Sunday, August 09, 2009

Principles Before Personalities

I've spent the past few days trying to write a difficult post. Each time I start to write, I end up deleting because I sound "too angry", "too bitchy", "not understanding enough", etc.. Tonight, instead of deleting, I'm going to just type and see where this post takes me.

We've had some problematic foster homes. OK...."Problematic" is an understatement.

Really. It's been a nightmarish few weeks.

One of my personal mottos is "Principles before personalities". I try not to take things too personally when I don't understand or necessarily agree with a foster parent. There's probably scar tissue on my tongue from where I bite my tongue rather than say what I really want to say. We're all here to help, right?

Last week we had a foster Mom abandon her three foster kittens at the vets because she couldn't deal with it anymore. She had 1 kitten die, and her own cat got sick. She was frustrated. I get that. But she didn't follow the rules. She let the kittens play with her own cat within an hour of their arrival despite my caveats to the contrary. I can't live with these people - hold their hands. I have to trust there is reasonable intelligence.

I do my very best to educate foster parents BEFORE they commit to being a foster parent. I tell them that they need to quarantine the foster cat for 2 weeks, etc etc. I go into great detail. With some foster parents, I spent HOURS educating, talking and comforting.

For the life of me, I can't imagine why any volunteer would just abandoned 3 kittens at the vets without warning.

We've had all kinds of issues lately with foster families. As I look back into previous posts, I'm finding that this is the time of year we have the most problems EVERY year. I wonder why?

I believe people's intentions are always good and true. I don't think people volunteer to be foster parents with the intent of abandoning their kittens shortly after. I don't think people volunteer to be foster parents to do nothing but piss and moan the entire time they volunteer, or cause problems for the core group.

I think we just need to continue to roll with this and hope that August passes quickly. Somehow, September seems to be a more sane month....

I'd like to write more on this, but am afraid that folks will think I'm writing about them. I can't get into more detail than I am now. The shit has hit the fan lately and I'm ready to turn off the frickin' fan.

There's been no editing on this post. I'm pushing "Send", typos and all....


Jan's Funny Farm said...

We can feel your frustration. And understand. It's like that no matter what the subject. Heads nod, everyone understands and folks go off and do their own thing. We're glad you're not giving up.

K said...

Stay strong Beth...and volunteers. What you all do is definitely not an easy task and no doubt creates problems and stress and sadness for yourselves at times. But it creates love and happiness for so many, and not just the little babies (even adult babies) that are rescued with this organization. I'm so proud to have worked with you guys in the past and have such hope and pride when I tell other people about what you all do. You're all only human, but humans that do their best are capable of so much. Stay strong...eye on the prize.. :)

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate your feelings of frustration, annoyance and even perhaps anger (at times), toward foster parents who can cause additional stress and anxiety for a rescue (or the core group).

Just remember that all those feelings can be the exact same ones felt by foster parents when they are dealing with those that oversee a rescue.

Let us not forget either, that for all those difficult and hard to deal with foster parents AND rescue coordinators alike, there are countless others on the battlefield of saving lives, who are supportive, helpful, kind, caring and decent people.

Don't forget that.

RHz said...

I think I have the same scars on my tongue, too.

I will say though, that common sense is something people either have or don't have. Unfortunately, some of our foster homes and volunteers don't have it.

Hang in there though. We're all in this for the same outcome, even if our reasons vary. And, we all do things a little differently, which of course usually leads to those tongue scars.

We all appreciate every effort, and I'm sure the little furry ones truly appreciate you and all your effort.

Anonymous said...

Where are the kittens that were abandoned? Are they okay, did they find another foster home to go to ?

oowowaee said...


I think when I asked Heather if I was "high maintenance" she told me that yes, I was. :)

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: We found a foster home for them, but there are more from a different foster home. *ugh* One Mom and kittens too....

Need. Help.

Anonymous said...

I have written and deleted my comment so many times, I decided to go ahead and post it.

I am not a new fosterer and I'd like to think I'm easy going. I donate to TCR, am always available when needed and try to help in the small ways I can.

A kitten I was fostering got terribly ill and I just did not have the facilities to care for it. As a result, it had to go to another foster home. It was better for the kitten but it broke my heart. I didn't refuse to take care of this kitten because I couldn't be bothered, I just worried that I couldn't take care of it properly. It wasn't lazyness on my part, it was just plain fear of doing more harm than good and circumstances.

I spoke to the vet, I spoke to the new foster parent and they all agreed I had done the sensible thing, yet I was made to feel awful and guilty by a person from TCR. It was a terrible period for me. I missed the kitten, worried about her constantly and on top of that was made to feel like a villain.

Did it make me question fostering? Of course it did, but I'm like you and I sign up to the 'principles before personalities' too.

Your entry made me question myself though. Am I one of those problematic foster homes, causing problems for the core group?

I obviously have a lot to think about.

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: This is what I was afraid of - people would think I'm talking about *them*. I know who you are, and I'm not talking about you. :) I promise!