Bronson/Buford, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, Gala, oph, running with dogs

Home, Sweet Home

After a long weekend of driving in the rain and being on my feet talking to strangers (and trying to be charming), it has been nice to be surrounded by dogs once again. They’re very honest about what they want from me – food, squeaky toys, and my undivided attention and affection.

Buford (Bronson) basically doubles Frankie. Same size. Same energy. Same happy-happy. Same need for love and attention.


They spend their days wearing each other out with their playing (which was the secondary reason for fostering Buford, beyond saving a life). They vie for attention, constantly one-upping each other much like real boys. Sometimes their exchanges disintegrate into modified brawls. And sometimes they end when Gala has heard enough and barks at them. Her loud voice sends them both running for cover.

Here’s a typical scene:

(TWO WAGGING BUTTS GREET ME) Hi there, see me? See me? See me? See me? Aren’t I cute? I’m cuter! Move along! I was here first! (KNOCKING EACH OTHER OUT OF THE WAY AND SNAPPING THE AIR TO MAKE THEIR POINT)

Can I taste your sock? Oh, this sock tastes good! What? I want some of that sock —move over! Hey! I found a ripped-up plastic squeaker from the toy we wrecked earlier and it no longer squeaks! That’s mine! I had it first! But I found it inside the ball of fluff! (REPEATED TACKLING AND EXHANGES OF USELESS PLASTIC SQUEAKER)


And a few photos of the action:

Buford has settled right in here becoming the brother Frankie never had (he had five sisters). He is all puppy, but there is a soft side to him that seeks me out, even when Frankie has given up and is napping. Buford will follow me around the room weaving between my legs, leaning on me, watching me with his big sad eyes. Frankie never allows him to have my undivided attention for long. They wrestle over toys, make instant, ongoing messes, and compete for my attention. It feels familiar. I’ve done this before. About 15 years ago when I had a 6-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 1-year-old underfoot.

Buford and Frankie have quickly become fast friends and serious competitors. They tumble around the kitchen in a blur, their little alligator jaws snapping like castanets. I worry that one of those snaps will make contact, but it appears to be play-acting. They’re practicing for being big boys. Gala is very anxious to be allowed to give them some hands-on coaching. I’m weighing the idea, thinking that with two of them, it might not be quite as easy for her to accidentally hurt somebody.

We picked up Buford on Sunday night from Tim who fostered him for us over the weekend and reported that Buford was pretty much like his report said – a puppy who is sweet, crate-trained, mostly house-broken, and equally ready to play or snuggle.


He has a gorgeous, soft coat with dramatic markings of white, gray, and black. He is on the calmer side for a puppy, much like Frankie, and so far, has been a lovely guest/rumble-buddy for Frankie.

If you’re in the market for a puppy, this one’s a gem. Better get that application in.

Gala is adjusting to the additional pup. She is an extremely sensitive dog, so his sudden appearance has caused her to fret. She will do better in a home with fewer dogs coming and going. Watching her worry over Buford, makes me wonder, once again, what happened to her in the last two years. For all her happy energy, she also has some real fears.



Putting flea/tick preventative on her (a simple spot of liquid between the shoulder blades) causes her to cry and scramble away. Each month I think she will be less frightened of it, remembering that last month it didn’t hurt her, but once again this month she cried out in fear and wrestled away from me as I attempted to treat her. Luckily, OPH is going to provide a chewable version for her, so at least that monthly torture will be a thing of the past.

Not so with toe nails. The only good thing about all of Gala’s calamities (spay, heartworm treatment, broken jaw, injuries from dog fight) has been that just about every six weeks, she’s needed to be sedated for something (treatment, xrays, exams) and each time I’ve asked the vet involved to clip her nails while she is out. But now it’s been over six weeks since the last mishap (knock on wood), and her nails desperately needed a trim.

When she arrived in rescue, like almost every other dog we’ve fostered, her nails were overly long due to lack of care. It takes time and regular trimming to get them back to the correct length. Not confident I could handle this alone, I took her to our local groomer.

We arrived at the end of the day when there wouldn’t be other dogs in the shop to upset her. The groomers were marvelously kind and patient, but it still took two of us holding her still while the third carefully trimmed. She cried and shook the entire time as if she was being beaten. When we were finished, all three of us comforted her and petted her and told her she was wonderful, but she cowered and shook, and wouldn’t meet my eye. This poor pup. What the heck happened in her short life to make her so incredibly sensitive?

Maybe when she finally finds her family, she can begin the real healing. Somewhere down the road, I hope she will finally trust that people will not hurt her, that other dogs are not a threat, and that home will be home forever. She deserves that. Every dog does.

flyer backflyer

HUGE thanks to Juanita Conroy and Jacqueline Maxey who created this fabulous flyer. Please spread the word and help Gala find her home.

Thanks for reading!

Have a fabulous first week of November!



If you’d like to know more about adopting Gala or Buford (Bronson), or how you can volunteer, foster, or donate with OPH, visit

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I am always excited to hear from readers! Please feel free to comment on this blog, or contact me And of course, I’d be thrilled to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or instagram.

7 thoughts on “Home, Sweet Home”

  1. Glad that the staff at the groomers were so kind to you and Gala. Good idea to take her in when the place was quiet. I’m sure she got a few consolatory treats after her nails were clipped. I’m sure they get all kinds of dogs in their shop–some who don’t mind being there and others who hate it and everything that goes on in it. It’s hard to see and hear a dog suffer through something and not be able to quickly lessen their discomfort, especially when you know that what you’re putting them through, like having their nails clipped or a needed medical procedure, needs to happen, happen now, and not be cut short or done too hastily.


    1. Nails are tough for me – I always worry I will cut too short. And when a dog reacts the way Gala does, it just undoes me. When I foster dog who have that reaction (which Frankie does too), I try to walk them on the roads as much as possible to wear down their nails so we can avoid trims altogether. With my puppies, though, I clip their nails as often as needed, so they get used to it.


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