I am the queen of best laid plans. I almost always assume the best. The way I see it is – why waste all that negative emotion dreading and worrying and stressing something when you can instead bask in the view from your rose-colored glasses?
Or – more simply – as the poster in the guidance office says, “Save your drama for your llama.”
We are now four days away from the start of my southern book tour and Billie Jean and Grits are still here.
Still not adopted.
Billie Jean is still not even AP (Adoption Pending).
Back when I took in my share of the breakfast pups, I was sure they’d get adopted super quick. I mean these are gorgeous puppies! And the girls did go, not quite as fast I expected, but they’ve landed in wonderful, happy homes and are much loved.
And yet their little brother lingers here. Stealing my heart on a daily basis. If I was a weaker woman, I might just adopt him. Who couldn’t love his adorableness – he is funny and happy and sweet, sweet, sweet. His long, silky ears are just so petable – they’re like a stress ball, only better, and I love to finger them while I’m sorting things out in my head.
Grits loves everyone with an enthusiasm that is admirable. When he enters a room, he bounds in smiling. He loves to move our shoes all over the house, but his little bitty baby teeth are not yet strong enough to do any real damage.
He’s not an intense puppy – a quality he likely owes to his hound heritage. He is already a champion couch snuggler. He and Frankie are serious buds.
So, Grits would make a great little brother (who might eventually be the larger little brother), but I can’t keep him no matter how much my heart wants to.
Because here’s the thing I know and am about to see firsthand, there are lots of other good dogs waiting for a foster home. And I need to leave room in my heart for all the dogs to come.
When I brought home gorgeous, funny, clever Billie Jean back in June, I was certain I would find her a family before the summer ended and I took off on book tour.
And yet, here she is.
She fits very nicely in here and we all love her. Thankfully, her biggest fan is my youngest son who will be left in charge of her if she is not adopted before I leave, which is looking more likely by the moment.
Sigh. My rose-colored glasses are getting a little bit fogged, but I haven’t given up hope because here are two things I’ve learned in the process of writing, publishing, and promoting my book –
1) People love dogs.
2) People, when given the information they need, will come through.
I’m overwhelmed by the donations that I have yet to figure out how I’ll fit into the van I’ve rented for the shelter/book tour that begins on Saturday. (oh my!)
I’m even more overwhelmed by the generous monetary donations that have come my way. I’ve already ordered a few things and had them shipped directly to the shelters, but I’m holding onto much of the donation money until I see the shelters first hand.
I’ll be visiting 8 of our partner shelters and working an adoption event with one of our partner rescues, plus meeting two other area rescues that will join me at bookstores in Charlotte, NC, and Chattanooga, TN for events. Once I see exactly what they’re dealing with, I’ll start spending that money where it can best go to good use. This is great comfort because while the van is full, it will be a careful art figuring out how much and what to leave at each stop.
I am super excited to be able to share all your donations with our shelter partners and hopefully make their jobs a tiny bit easier and a few dogs a bit more comfortable. I am also very excited to see the places where my dogs have come from and meet the amazing people who have saved them. I will post lots of pictures of the dogs and people I meet and all our adventures on tour in several places:
On Facebook: carasueachterberg, writer, I’ll post daily updates of all our adventures with pictures of the shelters, dogs, events, and travel shenanigans
On my Facebook group, Another Good Dog, after each shelter visit, I’ll post pictures of our time there and also list the dogs I’ve fostered that came from that shelter originally. I’ll include contact information on the shelter in case any of you are inspired to help them out directly.
On Instagram under the account, Another_Good_Dog (or the tag #anothergooddogontheroad), I’ll posts random pictures and videos of our adventures.
On Twitter at CaraAchterberg, most of the above will be cross-posted and tagged #anothergooddogontheroad
I’ll be traveling for the first part of my tour with my dear friend Lisa (who owns the company SoulShine – check it out if you like good clothes with a good story) and the second part of the tour with my amazing husband Nick. They will help me stay on the road and post lots of pictures and stories as we travel.
These pictures and stories will give people a peek into all the rescuing that happens before a dog arrives in a foster home. And maybe it will also pull on your heartstrings a little and motivate you to do whatever you can, wherever you are, to care for these creatures who count on us.
I’m hoping to post to this blog, but no guarantees there because it will depend on me having the mental bandwidth left at the end of the day and a wifi connection.
If you’re in the path of my tour – please come out and see me! I love to meet dog-hearted people! If you aren’t in my path, but know someone who is, please help us out by sharing the word. Here are the Facebook event links for each book event:
Saturday, Arlington, VA, Wags & Whiskers
Sunday, Richmond, VA, Barnes & Noble, Libbie Place
Tuesday, Charlotte, NC, Park Road Books
Friday, Chattanooga, TN, Star Line Books
Saturday, Franklin, TN, Nashville Pet Products
In between these stops, I’ll be visiting Lenoir County SPCA, A Shelter Friend (Bladen, NC), Anson County Animal Shelter, Oconee Humane Society, Greenwood Humane Society, Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary (just for a little variety and also because a dear writer friend created this place), Anderson County PAWS, Maury County Animal Shelter, and Scott County Animal Shelter (via Scott County Humane Society).
At my book events, I’ll partner with OPH, Greater Charlotte SPCA, Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga, and Rural Animal Rescue Efforts who will all bring out adoptable dogs and plenty of information.
And best of all, at my final shelter stop I’ll be loading up a few more foster dogs to bring home with me!
It’s gonna be a whirlwind, but a good one, because I’m more than excited to put my money, my time, my heart, and my writing where my mouth is – it’s time to go help save some dogs!
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 more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, check out my new website, AnotherGoodDog.org, where you can find more pictures of the dogs from the book (and some of their happily-ever-after stories), information on fostering, event schedule, and more!
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 extra puppy pictures, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.
Released AUGUST 2018 from Pegasus Books and available anywhere books are sold: