Foster fail: A term of endearment within the rescue community; the foster parent can’t imagine their lives without their foster animal, and adopt the animal themselves.
This week's Foster Fail Friday article is an incredibly special one. Christina Jones, fellow Angels Among Us Pet Rescue volunteer and foster, requested that Cosmo and Chrissy's story be told. She sent in her take on the story, and there was truly no other way this could be presented. And so, here is a letter from Christina to Chrissy:
To a friend, mentor and true animal lover. You failed. And I'm glad you did.
I've known Chrissy Frey for four years; I met her at Intown Animal Hospital. I was a veterinary technician there, and she had two dogs: Tanner and Shadow. Not long after we met, she started fostering for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. In April of 2012, she saved a little chunky dog that was named Worthington. His fur was a mess, he had an upper respiratory infection, and he was overweight. He had to be shaved, cleaned and put on medication. She was in love with him from the beginning. She would say, "He's just so special and I'm really going to be picky with who adopts him." She brought him to the clinic several times for check-ups and weigh-ins. He was such a sweet guy and I loved seeing him. Chrissy had several people interested in him, but none were good enough for this precious boy. There was a definite connection between them, and I had a feeling I would see much more of him. It wasn’t much longer when Chrissy told us that she couldn't let go. He fit right in and she couldn't bear the thought of him going elsewhere. She made him a Frey and called him Cosmo.
Not too long after she adopted Cosmo, I started to pet sit for her. I really started to become attached to this little guy. He is a dog that you just can't help loving by just looking at him. Chrissy and I would have so much fun joking about his lack of enthusiasm for going on walks. He would frequently act like he was sleeping (while sitting up) or just decide to stop mid-walk. He was on a diet but liked to forage around for food. One night, he was found with his butt in the air as he was stuck in the bin of dog food. You would often hear his tags rustle around in the middle of the night in search for crumbs on the kitchen floor. One of his favorite things to do while I was there was rub his body up against the couch. It's the fastest I've ever seen him move! He would wiggle his little stub tail and march back and forth. I'm not sure why he liked it and I'm not sure why I thought it was so cute. But it really was.
From the very beginning, Cosmo had health issues. It never bothered Chrissy that he might have problems for the rest of his life. She was in love and would do anything for him. He is allergic to pretty much everything and has constant ear infections. Anything the veterinarian would recommend, she would do. Cosmo was a “frequent flyer” at the clinic. Over the past year, Cosmo's health has severely declined. His skin problems have escalated and now his heart is failing. He goes to the vet nearly every week. He is on several medications that he will need for the rest of his life. He is being treated for a constant skin condition that just won't resolve.
During all of this, Cosmo has been nothing but amazing. He is loved by all of the technicians at the clinic. He's been one of the best dogs I've ever cared for.
I can't imagine where he would be if Chrissy had adopted him out. Would someone else dedicate so much of her time caring for him as Chrissy has done over the past two years? Would I have done the same? I simply do not know. What I do know is that they needed each other. He was there to comfort her during hard times. He has helped her and she has helped him.
Chrissy, thank you for giving me the opportunity to care for your babies. Thank you for everything you do for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. Most importantly, thank you for foster failing.
Fostering is such an incredibly rewarding experience. There is always a need. Many people are convinced they would be an awful foster because they would want to keep them all. Know that foster failing is a good thing!