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Posts: 893
I cannot stop crying today.   We went to the shelter.  I had in mind a med sied girl dog.  We are going tonight to finalize the adoption of a pit bull (??) mix named Jake.  Jake has been at the shelter for over a year and he is a very good dog. He will be 3 in November. I keep crying because I know I am not ready, although I never feel like I will be ready but i can't leave him there.  I also keep feeling like I am slamming the door shut of Foster and his memory, although I know I will never forget him and that makes me cry harder.  I don't know why this is so hard.  Maybe, even though I already know this, now I know Foster is really gone from this world never to return?? I don't know.  I miss my buddy so much.  I love him so much. 
I sit here crying my eyes out for Foster.  I know he is gone. I know I have to live my life and move on, but -darn it- it's just so hard.
I ordered his memorial stone to go in the place where he passed- It reads
loved with a love
beyond all feeling
missed with a grief
beyond all tears.

words of wisdom please???

Posts: 21
Oh, sweetie, have you considered the possibility that Foster led you to Jake? You are certainly not closing the door on Foster's memory; I see it more as honoring his legacy by helping another dog in need.

It is so terribly hard--such raw pain and emotion. Nothing can possibly prepare an animal lover for the pain of losing their loved companion. But you're not alone, and everyone here understands and feels your pain.

I think the words on the memorial stone for Foster are beautiful, absolutely perfect.




Posts: 116
Fostersmom, I don't have words of wisdom, but I can speak from the heart. Your love for Foster will never change, whither or fade. Your not casting aside or replacing Foster (he knows that) your giving another furbaby love, comfort and safety. Your saving Jake from the unspeakable. I thank you for that.

Yes, it is hard. I'm having a bad day myself, crying a lot. Wishing I could go back in time and relive the last year with my April. But I can't, and it just plain hurts.  

I love the memorial stone, beautiful. Your in my prayers...



Posts: 261

It's called "paying it forward!"  All that love that you poured into your sweet Foster, simply cannot be wasted.  Foster knows this, and I agree with Sadies_mommy that he is probably responsible for leading you to "Jake!" I know from experience that it is difficult to think about loving another dog....I waited 11 1/2 yrs. after I lost my first baby.  When I finally decided to risk again, my little guy didn't last 3yrs.  He was very sick.  I tried my best to keep him here with me, but God had other plans.  He was my "Heartdog" (Rudy).  Well, he opened my heart up so wide I simply couldn't think about living without another dog around.  Three days later I found Riley!  He too, is my "Heartdog!"  In no way does my love for him, diminish what I feel for Rudy.....I will always love him (he knows that too!)  They just teach us that there is simply not another kind of love that is so completely unselfish, and once we find that, we must always have it!  God loves us like that.....unselfishly, so it's no wonder to me that God spelled backwards is "dog!"  With each successive "kid" we open our heart to He teaches us and we learn alittle more!  They're all waiting for us @ the Bridge, don't ever doubt that!  I'm looking forward to pictures of your "Jake."  Somehow I just know he's going to put the joy and happiness back in your life....compliments of Foster!

Love you.....
Donna (Rudy & Rileysmom:)

Posts: 1
Foster's Mommy;

You're not crazy.  You're human AND you must have been a very good mom to Foster.  We lost our Boo one year ago this week. ( She was 9 years old and died on 9/9/09.  )

You're not shutting the door on Foster.  You're opening a new one.  That's all.  I believe that, when we lose a furbaby, the love we have for them is deep in our heart...with nowhere to go.  We're so used to having that love returned, back and forth.  But, when it stays in our heart, with nowhere to go, it hurts.

If you feel like you can't leave Jake there in the shelter, that's probably a good sign that you ARE ready to open your heart to another dog that really, really needs you.  What greater tribute can there be to Foster than to love yet another dog?  Is there really any better memorial than that?

You'll always remember and love Foster.  You'll still shed tears from time to time at his passing.   But, we know, going in, that when we welcome these sweet furries into our lives, it comes with a great responsibility.   We know we won't have them forever..and yet, we keep doing it, don't we?

I was a wreck for months after losing Boo.  I still cry, especially with the anniversary of her death coming up soon.  But, we are also preparing to welcome a new puppy into our home in a couple of months.  And I think Boo would be ok with that.  

Jake won't be Foster.  You already know that.  Jake will be Jake...and everything wonderful that THAT entails.  Bless you for taking another sweet soul in need into your home and practicing that same kind of compassion and love that you gave Foster. 

Your beautiful memorial to him says it well.   Why not give Jake a chance to help you smile again?  Lord forbid, if it doesn't work out, well, can take him back.  But, I'm thinking you won't.  I think and hope you'll find that you're much stronger than you give yourself credit for.  And I think you'll be as fine a mom to Jake as you were to Foster.  And I'll bet that somewhere on  the Rainbow Bridge, Foster's chest is gonna puff out with pride.  ;)

Thoughts and prayers with you,

Posts: 893
Thanks guys.  We went back to visit Jake and it didn't go so well.  He has some issues that need work and we are not sure if we are the right family for him.  We have lots of talking to do with each other, the trainer, and the shelter.  I feel awful for having second thoughts but I don't want to take in a dog that won't be a right fit for us either.  I don't want to leave him there but he may be too much for me to handle (not my husband, but me).  ugh, all i have been doing today is crying.  For the loss of my Foster and for the possiblity that Jake may no be the right on for us and he will be staying at the shelter :(  I would think that my tears would have dried up by now.
Bringing in a new dog to the house should be joyous, not tear filled....My head

Posts: 356
Dear Fostersmom,
I think you already know in your heart what you need to. That nothing or no one can replace your dear and beloved Foster. He will live in your heart and memories forever. That it may be, that Foster is somehow helping you to find another friend in need of home and help. That in bringing new dog home, when you somehow feel guilty of not mourning longer  for your Foster, it is really only small and insignificant compared to the rescue of another furry friend from certain euthanasia.  Besides, Foster would be jumping with excitement as another wonderful pet would be saved and certainly would watch over you as you grow with Jake together. It is most certain that Jake would know what you are going through and would do his best to help you heal.

Ginger's Dad, now getting help from Georgia...


Posts: 596
Fostersmom, don't take Jake out of guilt, take him out of love and wanting to give a shelter dog a family. Foster would be so proud that he taught you how to share your love with others. I know when we got our new puppy Warlock that Bubba would have loved him because he loved puppies, and that I learned life lessons from him and how to share what we had.

Give yourself time to grieve, and permission to love another dog who wasn't as lucky as Foster was. You're a good mom, and you have alot of wisdom and love to go around. You'll know what to do when the time comes.

Posts: 262
Everyone has given you great advice and Chrys could not have said it better when it comes to finding a place in your heart alongside Foster's. When we brought the first dog into our lives, (my first as an adult) he was a rambunctious 15 week old lab pup. Everyone was excited and when everyone left the next day for school and work, Shadow and I stood looking at one another and the thought occurred to me, "now what do I do with you?". I am definitely sure he was wondering the same thing. I referred to him a lot back then as "the spawn of the devil". It occurred to me, that all the family dogs in my past had all been adults. I had a lot to learn in a hurry. Then 7 months later when I thought something was missing in his life, I started to consider bringing home another pup. I felt guilty that we hadn't rescued a dog the first time around and I started searching. We went to look at a beautiful hound mix named Maggie. She was extremely dominant, perhaps aggressive and I decided then and there that I simply did not have the skills and experience, or the right temperament to handle a dog with those kinds of issues. I felt I could potentially make matters worse and could imagine a disaster in the making. That decision resulted in bringing River home to join our family 2 years ago yesterday.

After River was killed, we brought home a new puppy only 9 days later, and River's nephew 4 months later. I felt the same as you. I never saw the new puppies as 'replacements'. That could never be. But I was saddened to realize that life marches on and I think it did accentuate River's absence.  I would much rather have had River at my side to welcome them. He would love them too.

I know that you will make the right decision for you and your family. Whatever that decision is will be the right decision for Jake as well.

Posts: 66

After we lost Cooper, we rescued a bichon named JoJo. We brought her home and knew right away we'd made a mistake. It was too soon for us and she was too similar to Cooper. Plus, she had some issues we weren't able to deal with at that point, emotionally or mentally.  But it wasn't right for us. It just felt like she didn't belong with us. I could barely touch her I was so upset. So we found her another home where she is so happy now. Some weeks later, we brought Dori home and she fit in instantly. Feels like she absolutely belongs. We were still nervous before we got her and she's a lot of work. But we love her so much and I'm happy we have her. I think you'll know when it's right. Don't put too much pressure on yourself right now.


