fosterdogs, fostering, Updates

Almost Ready to Go

Life in this foster house is getting quieter and quieter.

Two weeks ago, a mink got into our chicken house and killed all our chickens. It took a while for us to figure out what could possibly have gotten into the secured coop, but the only possible hole was so small it could have only been a mink. Plus, Mink kill for sport, which is evidently what was happening as all the chickens were dead and none were eaten (much).

We’ve kept chickens for fourteen years and this was the first time we’ve lost chickens in this manner. I’ve run foxes out of the chicken yard (in broad daylight), possums have dragged out pullets who roosted too close to the sides of our chicken tractor, and hawks stole our young birds regularly until we strung wires back and forth across the top of the yard like twinkle lights (with CDs and pie plates dangling from it – very red neck chic). It’s always been an ongoing battle to keep them safe, but for the last few years we’ve been able to do that.

It makes me sad, but in a weird way it’s a relief too. One less thing to deal with in our upcoming move, though I’m sure we could have found homes for our ten aging hens.

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Amstaff, dog rescue, foster dogs, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog, Pit bull, shelters

What ‘Shelter Shortages?’

Melissa Chan wrote in an article for Time magazine last week, “a surge in pandemic pet adoptions offers opportunities for criminals to seize on nationwide demand and shelter shortages…”

People are so desperate for French bulldogs, one small private investigator in Nebraska who specializes in missing pets says calls have increased 60-70% in the past 18 months, averaging 3-5 requests a week.

Reading the article, I could only shake my head. It seemed to me Chan was writing about another world altogether. It wasn’t the news that so many pets are being stolen—that is individually tragic—but it was how she so breezily tossed off the phrase, shelter shortages, as if it were fact.

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dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, litters, oph, parvo, parvovirus, puppies, Updates

Movie Mutts and Parvo Puppies

This weekend we bleached the puppy fences, the crate, and the baby gate that we used with our ‘parvo pups’ last fall one last time and finally stowed them in the attic of the garage. They’d been wiped down with bleach last fall and then left stacked in the corner of our stone porch all winter. Even though they’d been bleached once, I was still wary of them. So afraid that in a crevice or a hinge, parvo virus still lingered.

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Amstaff, dog rescue, fosterdogs, Long Term Dog, Who Will Let the Dogs Out

Mia’s Very Own Adoption Event

I’ve come to realize that pictures are more powerful than words. And video is even more powerful than pictures. I can write and write and write about a subject, but seeing it in action always has a bigger impact.

This month marks one year since Mia entered our lives. It astounds me that she is still here. I remember watching her with her puppies and with the people she met and thinking, “It will be so easy to get this dog adopted.”

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Uncategorized

Taking a Big Leap

How would you like to be a part of changing the world?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit grand. How about being a part of changing the world for dogs in the south?

Here’s your chance.

After traveling to nearly 50 shelters and rescues and dog pounds, photographer, Nancy Slattery and I created Who Will Let the Dogs Out (WaLDO, as we affectionately call it) to raise awareness and resources for shelter dogs and the people who fight for them.

In Tennessee, where my dogs Fanny and Otis, and many of our foster dogs originate, life is not easy for an unwanted dog. And there are plenty of unwanted dogs.

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adopters, dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog, returned dogs, training

When a Bite Was Just a Bite

Someone told me I jinxed Mia by writing about her last week in such a celebratory way.

Sad to say, she is back and not because I jinxed her but because she was set up to fail. I’ve agonized over how to explain what happened. I don’t want to throw Mia, the adopter, or the rescue under the bus, but I’d say that we all deserve to be runover on this one.

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adopters, foster dogs, fostering, hard to adopt, training

The Best Trainer for Your Dog

It finally happened.

Mama Mia left for her forever home after 11 months in foster care. I still find it so hard to believe it took so long to get this amazing dog adopted.

Her adopter is a determined and patient woman, who was certain all along that Mia was her girl. It took three meet and greets, this last one happening with the help of trainer, Geraldine Peace, who you’ll recall was such a huge help with Billie Jean.

Every time I spend time with Geraldine I learn more about managing and training dogs. She was able to do in minutes what I was not able to do through two other meet and greets—introduce Mia safely to her new 9-pound senior fur-sister. At each of my attempts, Mia was just too over-the-top excited and could not settle enough that I felt safe introducing them. I never, for a moment worried that Mia would hurt the little dog. What I worried about was her unintentionally hurting her because of the size difference.

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Breeds, fostering, puppies, puppy bowl

Which Way Does Your Tail Wag? (plus DNA results!)

There are a lot of wagging tails in this household, and Otis has just upped the ante.

He has a big, loose, 180-degree+, constant wag. His tail can make circles or figure eights. I’m fascinated by its repetoire.

Mia’s tail is also constant, and mostly back and forth, with her hips going just as fast.

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adopters, training

Toddlers, Turn-key Dogs, and Today’s Guest

Hi blog friends, I have a special treat for you today! I’ve invited a long-time friend, who also happens to be a writer and a dog-hearted soul, to tell you about adopting one of my foster dogs. I’ve known Tracy since she was a little kid bouncing around a riding ring on a pony. It’s been a treat to also get to know her as an adult, a mom, and a friend. She’s a talented writer, a great mom, and a smart dog person. I just know you’ll enjoy what she has to say:

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puppies, training

A Dog Who ALWAYS Comes When Called

After last week’s plea, I received so many great ideas via comments on the blog, Facebook, and a few emails, I feel a little like a deer in the headlights–where to start?

One suggestion was to write about raising a puppy.

Not that I’m an expert.

By a long shot.

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