Dixieland, dog rescue, emergency transport, Flannery Oconnor, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, John Jacob, oph, shelters

Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!

There are so many dogs in my house, it’s hard to keep them straight. After everything I saw on my shelter/book tour, I just can’t say no.

I feel an urgency I didn’t have before that trip. There are simply too many good dogs dying in our shelters; foster homes can buy them time.

If you’re waiting for someone to ask you to foster dogs – I’m asking. More foster homes can make a difference. YOU can make a difference.

Here’s our current roster:

Flannery O’Connor is a quirky little southern sprite.

Dixieland and Flannery-18

We picked her up as scheduled on our last stop of the tour at Scott County Animal Shelter in Gate City, Virginia. In fact, we picked up six dogs there, but Flannery was the only one without a committed foster home, so we brought her to our house.


She is a funny, sweet dog who makes us laugh daily. Her small dog energy is something I don’t get to experience often. She is industrious and happy and just so enthusiastic, but unlike large dog energy, hers is containable. She is a busybody – constantly poking her nose through the baby gate that keeps her in the kitchen, wondering if anyone is available for a quick romp or a belly rub.

Dixieland and Flannery-14.jpg

Luckily, when left to her own devices she can entertain herself. I hear her bouncing around the kitchen chasing balls and kongs, or tossing rope toys. She’s too short for counter-surfing and is not a destructive chewer, so she quickly earned the right to hang out in the kitchen instead of her crate.

While the crate (and leash and collar and harness and living indoors) was foreign to her, she has been a quick study. She happily saunters into her crate at night and for nap time when I point to it. And when there is trouble or raised voices, she scurries right in, knowing it is her safe place.

Flannery was easy to housebreak as she is such an eager little student. I’m working on sit, but she never holds it but for a moment before collapsing in a puddle expecting a tummy rub. Her enthusiasm carries right out the door and she does better in a harness than a collar in terms of pulling. But once again, the small dog thing is helpful here – she’s too little to pull me off my feet and I win every debate about which direction we should go.

Nancy Slattery stopped by to take some pictures and Flannery quickly won her over. I think Nancy would have been happy to sit on the floor tossing the kong and snapping pictures all afternoon.

If you or anyone you know is interested in adopting Flannery, here’s all you need to know.

As I posted about on Tuesday, another of our guests is Dixieland.

Dixieland and Flannery-8

Dixie is expecting and her huge belly limits her movement. She spends her days trying to find a comfortable position in the whelping box. Anybody who’s been that pregnant knows the challenge of simply getting up and down.

When anyone enters the room, Dixie ducks her head and thumps her tail. If the broken leg that was never treated didn’t tip you off, the way she cowers upon introduction would. Someone was not kind to this pup. Since she’s been here, we’ve had to carry her outside. Once outside, she hunkers down and shakes. If she does move, it’s to pull towards a bush or the woods—somewhere to hide. I’ve yet to see her pee, she holds it all day and uses the puppy pads I’ve lined her room with at night. It’s clear she knows she shouldn’t go in the house and the entire time I’m cleaning up, she lumbers along the edge of her box, whimpering an apology. This little pup breaks my heart.

Dixieland and Flannery-3

Her belly is stuffed with puppies and if the vet’s guess is right, she still has a week to go. I can’t imagine her getting bigger, but for the puppies’ sake, I hope she holds off. Meanwhile, I’m doing all I can to spoil this sweet girl rotten. She is happiest when I sit in the box with her and rub her belly while I read a book.

Dixie has a sister who is coming to OPH on the next transport from Scott County (end of the month) and reports are that Marble (OPH Rosalinda) is just as sweet and just as terrified as Dixie. Luckily, she’s currently in a foster home and discovering that world can be a kind place too. Watch for her on the website – she’s the inverse of Dixie with gray coloring and black spots.


But wait! That’s not all folks! Tuesday night we picked up yet another foster dog! With Hurricane Florence pounding towards Lenoir County, the shelter was forced to evacuate. OPH took in 13 dogs and is scrambling to get them the medical care and foster homes they need, but at least they are out of harm’s way. (If you’d like to contribute to the cost of this rescue, click here.)

Our newest guest is John Jacob (Jingleheimer Schmidt). He was given a new OPH name, Ricochet, but I can’t imagine calling him that since I’ve been singing his tune all week.


JJ is an adorable, black six-month-old lab puppy with lots of lab energy, long legs, and big goofy paws. He and Frankie are already fast friends.

We’re just getting to know this fun guy, but so far he appears to be crate-trained (although he did eat his bed on his first night here). Like all young dogs, he loves to chew and play. He does great on the leash and we have been taking some long walks around the pasture between the raindrops.

I have to mention one more dog. Vanna was a dog I met when I visited Lenoir County.

IMG_0471 (2)

She’s a pit-mix with a gargantuan heart who loves people, dogs, and even cats. She was a shelter favorite but had been there much too long simply because of her label. I caught some pictures and video of her and sent them to OPH. They agreed to rescue her and on Tuesday night, along with the hurricane dogs, she arrived! I had a quick reunion with her at the transport drop before she headed off to her new foster home.

There were so many dogs I couldn’t save while on that tour and their faces haunt me, but Vanna (now OPH Sweet Tea) is the first one I did save so she’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

Our home and hearts are brimming with dogs! And soon we’ll have a whole bunch more! To celebrate, I’m throwing a baby shower for Dixie on Facebook.

Puppy Shower

I asked Dixie what she wanted and she said she already got it – a safe place to have her babies. The two of us came up with a list, though, of some of the things the friends she left behind at Scott County need, here’s the link.

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 (which is rarely monthly, but I’m working at it…everybody needs a goal).

If you’d like to know more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, check 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, the schedule of signings, and what you can do right now to help shelter animals!

If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more pictures and videos of my foster dogs past and present, 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 Facebooktwitter, or Instagram.



Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available for preorder now:

Another Good Dog cover


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