Ninety-five dogs later…..I’ve finally found the one.
It’s not that I haven’t loved the ninety-four that came before him, but this guy seems to belong here. As my husband would say, “He ticks all the boxes.”
He’s a boy.
He’s got very short hair.
He’s a Catahoula (swoon).
He’s very mellow and unflappable.
He’s not gonna be huge.
He’s friendly, but not in-your-face.
He’s not a whiner. He’s happy for my attention, but doesn’t demand it.
He’s happy to play with siblings, but also happy to play with his toys.
Maybe it’s the fact that he’s grown up with five sisters, but this boy knows how to roll with it. When the girls get in a big battle, tussling over a toy or just barking at each other in one of their full-on screaming frenzies, he will retreat to the crate and just watch, as if he’s saying, “I’ll just stay in here until you all work that out.”
But more than all that—I just looked at him and knew. (and it wasn’t the crystal blue eyes – which are amazing.)
It’s been three years since my Lucy died. The memory just popped up on Facebook recently to remind me. Lucy was with me for 17 years. She helped raise my kids, train for a marathon, and was a well-mannered and devoted best friend.
A few months after she died, I started visiting shelters, looking around. Lots of nice dogs, but none that seemed to fill the hole that Lucy left.
Six months after she passed I started fostering, thinking maybe I’d find my dog that way. I found lots of dogs and they gave me so much love and happiness, but whenever I thought about keeping one I had a million excuses. Mostly I didn’t think I could keep fostering if I foster-failed.
So, I let dog after dog go, even when it hurt terribly. And I’ve been rewarded by getting many updates on my Facebook group, through this blog, by email, and even a few in person. My dogs are all doing well. Only three have ever been returned and they all landed in even better homes. I keep track of and care about each and every one.
But this pup.
He’s my pup.
And because of his personality, I think he’s gonna do great as my foster-fur assistant. He’ll help welcome new dogs and balance out the general unwelcome of Gracie. He can play with foster pups without overwhelming them or demanding all my attention.
We’ve decided to name him Frankie (Franklin when he misbehaves and maybe, just Frank, when he’s grown) since he’s got the same gorgeous eyes as Ole Blue Eyes. Plus, we already have a bed with his name on it!
His siblings are finding their forever families one by one. And what lucky families these are to be adopting such a fun bunch. To a pup, they are people oriented and loving.
Chili actually wraps her arms around your neck when you pick her up and snuggles her head under chin in what really feels like a hug.
And Habanero, my little firecracker, climbs the fence like a monkey and whines for my attention, but once you pick her up, she melts in your arms and is happy to be cradled like a baby.
Sweet Bell, who is one of the most energetic of the pups, craves my attention. She will use her long legs to leap over the other pups to get to me. And she loves to play chase with the other pups, grabbing toys and racing around the pen hoping they will chase her.
Cayenne is the class clown- always in the midst of everything. She loves to play and stirs up the crowd on a regular basis. But, like her siblings, she is putty in my arms, happy to be held. When a group of girl scouts visited recently, she curled up in one girl’s lap and went to sleep happy to have a human devoted to her.
Jalapeno is top dog, but she doesn’t abuse that ranking except at mealtimes, which is quite evident if you pick her up. She’s easily got a pound on most of the other pups. She is an even-tempered pup and quite independent. Happy on her own playing and happy playing with others.
These pups have had the privilege of staying together as a litter longer than most pups and I think it’s bonded them but also made them appreciate individual attention. They are ready to test their wings and begin their forevers with families of their own. Being without each other may feel a bit odd for them at first, but I am certain they are ready to be on their own. Frankie and I will say good-bye to most of them this weekend, and then our own adventure begins!
Gala Update: It’s been suggested that I try to write more about the positive qualities of Gala instead of only her adventures. There are so many times a day when Gala makes me smile, many more than when she makes me scold her.
For instance, every morning on our run we come to a field that edges the road with a weed-infested culvert. In that culvert are thousands of crickets. As we make our way beside the field, Gala will periodically pounce on the crickets, like a cat or a puppy with both paws extended and a big smile on her face. The crickets magically disappear right out from under her and she wiggles her body and wags her tail excitedly only to pounce again a few feet later. I’ve stopped trying to run along this little stretch because it’s more fun to watch Gala try to catch crickets.
If you’re local to New Freedom, please stop by and visit me at the OPH booth at the New Freedom Fest on Saturday from 10-4. We’ll be across for the caboose, just down the sidewalk from The Hodel. We’ll have a few adoptable dogs, plus we’re raffling off a dog cabana stuffed with goodies and selling Halloween costumes for a donation. We’ll also have some OPH gear and magnets. All the proceeds go to help save more dogs. There’s a pet parade at 2pm that’s always a lot of fun, too. Last year one of our own OPH pups (one of my previous fosters!) won an award.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know more about OPH or how you can foster, volunteer, donate or adopt, visit OPHRescue.org.
If you’d like regular updates of foster dogs past and present, be sure to join my Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
If you’d like to know more about my writing, books, and blogs, visit CaraWrites.com.