This is the longest we’ve gone without a foster dog since we started fostering with OPH just over three years ago.
It’s made me aware of two things – 1) I spend a lot of time fostering and 2) I don’t like being without a foster dog.
I’m amazed at how much time this has freed up. I’ve had time to work with Frankie (and even a little with Gracie) on his homework for doggie school two or three times a day. We also take a two-mile walk each morning and sometimes again in the afternoon. I’ve stayed on track with my latest manuscript and even had time to cook dinner nearly every night. I even had lunch with a friend and on one balmy day recently, I took my convertible out for a drive with no destination in mind.
Of course, just because I don’t have a foster dog in residence, doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten my foster dog fix. January, a returned dog, is currently residing in boarding about 30 minutes from my house.
She’s stuck there because there isn’t a foster home available for her. Now, before you say—‘What about your house, Cara?’ let me head you off.
After Gala left (Gala update at the end of this post!), it became painfully clear how much my personal dog, Gracie had suffered. Like the frog in the kettle, the longer Gala stayed, the more we, and Gracie, adapted to her presence. For Gracie that meant a lot more time in her crate (voluntarily and involuntarily), more time outside, less contact with us. She kept her world small – guarding her food ferociously, always staying within easy reach of her crate so she could seek shelter, rarely sleeping on the Frank bed or under my desk because both places left her vulnerable. Too many times Gala jumped the baby gate or was inadvertently let out and went after Gracie. Why she could embrace Frankie, yet feel so threatened by Gracie still baffles me.
With Gala’s departure, Gracie has come back to life. She races around the house chasing Frankie, rolls on the living room floor (leaving her white hair and the stench of horse manure or whatever dead thing she rolled in), and parks herself under my desk as she had for the last seven years (farting and snoring, I might add). It’s almost as if she’s been reanimated.
So, I’ve promised Gracie that as far as I can prevent it, I won’t bring another Gala-like dog into our home. I mean to make good on that promise.
Besides being a girl dog, January is Gala-like in only one way. She is a very HIGH energy dog. Unlike Gala she seems to love all people and enjoy other dogs. Even so, it’s too soon to even chance it with Gracie. My evolving plan is to foster puppies, male dogs, and mama dogs. Gracie has gotten along fine with all of our fosters that fit into those categories. This leaves January out in the cold (so to speak).
To that end, I’ve been making the drive out to see January almost every other day. The boarding facility backs up to Codorus State Park, so we’ve spent many happy hours hiking there. January was adopted out as a puppy and returned a year later – still very much a puppy. In the interim, she doesn’t seem to have been given very much training or discipline, but she is a happy dog who learns quickly. I’ve been applying my new skills acquired in class with Frankie and she is an excellent and eager student.
January will need an adopter who is patient and willing to invest the time in training her. She will need structure and an outlet for all her energy. She loves to play in the small enclosure at the boarding facility and is a first-rate hiking buddy. She is gorgeous and funny and happy as can be, despite her present circumstances. She seems to be okay with cats and has been great around other dogs. She’s warmly greeted everyone at several adoption events now.
If you’re interested in learning more about January here’s her link to the website.
This past weekend, Frankie and I attended the Hamilton Puppies 2nd birthday party! We had a blast. Five of the nine pups were there, plus Mama Schuyler. It was wonderful to see these BIG puppies who now are full grown and weight up to 80 pounds! Schuyler looked beautiful but was dwarfed by her large babies. Frankie had fun playing with all of them and especially enjoyed the pupcakes! Here are a few photos:
John Laurens/Sam (he was a little late to the party and VERY active, so I didn’t get so many shots of his 80-pound-self!)
And Mama Schuyler/Schuyler:
Just a few more –
As promised, Gala update from her new foster. (NOTE: Sue originally picked up Gala when she arrived on transport a year ago, and took her to boarding because she had no foster home assigned. I got Gala a week or so later. It’s kind of cool that the two of them have come full circle.)
Gala update: This coming Sunday will make a year since I picked her up from transport. I was impressed from day one. She was the first dog that sat when I asked. We had about an inch or so of snow on the ground and this South Carolina girl did not want anything to do with it!!! Now she loves it! Acted like a puppy when it snowed last time.
She has been with me since February 24th and we are finally getting our rhythm in place. My cat hides when she is out but that is because she growls at Gala, Gala just wants to play. I miss my kitty but I know it will help Gala in the long run!
She had one training session and we both had homework. I have never trusted a dog off leash, till now. We practiced in a totally closed tennis court, but she is too smart so we moved on to a not totally closed baseball field. WOW! What a girl!!! As soon as I can get someone to video us while we train I will post. She has gotten 95% better walking on the leash and is a pleasure to be with.
She loves people and seems to want to go home with everyone she meets.
I think her biggest complaint with me is waking her up too early. Especially this morning with the time change.
Loving my new roommate but hopes she goes soon so she doesn’t think I’m her forever person. 😉
I’m anxiously awaiting dog #100 (which might just be dogs 100-108). I’ll announce on Another Good Dog facebook page as soon as I have anything definite.
Thanks for reading!
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 and news of our 100th dog’s arrival, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.
COMING AUGUST 2018 from Pegasus Books: