Love, Laughter, Heartbreak and Tears-Emotions of a Furry Foster Parent

Being a Furry Foster Parent isn’t always easy

foster parent

The picture sums up all the emotions I felt yesterday when we welcomed 7 little puppies into the world. A week ago we took in a pregnant female who was going to be put down because she was pregnant and they couldn’t care for her. She was only 9 months old. The rescue we foster and volunteer with said they could take her if we could foster. So we added another dog to our house. We have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 hamster, 1 snake and a fish of our own. I was also a furry foster parent to 2 other dogs. I told my husband I was trying to see how many living things we can fit in 900 square feet. I should be happy he loves me because he puts up with my craziness.

Momma Coral did well delivering her pups. Unfortunately Pup #5 (Athena) was the runt of the litter and came out without her sac or placenta. She was given a bad start at life. She required an emergency vet visit yesterday morning and we were told that only time would tell if she would make it. I committed to trying everything to keep little Athena alive. I spent the next 12 hours with her on my chest surrounded by a heating pad to keep her warm and by dinner time she seemed to be holding her own. I was tube feeding her and she was having bowel movements. She even gained a little weight during the day.

She made us laugh when she pooped down my sisters shirt while we were eating dinner. She stole our hearts and she curled up against us for comfort and warmth. Then without warning she started throwing up and struggling to breathe. We jumped in the car and my husband drove to the emergency vet while I tried everything possible to keep her clear and give her air. Nothing worked and I struggled to hold back tears as I handed her to the vet tech. The downside of being a furry foster parent, tore thru my heart at that moment.

My tears flowed freely as I waited for the words that I knew were coming. My heart was touched when a woman who was leaving stopped to offer her condolences as she had just lost her pet as well. In that moment the kindness of a stranger and the mutual feeling of loss overwhelmed me. I cried for her, I cried for Athena, I cried for Momma Coral and I cried for myself. I felt defeated and deflated as we drove home. My husband made the calls to the Rescue owner, our friend, and my mom. Everyone had been praying and hoping for the best all day and now they had to hear the bad news as well. I couldn’t post in our Foster Group so my friend agreed to let everyone know for me.

The kind words I read later from one furry foster parent to another when I went on still bring tears to my eyes. I eventually went in to Momma Coral and the questioning look as she tried to figure out where here other baby was made me lose it again. She left her pups and came to me as if to say she understood.We sat there together for a few minutes as I cried. I then curled up next to her box as she nursed the other 6 puppies and witnessed the love and care she gave them. She is just a puppy herself thrust into the world of being a Momma Dog and she is giving it everything she has.

I was ready to give up on being a furry foster parent last night and told my husband and my mom that I was done. I told them that I can’t take the pain or sadness anymore. Today the sky is still grey in my heart but there are some rays of sunshine breaking through. The kind words of friends,family, and other foster parents have helped to lessen the pain that I feel in my heart. I know that for every tear I shed as a furry foster parent,  there will be a smile and a laugh to counterbalance. I know losing a pet will never get easier but knowing that 7 other dogs had a chance because Momma Coral wasn’t put down is enough to make me keep going another day.

This is why I love being a Furry Foster Parent!

furry foster parent

 Check out all the New Puppy Pictures—–>>Meet the New Puppies!

This picture represents why adopting from an animal rescue is so important. Don’t these dogs deserve a second chance! I  volunteer and am a furry foster parent with Home Fur Ever Rescue If you are looking for a pet or want to be a furry foster parent check Petfinder for a local Animal Rescue in your area.


Topic: Furry Foster Parent



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  1. Sara says

    Gwen you are simply amazing. I’m crying again, damn you! Lol you have a heart of gold, Coral and the babies are so so lucky to have you and your husband.

  2. Amanda says

    Thank you so much for saving momma and her babies! So many dogs and cats die each day because of careless humans! I’ve also rescued, fostered and adopted. It can be painful at times but well worth it! Athena would have never taken a single breath without your love! You did all you could!
    Don’t shop! Adopt!

  3. Mary Walker says

    It is normal to grieve after loosing a pet, and all us fosters know that although it might be a foster – we love each and every one as if they were our very own family member – no matter how long or short of a time we have with them. After over 14 years of fostering, I’ve held many a dog or cat and cried buckets as they crossed over and it is never easy. It should never BE easy. That being said, it is but a small glimmer into the rewarding experience that fostering can be. While I’ve been there at the end of some lives, I’ve also been witness to many beautiful beginnings, amazing second chances and wonderful continuations of life stories. I have been so blessed to have been a part of each one of these furry lives and their families – many of whom even after all these years still keep me updated – I would not trade this for anything. A great poet once said, “Do not grieve for what is no more – Instead rejoice for what was and continues to be”…. truer words were never spoken. Thank you for doing what you do. There are so many animals out there that need our help. There are never enough fosters. Please don’t let this be the end of your fostering journey. I will pray that you find the comfort and peace that is needed to continue doing your great work. God Bless You.

  4. M says

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss….it is very fitting that I sit here and read this today as it would have been the 1 year birthday of a kitten we fostered (and ended up decided to adopt) who passed away at only a couple months old. I was absolutely crushed and although it was just “one” of the bunch I grieved her loss so hard and for so long. It’s amazing what such a short period of time can do and the bond that is created with an animal. I too swore I couldn’t be a foster anymore but eventually realized no matter how hard it is I’m helping the others along the way. We’ve since had quite a few more kitties come through our life, and lost another 2 of them, but to see the others thriving makes it worth it. Thanks for sharing your story and reassuring me that I’m not the only one to become so attached so quickly. I hope the other pups and mama grow healthy and strong and thanks for saving their lives 🙂

  5. Katie Amanda says

    Thank you for fostering and sharing your story. Athena had the chance to experience love..something that many other pups are not so lucky to feel. Once I purchase a house of my own, I would like to foster. I admire those who are able to and who care enough to foster. Again, thank you for what you do.

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