cats, Uncategorized

Another Good Cat (or Three)?

“Sure, and when we find a good one, we’ll keep it.”

This was Nick’s response to my question, “How about if we foster a cat?”

I didn’t point out to Nick that his response was the very same one he’d had about the possibility of fostering dogs seven years ago, and then we subsequently fostered almost 200.

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Fall Shelter Tour Part One

I’m out on shelter tour for Who Will Let the Dogs Out. I’d love for you to follow along….

Who Will Let the Dogs Out?

Traveling through the south this time around feels different. It’s not just the masks that are sometimes prevalent and other times completely absent. As we wind through the mountains on our way to Nashville, I wondered about priorities. Is it wrong to want to save dogs when people are struggling so much? Will people care what we about what we are seeing? Will they find everything as heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time, as I do?

I think it’s even more remarkable how hard the people we meet are working. Despite the compassion fatigue and an often apathic public, so many continue to fight for lives, even as the wave of homeless dogs builds instead of ebbing.

Everyone said that the silver lining of the pandemic was all the adoptions, the empty shelters, the new awareness of rescue, the flood of fosters. And that was great. I’m definitely not…

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Walking Dogs

I’m a slave to the leash. Or at least a slave to the creatures on the other end of it. While I’m not presently fostering any dogs, my days still revolve around dogs – walking them.

Living with our three dogs in ‘downtown’ Woodstock, has changed my world (and theirs) dramatically. Now instead of opening the door to let the dogs out, I leash them up, generally one at a time but sometimes two at a time.

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adopters, documentary, dog books, dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, owner responsibility

A Dog Worth Saving

I’ve been sitting on some great news — and dying to tell you but practicing patience.

I’ve held off because you know me and jinxes, and if ever a dog was jinxed it was Mia. A series of bad luck and bad management had created a perfect storm that led to her being with us for over a year as our foster dog.

When dogs linger with us, I always tell myself to trust in the ‘adoption magic.’ The right family and the right home will appear at the right time. I’ve seen it happen countless times now. Certainly a dog as special and loving and fun and smart as Mia was stalled at our house because the family that was just as special and loving and fun and smart just wasn’t ready yet.

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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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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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