Chuggy Alabaster, LIly, oph

Our Special Visitor (and news of the Chugster!)


We were foster dog-less for almost 24 hours.

The plan had been to be foster dog-less until after we get back from our BIG VACATION (I can’t tell you about it or you’ll be super jealous and stop reading my blogs).

But then, you know, twist my rubber arm. Plus, this isn’t just another foster dog this is a VERY SPECIAL foster dog.

Super excited to tell you that Liliana (or Lily), the puppy mama, is staying with us for two weeks!! I’ve been smitten by this gorgeous girl since the first time I laid eyes on her, which was back in November when she was giving birth to all those beautiful puppies.

And here’s the thing about Lily. Consider what she’s been through. Basically she’s a teenage mom. Her age is guessed to be between 1 and 2, but her need to play, chew, and RUN make me certain it’s closer to 1. She was impregnated, abandoned, kenneled, then shipped a day’s drive north where she gave birth to ten puppies with four birth attendants that she’d only just met.

So, considering all that, you’d think Lily might be a little shy. Maybe suspicious. You’d think she might have trust issues.

Well, you’d be wrong on all those counts. Within hours of being here, Lily loved us like her own. She bounds up to Ian, wagging her body in side-to-side U shapes. She whines for me when I hike up the hill to the barn to feed the horses. She leans into Nick as he crouches down to put wood in the woodstove. This dog is oozing love and trust and happy energy. If only we could all be like Lily. Imagine that world


Now that the puppies have been weaned, Lily is working on getting back in shape. She can’t be spayed until a month after the last puppy left, so she’s got a little time to kill before some lucky family can adopt her. She’s been staying with Chris since November, but as Lily’s mommy duties have waned, she’s perked up and is in desperate need of some serious runaround time. Chris has her hands full with her own dogs, job, and wonderkid, so Lily gets to be my running partner for a few weeks.

Kind of like any young mom who has just been freed from her mothering responsibilities, she can get a little wild. Maybe it’s the stored up energy, or maybe it’s Lily saying, “Wahoo! Free at last! Lets do shots!”

It was unreasonably cold this morning, hovering just under 10 degrees with a nice slicing wind. On a normal day, I’d return from the barn work and say, “Time to hit the treadmill. I’m not going out there again.” But watching Lily careen around the kitchen on her slippy toenails, that was not an option. I love this sweet girl too much to let her bounce off the walls in my house, so out we went.

I ran with her only two miles. I figured she’d been cooped up with the kids for quite some time; she’s out of shape. We should start slow. Ha. We made it to our split in record time and I assumed she’d slow down on the return journey. Silly me. Lily dragged my sorry, cold butt all the way home like an out of control tow rope. And then she spent the better part of the day in my office chasing tennis balls and ignoring my pleas for her to “lay down right here next to the heater on this super soft doggy bed….”


This dog is not an old person’s dog. Course, I’m pushing 50 (hence the SUPER AMAZING VACATION), so maybe I should say she needs a not-really-old adopter. It would probably be optimal if her adopter had a serious running habit, a large fenced yard and/or a pitching machine to toss balls. I’m hoping to take her over to the fenced in tennis courts for a good run and fetch session on Thursday. After that, we’re stopping in to see Chuggy! That’s right – Chuggy Alabaster’s still around!

Chuggy won the lottery in terms of adopters. Jim and Rosie will take great care of him. They own Four Paws Pet Shop in New Freedom and he’ll be helping them run it. Which means, he’ll have the run of the place. I’m certain he’ll make a fabulous salesman and people will stop in just to see his happy little self. I think having a family that owns a pet store is like being a kid in a family who owns a candy store. Think of the free samples! Really happy for this special little guy. The trip to get here may have had a little turbulence, but he sure landed in a great place.

Chuggy’s new mom is a dog groomer and offered to do some pro-bono dog grooming for foster dogs. SHE’S THE BEST. Lily needs a little post-puppies pampering, so we’re going to visit with the Chugster and get Lily’s nails done to boot before we head to the Pet Valu to utilize our free dog wash coupon.

So much for my dog-free days before the INCREDIBLE VACATION.DSC_2203

6 thoughts on “Our Special Visitor (and news of the Chugster!)”

    1. Thanks for reading Laura! We are having such fun with Lily. She’s like a BIG version of her puppies (I guess it’s more like they were LITTLE versions of her). Lots of energy and lots of love to spare.


  1. you should have seen my dogs face when I played the video of Gracie and Lilly playing together. He actually was quite animated and cocked his head back and forth as he listened to their voices. I showed him the video on my phone and he actually watched it. Hilarious! He wasn’t quite as animated when I played the video on my computer. He was done. He really responded most to Lilly whining and less to Gracie barking. I wonder what her voice was saying to him as he listened with rapt attention. He never even responded to the howling wolves on youtube but was certainly captivated by the rowdy video of the dogs playing. And by the way, it looked as if grumpy old Gracie was actually starting to enjoy herself!! Just a little 🙂


    1. So funny! When I replayed the video here just now for Lily, she got anxious running in circles. Gracie got quiet and walked away. Now I have to figure out what that means! Thanks for reading and commenting!


  2. Just reread this post… reading some of your old posts is a nice way to pass the time on a cool Canadian evening. Do you know how Chuggy is doing now, a little over four years later? Are you still in touch with his owners? How nice of Rosie to do some free grooming for you. Keep doing your part for man’s best friend.


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