When the time comes…

Dear Cooper,

Today marks eight months that you’ve lived with us at Foster House. Eight months, kid! If your goal was to crush the record of every other dog that’s passed through our doors, well you certainly have succeeded, sir!  Far and away. You’ve even gotten lapped – twice!

Cooper’s first night at Foster House

There’s no doubt that you have been “my” dog from the start. Of course you love your Foster Dad, but you clung to me from the moment we left the shelter on your little temporary leash and generic nylon collar.  Well we’ve certainly improved your wardrobe since then,  haven’t we?  (Exhibit A, B, and C

When you were on your very first outing with us, I clipped you to the run in the backyard with Oscar and turned and walked to get something out of the car…you strained against your tie-out and barked in distress after me, terrified that I was leaving you. Of course, I returned, and you’ve been a momma’s boy ever since. 


You let us know right away that your stint with us would not be uneventful.  You’ve challenged us more than we ever thought a foster dog could.  We found ourselves completely out of our depth with you – between the potty training, the destruction, the separation anxiety, and of course your fear around other dogs, more than once we thought we had bitten off more than we could chew.   But no matter how hard it got, we never once thought of giving up on you.  You needed us to be strong and constant for you.  So we gritted our teeth and equipped ourselves with tools to help you.

Cooper graduates from Basic Obedience Class!

It is impossible not to love you.  That tail of yours never stops wagging, and that adorable brindle tushy it’s attached to has wriggled it’s way right into our hearts. You’ve slept in our bed with us since the second night.  Not just in our bed, but a lot of the time right up there on our pillows with us.  You’ve punched me in the face in the middle of the night, and have woken me up way too early on mornings after I’ve worked late.  You are the only one who could have possibly gotten away with that.  With your goofball antics and your infectious smile, I just can’t stay mad at you!

Coop, you’ve got your momma whipped!

As much as I love you, I know that the time will come when I have to tell you goodbye.  I’m not going to lie, it is getting harder and harder to think about.  Honestly, there are tears in my eyes as I’m typing this out, and you haven’t even been adopted yet!  Just the thought of you leaving us makes me so, so sad.  I think it’s because we’ve invested so much emotionally into you.  I’ve celebrated your victories with you, and I’ve cried behind closed doors when I thought we were failing you.  You have wormed your way so deep into my heart that I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to let you go.

But, that’s what a Foster Mom does.  She falls in love a million times and sends a piece of her heart with each dog who leaves her in his rearview mirror.  When the time comes, I’ll hug you tight (and probably pick you up, because you let me do it – I love that about you), smooch your face and try with everything I have to hold it together until you’re out of my sight. Because when the time comes, it will be a happy day, because it will mean that I’ve done my job.  I’ll have made you into the dog who your Furever family can call “mine.”

I am both looking forward to and dreading that day.  But, until then…you will be “My Cooper.”

With love, always…
Foster Momma

…and in my heart, you’ll always be “My Cooper.”

If you think you’re the right family for Cooper, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

25 responses to “When the time comes…

  1. Stop making me cry this morning! Ugh!

    I swear, the longer they stay, the harder it is to let them go because your “must haves” for a family get more and more specific as you get to know them.

    Hugs to Cooper – his time will come. And something tells me it’s coming soon!


  2. Full on chilly bumps, all over. I’m so cheering, for both of you, for where you’ve been, where you’re at and mostly for a beautiful future (even though your futures may be different)!!! Love!!!


  3. Gosh, way to start my morning off with a few tears! This sounds just like my current foster, Maggie. It’s been a struggle but I love her to pieces. It will be a tough day when I have to say goodbye to her but like you said, it means I have done my job. Thanks!


  4. I should have know better and read this when I got home this afternoon, not in the office this morning! Ugh, wiping my tears up now! I know it’s hard, the Mr. and I just had a conversation about it last night. But this is right on: “But, that’s what a Foster Mom does. She falls in love a million times and sends a piece of her heart with each dog who leaves her in his rearview mirror.” Give Coop lots few kisses for us, we hope he does find his forever family soon.


  5. susan hammond

    Full on sobbing here since I think our foster may be leaving this week.We “failed’ with our last two and since they are dog aggressive we have not been fostering for a few years.A little pittie was found in Donelson and was going to be taken to Metro so we took him in.He spends more time in his crate than I would like, but we take turns on the sleep sofa every night with him.He is an exceptional little guy and there will be tears when he goes, but he needs a full time family.All the best to you and Cooper,


  6. Our mantra is to remember that we want them to find homes, and each foster will not be our dog so we don’t get too attached to let them go. Another forever dog is just not in the cards right now. But the longer they are there, the harder it gets!

    Rusty is such a fun and loving little guy who made so much progress and it was sad to think of watching him leave. Fortunately, I was very comfortable after meeting his adopter and she was open to giving us updates and letting us see him again.


  7. Callie's Mom

    I would LOVE to have Cooper….I fell in love with him at first look and then in reading your blog. BUT right now we can’t get a second dog and we’re too far away from you!


  8. You’ve done such a great job with him! Good luck in the future, 8 months is such a long time, but hopefully it will be just as rewarding to see him with his new family!


  9. kate with a camera

    Aw!!! This made me all teary eyed too. Cooper is so awesome.


  10. Laura M

    All teary eyed over here! You and Foster Dad are awesome and Cooper will never forget you!


  11. What a beautiful post! I have to say … after following Cooper’s story for these many months now, it will be bittersweet for us, too, to say goodbye to him, however much we want for him what you want: a home and a forever family of his very own.


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  13. Kirsten

    Thanks for making me cry before I have to give Jimmy up! Lol … You’re the best foster parents 🙂


  14. You are such a wonderful foster Mum! My eyes filled with tears when I read this and I don’t know if I could be so brave in the same situation but the work you do as a foster parent is so very important that I completely understand why you risk the heartache. Thank you for everything you do for our most loyal of friends.


  15. Oy vey! Lots of tears over here. You are a phenomenal writer and even better foster mama. Love this 🙂


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