People tell me all the time they admire me for fostering dogs. “I could never foster,” they say. “I’d get too attached.”
I know they mean to praise me, but the compliment sometimes feels backhanded. They love too much, therefore I must have something wrong with my heart.
The truth is, I’m passionate about dogs and naturally clingy. Yet, somehow, (so far!), I’ve let all my fosters go–even the ones with whom I deeply bonded.
Here’s how I love and let go of them. I compare them to other strong but temporary attachments in my life. I tell myself:
They’re my students. University students are in your class five months at a time, high school a whole ten months. As an educator, I got attached to some of my students; there’s a reason favorites are called the teacher’s “pet.” I tell myself I run a school in my home where lost dogs learn how to be lovable family pets again. When they they get adopted, they “graduate.”
- They’re relatives from out of town. I tell myself things like, “These three puppies are my nephews. This is Grandma Gilly. Here’s Cousin Barkley!” KEEP READING…