Posts: 893
We decided that Jake wouldn't be the right fit for us :(  There were things that made me nervous and scared and I didn't want to take in a dog that I didn't think I could handle or that I felt like I might be battling with all the time.  I pray that he finds a good home.  He is in a no kill shelter and they do love him there, he does get to go to the volunteer's homes for sleep overs and he has his special friends there.  I hope one of them will just adopt him soon.
I had actually forgotten that we put a hold on a 6 month old retriver mix while we were there.  We never played with her because she had an adoption pending but the adoption didn't go through, now they are to the second people on the list and if they don't take here she will be up for us.  She was very calm and sweet in her run and my hubby asked about her before we took out Jake and then put a hold on her too.
As much as I want to rescue an older dog, because puppies will most likely find homes, I think a young dog would be a better fit for us.  Or at least an older dog without issues, which would be hard to find I think.
I had a long talk with Foster, myself and God last night and even though I do feel bad about Jake, I know in my heart we did the right thing by not taking him in.  I could never return a dog and to give him the hope with the thoughts in the back of our minds that it wouldn't work out just doesn't seem fair to anyone.
Thanks so much for your words.  I know you guys will always have the insights that I can learn from. 
I know it will be right someday, maybe next week - who knows.  But thinking about bringing someone in really does bring back memories of my Foster buddy and the tears just come so easily.  I know I will never replace him.  There is no replacing a friend like that.  Aww crap here come the tears again.....

Posts: 455

Fostersmommy, as you know, I lost two in a short time.  I really did not think that I would have wanted another dog as soon as I did.  Two months after losing CoCo, I had the opportunity to check out a shiba inu that had been abandoned on the interstate.  I visited the dog twice but was not ready to get another one.  I still had two dogs at home and emotionally, I could not talk my mind into accepting another dog at the time.  I passed and the people that found the dog on the interstate decided to keep him as a full fledged family member.  And I know he is very happy there.  My mind would not allow me to think about another dog after losing CoCo and then Taterbug.  So, my neighbor knew that I had lost two.  She raises Maltese for sale and had one little buck toothed Maltese that she could not sell since he had overbite.  She asked me if I wanted him.  I told her, "No".  She brought him to my house one day while I was at work but my wife was at home.  My wife took him and when I came home, there he was...Larry.  Slowly, he has worked himself into my heart.  He is a hellion, bent on the destruction of my house and never passes a taste of poop.  He is blistering white, busy all day, and never stops wanting to play.  But, I think I love him. 


Posts: 261
Dear Fostersmommy,

Hi again!  Just read about your decision to not take Jake.  Truthfully, no one knows the situation with him except you and I believe that you should trust your gut feeling about him.  You said in your original post that you had a medium sized girl in mind.......and it's interesting that you had put a 6 month old retriever girl on hold while you were there!  Maybe you'll get a chance to take a 2nd look at her!  She might be the one that Foster chose for you....who knows!  I have always thought it would be wonderful to walk into a shelter and find my dream dog...the truth is I have always gotten my dogs from breeders and they have been puppies.  I know they are a little more work but I always have felt that not knowing how an animal was treated before you got them was risky, and with a puppy you have that assurance because it is you raising them. I'm certain there are tons of rescue stories out there with happy endings...infact I know several people with fantastic dogs!  So many say that they are just so thankful for the 2nd or 3rd chance that they are angels!  Truth is they are all angels whether they have issues or not!  Someday I will try it.............maybe sooner than I think! 

Best of luck to you in making your decision!

Love you....Donna
(Rudy & Rielysmom:)

Posts: 11,059
I am sorry it didn't work out with Jake. It is so hard knowing what to do when it comes to bringing another pet into the home when you're still mourning the loss of your beloved Foster. In time, you will find the right pet for your home. You will look into the eyes of that special dog and know right away that he/she belongs with you. Foster will be happy that you're helping out a dog in need. Foster was blessed to be in such a warm and loving home.

precious Christoph ~ 2 years at the bridge ~

Posts: 893
Thanks guys.  I think I will be mouring Foster for a very long long time.  He was such a good buddy.  I did take such good care of him.  We loved just hanging out watching tv and he loved sitting outside watching the cars go by.  He was so fantastic that I know it will be hard to find a dog to fill his paws. I am not looking for anyone to do that and I don't want to compare but it will be hard.

I think that if I wait until I am done mouring him, we will never take in another dog.  I never thought it would hurt this bad, this long.  I hate feeling this way.  I know now that my love for him and my memories of him won't dimimish because of another.... I was actually thinking that another would be able to help me get over the loss of Foster- not in the way of if I had a dog I wouldn't think of him, but in a way that I would have someone that would be listen to me without me feeling like I am crazy.  My hubby listens to me but sometimes I think he must think I am smoking crack.  Foster helped me get through a lot in our time together.  He was always there for me.  He loved me unconditionally and let me dry my tears in his fur (he was proabably rolling his eyes when I did it, lol)

Posts: 66
When it comes down to it, they really are our best friends, aren't they? They love us no matter what we do and are always there for us. They're never too busy for their best friend. When we got Dori, we knew we weren't trying to replace Coop or find a dog like him. We intentionally chose a dog that we felt would look and act very differently. We thought it would help us and I think it has made it a little easier. I couldn't stand seeing a little white body moving through the house, looking like Cooper. But it's different for everyone. I wish you the best in your decision. It's a tough one.
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