Carla, foster dogs, fostering, Frankie, Gala, Galina, Updates

A New Normal in this Foster Home

Our house is very quiet sans Gala.

Not that she was necessarily a noisy dog. Without her, though, the energy level has dropped.

Or maybe it’s the unrelenting gray, rainy weather.

Or maybe it’s because Frankie is out of sorts ever since his neuter and dew claw removal on Tuesday.

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Or maybe it’s just me, missing Gala.

There is no need to close the baby gate that separates the kitchen from the rest of the house. There’s no need to lock the kitchen door. There’s no need to ask, “Where’s Gracie?” before moving Gala from the kitchen to her crate or to my office.

There’s no rationing of time – who spends her morning in her crate and who gets the afternoon. I don’t have to think, “Okay, last night Gracie got the couch time, so tonight it’s Gala’s.”

Maybe that’s the real difference, my mind isn’t managing the dogs 24/7. Like the frog in the kettle analogy, we’ve spent our year with Gala slowly adapting our lives to hers.

And now she’s gone.

I am sadder than I expected to be. I wonder if I will ever see her again. I want her to be successful in her new foster home and hopefully, soon, with her new forever family. I know that means I have to stay out of the way. She has to realize that she is not our dog and then open her heart to a new family. Me visiting, as much as I desperately want to, won’t help.

So I’m distracting myself as best I can. I held another foster dog at an adoption event on Sunday. (Professor Plum – what a BIG, happy soul!)

professor plum

And tomorrow, I’ll visit Lily Pad and January, the dogs in boarding in nearby Hanover.

These are dogs that OPH is boarding because there is no foster home available for them right now. It’s tempting to bring one home, but I’ve promised my family we will stick to puppies for a little while. It’s much easier on Gracie.

Speaking of Gracie. She is the one creature in this house that is MUCH happier with Gala gone.

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She smiles and plays, and for the first time in a long time, she jumped in my lap this morning when I sat down to journal. Just for the record – Gracie has never been a big snuggler and she does not fit in a lap.

I let her stay for a few minutes until I couldn’t take the smell. Gracie almost always stinks. This is because she has a horrible habit of rolling in dead things or horse manure. When the weather is warmer, she gets hosed off on a regular basis, but this time of year, we just suffer her stench. I’ve tried to explain to her that people would be more inclined to pet her if she’d didn’t stink, but for eight years now, she is undeterred.

With Gala gone, Gracie is free to play and wrestle with Frankie with abandon. It makes me both happy and sad to see it. Happy to see Gracie so joyful and sad that she’s spent this past year afraid. Her happiness is the confirmation that letting Gala go was the right thing.

Tonight, I’ll be taking Frankie to orientation for puppy classes. I’m excited to learn how to help him grow up to be a well-mannered dog. He has such a big, sweet heart and I want him to be able to travel with me as we promote the upcoming book (8/8/18!). I have this crazy idea of strapping him into the shotgun seat in my convertible and hitting the road this August to visit book stores, previous foster dogs, and shelters. Taking classes is the first step to making that dream happen.

So, we’re fosterless for the moment. But we are awaiting the monumental next foster. Why is this next pup monumental? Because it will be our 100th foster dog!

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It’s hard to believe there have been that many. What’s harder to believe is I can still look at pictures and name every one of them. I am always excited to hear from their adopters and I worry over the ones who haven’t stayed in touch. I pray that all my pups are safe and happy in their new lives.

I’d appreciate a few extra prayers for one of my former foster dogs who could really use them. Carla was our third foster dog and one Ian still talks about her with great longing.

Carla is a 75-pound Treeing Walker Coonhound. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful dogs we’ve had the privilege to foster. She’s battling potential cancer now and facing surgery in the coming week. Carla (and her family) could use your good thoughts, prayers, or juju, whatever you got. Thanks so much!

It’s been three years and almost one hundred dogs. I could have never imagined this journey when we brought home little Galina.

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I had no idea of the family that OPH would become to me.

I had no idea how much I would learn, laugh, cry, and love.

I had no idea how many good dogs are out there.

I can’t wait to meet the next 100!

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Thanks for reading! If you’d like to know more about my blogs and books, visit CaraWrites.com or subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter.

If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here.

And if you’d like more regular updates of foster dogs past and present, plus when the next one is headed our way, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to comment here on the blog, email carasueachterberg@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.

Blessings,

Cara

#99andcounting

14 thoughts on “A New Normal in this Foster Home”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the love and care that you have given to all of your foster dogs. You are doing an amazing job! On another note, I will pray for Carla and her family. And…I can’t wait for your new book to be released!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are amazing to have fostered so many dogs! I don’t know how you don’t want to keep every one of them, I know I would get way too attached! Prayers for Carla and good luck to Gala. What lucky dogs to have you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve mentioned how the dogs that you bring to your book signings get a lot of attention from people visiting the place you’re doing a signing at. How do the people working at the places react to them? Are they just as enthused to have the dogs there? In a more recent post you mentioned talking to the clerks in one of the bookstores about the value of fostering and adopting animals from shelters. There must be a lot of dog people around.
    Looking forward to reading your next diary entry in your Diary of a Rescue series.

    Like

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