Edith Wharton, fosterdogs, oph, puppies

Puppy Progress

It’s been a big week for the pupperoos. They are growing and changing, and believe it or not, getting EVEN CUTER.

They have yet to breach the wall, but every day more of them look longingly across it.


I know it’s only a matter of days (maybe hours) before I walk into the kitchen to find them on the loose. Which is why I’m preparing the puppy room. The puppy room has been empty since spring and in the interim has filled up with all manner of flotsam.

The original use for the puppy room was as a “mud room.” When we renovated our house, we planned to put a large closet with a small sink in our front hall. That way everyone traipsing inside with muddy boots and mitts would have a place to IMMEDIATELY clean up. Best laid plans, you know?

When the inspector came to check out our work, he told us that the room on the other side of the mud room, which sported a closet and was intended to be a small office, could NOT have a closet. If it did, then it was a bedroom. And if we added another bedroom not only would it raise our property taxes, it would require an entirely new septic system. So, no, that office didn’t need a closet. Nope. Instead, we annexed the space onto the hall closet and it became more of a room than a closet. Ta-dah! A mudroom! I’d always wanted a mudroom.

That was over 13 years ago and since then the room has evolved. Sadly, it has never been used as a place to clean up IMMEDIATELY upon entering the house. (As it played out, everyone uses the kitchen door instead of the front door, and they simply dump their shoes/bags/coats/mitten/garbage just inside the door in an effort to DRIVE ME CRAZY.)

When the kids were small, the room was the Art Room and it was where we created all kinds of paintings and craft projects and general messes. The room was much used and much loved. The walls are still adorned with many of the creations spawned during that time.

As the kids got older, the room became a place to dump sports equipment, backpacks, and everything I picked up when I went on a tirade against THE MESS.


For a brief period, it was Nick’s beer-making studio.


Then it morphed into my greenhouse. We installed shelves and lights and it is the space where I winter over my annual flowers and start vegetables. In the fall, I dry root vegetables in the space.


Eventually, I kicked all the kids’ leftover art supplies and general junk out of the room, and filled it up with canning supplies and then PUPPIES!


This summer the room has been mostly unused. As soon as we dig up all the sweet potatoes and get them inside to dry on the shelves, then I can move Edith’s little sweet potatoes in. That’s the plan, anyway. If the masses breach the wall before the potatoes are dug, well, then we’ll just have to make the move early.


For the past three weeks, my daily goal has been to get more food into Edith. I’m trying to stay ahead of the little monsters. Some days that’s easier than others. She’s eating between four and six meals a day. Which seems like a lot, until you consider that she’s eating for 13. The pups are growing well, Edith is not. She is still WAY too skinny for a dog her size, never mind a dog her size nursing 12 puppies.


I introduced puppy food to the little devils over the weekend. They liked it very much. Because they don’t have teeth, I blend up their food to mush and serve it on three little platters. I’m almost as popular as Edith, now.


Yesterday the pups had a big event. A professional photographer came and took beautiful portraits of each pup. (Nancy is a friend and the photographer who took my head shot for my book. More importantly, Nancy is Edith’s adopter!) Nancy set up a little studio in my kitchen complete with lights and backdrop and went to work. Shooting animals is a new challenge for her and black dogs are especially difficult. I think they turned out great. See….

Beatrix Potter
Charlotte Bronte


George Elliot
Emily Dickinson
Harper Lee
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Jane Austen


Louisa May Alcott
Virginia Woolf
Eudora Welty
Zora Neale Thurston

If you’d like to support the work OPH is doing helping heartworm positive dogs, like Edith, consider giving to Edith’s Heart, a fundraising effort I began to help offset the cost of treating heartworm, a COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE CONDITION. And please, please, please don’t forget your own pup’s monthly preventatives!

If you’d like to see even more pictures (and videos!) of the pups and some of my other past foster dogs, join the Another Good Dog Facebook group.



13 thoughts on “Puppy Progress”

  1. The photos are precious! Just donated to Edith’s Heart! Thanks for setting this up. I paid $7.20 to Razoo? Wasn’t sure if this was a service fee. I donated through PayPal.

    P.S. Almost done with the book!


  2. I am so enjoying following Edith and her puppies. I can’t wait to see each new update and try to catch up with them on my lunch break at work. It always puts a smile on my face and gets me through the afternoon. (It makes my co-workers wonder what is going on!) I want to thank you Cara, for what you do!!!


  3. Which puppy is the runt and which one is the biggest piggy? It’s hard to tell when they’re not next to eachother. The photos are beautiful. I esp. loved the way the pups’s eyes sparkled!
    Has momma of the year,Edith, gained any weight since you’ve been giving her the multiple small meals a day? It’s probably a good week if she’s just broke even and didn’t lose any weight to those demanding youngsters? Is there something special you feed her or add to her diet like extra protein, etc?
    Your are doing such a wonderful job as the surrogate mommy! Thank you so much for sharing all of your experiences with us. It’s been such a delight to experience Edith and her babies lives through your eyes!


    1. There are actually two runts – George Elliot and Eudora Welty (one black and one blond). The biggest pups are Hemingway, Zora, and Beatrix- they trade off the top spot each time I weigh them. Edith has gained a little bit of weight, but she’s still very underweight. I’ve been feeding her dry puppy food mixed with canned adult food (wish I had canned puppy, but it’s rarely donated) plus a few other goodies like raw eggs, whole milk, and coconut oil. She loves treats, so she gets those for dessert after she eats a full bowl of food. Thanks for reading (and commenting- I love comments!) and for cheering for Edith. She really is a special dog.


  4. Hi Michael,I was wondering if you could possible email me, this is something that my pastor approached me about doing and I believe our church has the capability to do this already in place, but I still have a few questions to clear up.Thanks for this great arer!ltcChailie


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