Friday, October 17, 2014

Why don't you adopt that foster pet?

I hear the phrase 'foster failure' often and it makes me smile knowing that a family opened up their home to a shelter or rescue pet and then fell so head over heels in love they had to adopt him/her! I think it's a wonderful ending to that pet's story and it is never a bad thing to hear the words 'foster failure'. 

Prada looking gorgeous on the green couch!
For me, however, I don't foresee that phrase coming up anytime soon (I won't dismiss it altogether, because who knows what the future holds). Yesterday, I posted about Prada, my sweet foster mother that went back to the shelter to go up for adoption. I had a few people express concern regarding that blog, questioning why I didn't simply adopt her 'if I loved her so much'. 

I gave Prada a chance to find her forever family BECAUSE I love her so much. I would love to make Prada my own and offer her the life I know she deserves. I fell in love with her charming personality, she very quickly became part of my life and as hard as it was, saying goodbye was always in the plan. 

My husband and I have four pets of our own; Holly, Cody, Jazz and Izze Belle. My four pets are always my priority and adding an additional pet in my home is just not an option. We have a routine, my pets deserve my full attention and adding in a fifth is not something my husband or I want right now. We have had foster pets at our house many times over the last few years and the dynamic always shifts dramatically between our pets. I hate seeing my own little ones stressed out, so when I opened my new studio, we decided that we would have foster pets at the studio only. Our personal pets are happy with the arrangement.

So far, studio fosters have been a perfect compromise. We are able to foster litters of kittens, which gets them away from the shelter environment where we can socialize them, offer them a safe space, away from illnesses they may catch at the shelter and let them grow up in a semi-homelike environment. When we brought in Prada and her babies, the plan never changed. I did, however, become much more attached to Prada than I usually do to my fosters. That doesn't mean I should adopt her immediately, it just means that I love her and saying goodbye was tough. If I thought for even a second that Prada would not find a wonderful home, I would have kept her as a long-term foster at my studio. I do have faith that my shelter will step up for her and I have seen first-hand how wonderful the families that adopt our shelter pets truly are. Saying goodbye was a gift for Prada, she deserves a home with a family that can give her love.

By fostering Prada and her babies, I opened up a kennel at the shelter so another cat could be saved. By bringing her little family here, I saved 8 lives. That's nothing to feel bad about and I don't feel bad for even a second putting Prada up for adoption. I am sad and I miss her, but there is never even a little piece of regret or doubt that fostering is an amazing gift. I look at it as a gift to Prada as well as a gift to myself. Prada was special and I will always love her. I also know that her next family will love her to pieces as well!

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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