I’ve been kicking around ideas for this post—lots to say, not enough space (the usual for me).
My thoughts are scattered because part of me is in North Carolina worrying about the dogs at the three shelters we visited who were all evacuated. I know they’re confused and frightened, but so far, at least, I know they are safe.
In a news story about the Anson shelter, I saw footage of several of the dogs I met – Oreo (who is coming to my home at the end of the month), the Great Dane that Lisa and I flirted with (whose destiny is uncertain), Sparky (the shy, adorable pit mix with bandit eyes that Lisa coaxed out to say hello to us), and a large gray pitbull whose sad face I’ve been carrying around with me ever since I met him. Of all the dogs we met, his eyes seemed to sear my soul – the depth of sadness and the resignation broke my heart.
Seeing those friends crammed in crates and stacked in a van, while the people around them talked in panicked voices and the flood water closed in on them was unbearable. I want to be down there, doing something, and yet again, I can do nothing but be a witness.
Going anywhere is tricky because I am needed at home. Dixieland has still not had her pups (she’s given me many false starts). Her enormous belly gets impossibly bigger every day.
JJ (John Jacob JHS) is still a puppy (a big one). His housetraining is a work-in-progress. This means plenty of crate time, but also frequent walks to stretch his long legs and supervised time in the kitchen. The nice weather this weekend did allow him to have some serious playtime outside with Frankie. JJ is a social guy, he likes company and he’s good company, but there’s only so much of me to go around.
Flannery is actually our easiest guest. She’s earned the right to roam freely in our house – she’s not a destructive chewer, she’s housebroken and she’s learned to give Gracie wide berth.
I’ve come to the conclusion that five dogs is one too many for me. There have been too many preventable slip-ups in regards to unattended items and the question of where best to pee. But that might also be partly because my heart is still in the south, walking through those kennels offering little comfort – a touch, a treat—to the hundreds of dogs we met.
My state of mind makes me not the best company. If you ask how I’m doing and I feel like I can be honest with you, I’m gonna unload my fury about what is happening in our rural shelters and how oblivious the rest of the country seems to be.
But saying it over and over isn’t making it any better. And I worry that I will become a broken record who no one will listen to.
I think you have to see those faces, hear the stories of the shelter workers, observe the conditions, experience the situation firsthand in order to get it, to really get it.
And I can’t take you all down there. I can only write and share the pictures we took. So I’m working on a few projects.
One is little – a calendar of the dogs we met in the shelter. Nancy Slattery lent her expert editing skills and cleaned up my pictures and I’ve added a few words to each one. I’m hoping the calendar can do two things – raise a little money for the dogs still living in shelters, but also be a daily reminder that they are there and that they need us.
Here’s one sample page.
Once we figure out how/where to print it to get the best quality and best deal, I’ll let you know on the blog and on the Facebook group. I’ll be bringing calendars to all my future book signings too.
The other project is more ambitious and I’m not ready to share the details of it—there’s way too many moving parts to pin down. If you’ve got ideas or you want to help, please visit the How You Can Help page on AnotherGoodDog.org. Trust me, you haven’t heard the last from me on this situation. As Arnold said, “I’ll be back!”
If you want to follow the journey of Dixieland, I’ll be posting regular updates on the Facebook group.
After BWW, we’ll be heading further south to attend the Floyd County Humane Society fundraiser at Chateau Morisette. I’m excited to explore Floyd and to meet the good people of the Humane Society. Proceeds from book sales at the event will go to FCHS, and I’ll be exploring how we can partner with them in the future. They have no shelter in Floyd County and the Humane Society is a completely foster-based organization; when they run out of foster homes for the animals in need, they pay to board them at a local veterinary office. Excited to meet these super heroes and hopefully help a tiny bit.
If you know of anyone looking for a really fun pup who would make an excellent family member, tell them about Flannery.
Not only is she housebroken and crate-trained, but she’s also a fun-loving sweetheart who never meets a stranger. We took her to Ian’s soccer game on Sunday and she charmed everyone she met. At just 25 pounds and less than two-years-old, she’s the perfect little pet who will no doubt provide daily entertainment to her forever family for years to come. Here’s the link to find out how to adopt her.
JJ met his future forever mom on Sunday and won her over. He’ll be with us a few more days, and hopefully, master the housebreaking before he takes off for a happy life in the nation’s capital.
If you’re in the Leesburg area – come meet me for a beer tomorrow night at Spanky’s Shennanigan’s Yappy Hour from 6-8pm. I’ll be there signing books (might bring Flannery along to help) unless Dixie decides to pop! (check the event page for any news on that!)
The rest of you – see you at Bark, Wag, and Wine THIS Saturday!!
Thanks for reading!
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.
Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available for preorder now: