me? Well, what you might not know is that they were working super duper hard at that time to get out of something called "debt." So they knew it sure wasn't the right time for them to have TWO extra doggie everythings. Mom thinks back on that time and how easy it woulda been to say, "No, now's not the right time" and walked away from me forever. But something told her we were meant to be. And so she followed her heart instead of her head (totally not like her) and she says that every single day, she is thankful that she did. And we think if you follow your heart, you (and Amelia and Corbin) will be thankful, too.

    Wiggles & Wags,

  12. it!!!! The addiction to dog beds isn't really an issue anyway since they seem to be sharing one :)

    You guys are awesome no matter what you decide :)

  13. Well, since you and I have already talked about this, you know how I feel. But ultimately, whatever you decide, I know it will be the right decision for your family and Amelia. :)

    Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie

  14. Every time I see a picture of Corbin and Amelia together, I have to remind myself she is "just a foster" because she sure looks like she is home. I understand the worries and financial concerns but I still can't help but feel this is a match made in Heaven. Good luck with your decision.

  15. Ok, first off, 29 fosters! Wow. Double wow. Twenty nine, wows! Second off, those last few lines in the post, well one more beautiful wow. Love every word in your post! We can make lists (I LOVE LISTS) we can debate pros and cons (yes please!) but in the end, love rules. And your love will either feel truest to find her a home or to admit she's already found it. Don't worry too much about those who may or may not come after her, your answer can be found in the right now.

  16. This post especially hit close to home for me, as we are wrestling with the same issues with our current foster Sargent. He is 13 years old and the best dog, but we have had NO interest in him. We are in love with him, and Nola, our forever dog, doesn't seem to mind him as much as she has with past fosters. Your post made me cry because it described, ever so eloquently, what we have been struggling with about Sarge pretty much since we pulled him from the shelter a few months ago. I hope you find a resolution that will make everyone in your family happy!:)

  17. I am in awe of all that foster. It is such a selfless act trying to help these dogs and not get attached and want them in your family. I want to tell you to keep her, but like you said there are so many other Amelias out there. Perhaps you can convince somebody else to join your organization and start fostering ;) I know that is much easier than it sounds.

    Either way Amelia will have a great, loving home, with you, or I know you will continue looking for a perfect home with some other loving family.

  18. I always say that they pick you. I can tell you that I went from one dog to two without any trouble at all (it really doesn't cost that much more in food, etc.), then to three.

    I can tell you that three can be a handful, but two was easy. Amelia is obviously in love with your family and Corbin, and I've never seen an easier transition. I wish MY dogs got along like that. My three don't sleep together (they each have their own position on the bed), the middle one chases the the last one, the oldest ignores them all or barks at them if they disturb her.

    Face it, Amelia came just for you!

  19. I know it must be a big draw that Corbin gets along so well with her. I'm praying this life-changing decision is clear to you. Who knows? Maybe the perfect person will come along for her and your decision will be easy. Either that - or she's already home. :)

  20. There's no failure at all in this story...It's a beautiful tale of love and the right dog at the right time...Lucky Amelia, lucky you

  21. Sounds like fate to me! Not that my opinion counts for much, but I really hope you'll keep her.

  22. Two is better than one! Take it from me. She's home. I know its still in decision mode but I know I couldn't resist those baby hazel eyes. OMG, what a sweetie. Corbin's a smart dog. He's telling you something. So is the universe with no applications...

  23. Sometimes you just have to listen to what the universe is telling you... and it sounds to me like it's says, "I'm home."

    I'm just saying....

  24. Amelia is a sweetie. You sound like you have given this a lot of very good thought. Follow your heart - we don't think it can lead someone as good as you have been to so many pups in the wrong direction. We can't wait to hear your decision.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  25. Remember Double the Love! Maybe she is meant to be yours.

    XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

  26. You have our mom trying so hard to read your post through tears, Corbin. Our paws and fingers are crossed for the perfect decision!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  27. I have tears too. I think that your family and Amelia were made for each other - that it was meant to be, but I do respect how seriously you are thinking about this decision. It's a forever decision...

    A beautiful post.

  28. I know you'll make a thoughtful decision. Paws crossed for clarity.

  29. It sounds like the dogs have made the decision. :)

    Getting Duke for Maggie was the best thing we ever did for her. She is so much happier to have a buddy, it's been completely worth it. Having 2 dogs isn't that much more work than one, and they really don't need that many collars, beds and leashes after the initial set(s). Our house is kind of small, but 2 dogs & 4 cats fit fine! We're definitely full though, otherwise we would have been asking about Amelia; she's so darn cute! :)

  30. Fur a reason...yep, fur a reason!

    Mom says she understands the dilemma here but she also knows one has to trust YOUR hearts and OURS!


    PeeEssWoo: Karma is smiling on all of woo!

  31. *paws crossed*....yikes, is gonna make readin this blog quite ard for the next few weeks Corbin...we shall be waitin for antisspayshun to see if you an Meelia is gettin your wish....I do send you all da stores of luck I got...

  32. Casey's momma here. I completely understand where you're coming from. I struggled with the same feelings over Cinderella. She was a wonderful dog who deserved the absolute best family out there, but she didn't get any inquiries. Did people who couldn't see her amazingness really deserve her? I loved her so much, and she fit in so perfectly with Casey and the kitties. She wanted to be my dog! But there was always the BUT BUT BUT. If I kept her, I wouldn't be able to foster anymore, which meant other dogs might not find their homes. That was always what had held me back before with other foster dogs.

    I think in the end, it's not a logical decision. You can weigh the pros and cons, but ultimately you just have to look in your heart and see what's there. When I looked, I saw Cinderella, and that made my decision easy.

  33. I can certainly see why you would be tempted! I have the same dilemma with each and every foster pup, but like you, when I look back over all the lives we've saved, I realize that if I'd kept any one of them I would never have met the others. You really can't go wrong--if you do keep her, you can just keep educating and reaching out to get people to adopt from shelters--which you'll do anyway, and you'll still be saving lives!

  34. It does sound like fate that she came into your lives for a reason :) My husband and I are foster failures, our foster, Lady, wasn't supposed to stay with us. She was HW positive, but the sweetest thing.
    We did numerous adoption fairs, talked to lots of people, but no one applied for her. We decided to keep her after 4 months of living with us. She is such a great dog,now I can't imagine our life without her. She's now HW free and in agility training with my husband and hoping to compete in the fall. With four, we really can't foster right now, but I have found ways to still help thru social media, transporting and donating what we can. I'm sure you will make the best decision for Amelia, but it sounds like she has picked your family and Corbin :)