Doggie Foster Parents: You are Not Perfect…Letting Go of Mistakes

An Excerpt from “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne. Available in both paperback and kindle format from the following links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

You are Not Perfect…Letting Go of Mistakes

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Truth: You are not perfect, and neither are all the ‘perfect’ rescuers. Everyone, everyone, EVERYONE makes mistakes, and to expect perfection of yourself or anyone else will only make your life miserable.

Tip: Fostering dogs is hard. Expecting yourself to do it perfectly, be the perfect foster parent will only make it worse, so let go of this need. The rescue world is rife with judgment surrounding foster parenting. If others condemn you as not good enough, walk away from them and keep doing your best.

Repeat after me: I’m doing my best, and getting it done is more important than getting it perfect. I am taking the best care of my fosters that I can, and letting go of my mistakes.

I would prefer to keep excessive negativity out of this book (or blog post, as the case may be)—as in talking bad about other rescuers—because I think we all get enough of that in our daily lives. This book is aimed at forgiving yourself (and others) for true mistakes, learning how to do it better, and giving yourself the time and attention you need too.

However, at this point I must say a few words about the cruelty and vindictiveness that runs rampant in the rescue community.

It’s bullshit.

Too many rescuers think that every other rescuer is not as good as they are for all manner of reasons. I’ve been slammed by people for not being perfect enough, not doing this right, not doing that right.

It’s exhausting!

In just one example of the myriad out there, one person who thought she could do it so much better than me had a house full of dogs—eight, if I’m not mistaken (she had a problem letting the dogs go once they crossed her threshold). I know for a fact—having seen it with my own eyes—that her dogs spent their entire lives either trapped in the kitchen, in a crate, or in a tiny 10×20 yard.

They never went for walks; she claimed they didn’t need them.

Were these dogs chained or penned, no. Did they live inside, yes. Was she clean, yes, she seemed to be. Would I have badmouthed her efforts, even though I didn’t think it was ideal?

No. It is my opinion that her dogs did not have the best life available to them, and she should have let some go. But, at the same time, I believed that she loved them and had good intentions. I accepted that her standards were not mine and keep my eyes focused on the real and true abusers out there.

By contrast, at that time I had two separate large fenced areas (approximately 1/2 acre total), two doggie doors, the ability to separate dogs into packs so they could roam free inside the home, and a super-sized crate plus smaller crates for use when absolutely necessary. They were rarely used once dogs got acclimated.

I learned this person had been judging my rescue and foster efforts and finding them wanting. Why?

Because she believes she’s the perfect rescuer. Perfect foster parent. She is unable to see the log in her own eye for the splinter in mine.

Another time I was accused of being a bad rescuer because I adopted a dog into a home where, a year later, he was alleged to have been hit by the male caretaker. The informant was his sister. Turns out that, coincidentally, they were involved in a family brawl over their mother’s death and her will, and weren’t speaking to each other.


Sammy, the ‘abused’ dog, in his yard, looking happy and healthy.

The dog, Sammy, and I became mere pawns in their family game of pain.

In order to disprove the internet rumors, I made the decision to take a whole Saturday, make the two hour drive to the dog’s home, and take photos and video of what appeared to be a happy and well-adjusted dog.

If the guy was taking a swat at the dog, I saw no signs of it. I had no proof, just unsubstantiated allegations; the dog appeared in good health, happy, and well-loved. He showed no fear of his caretakers, and he was just as sweet and loving as the day I adopted him out.

To you good folks out there who are so discouraged with fostering and rescue because of the meanness of other rescuers, I feel your pain.

If you know in your heart you are kind and doing your best for your foster dogs, then block the person from your life. Delete their e-mail, ban them from contacting you through social media, whatever you have to do so you don’t see their abuse every day. You don’t need that stress.

However, I will encourage you to do as I did with Sammy and take the time to first rebut the lies. Take photos and video of the dog/s in question, and post all your evidence that disproves the allegations. Don’t get me wrong—they will still badmouth you and disbelieve you­—but they will lose a lot of support when others see your photos and video. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I’ve found that to be true.

After I took photos and video of Sammy happily playing in the stream with the family’s other dog, and running in and out the doggie door, people moved on to the next person to attack with their pitchforks and computer mouses.

Honestly, to those of you who spend your lives torturing other rescuers, get off it! Keep your eyes focused on the true abusers. Leave your fellow rescuers alone, unless you see real problems such as hoarding, chaining, 24/7 crating, or lack of medical attention. These things need to be taken seriously.

If you really believe a fellow rescuer is abusing their animals, you’d better get proof, and you’d better be prepared to step in to take the dogs off their hands so the dogs don’t pay the price by ending up dumped and killed in the shelter.

Otherwise, keep your head in the game and focus on the ‘real’ bad guys…


The author with Banshee, whose saga features prominently in the book.

An Excerpt from “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne. Available in both paperback and kindle format from the following links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue


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