Meet our current (about to change) roster:
Hula, who you will remember arrived deathly thin, riddled with worms and nursing three puppies, is a new dog. She has gained weight, her coat has a nice gloss, and there are no traces of her mommy-life. She is full-on puppy and always ready to play. She is also always ready to steal socks. She pilfers them out of dirty laundry baskets and from where they hide, abandoned in a ball under the couch. Once in her possession, she challenges Frankie or Flannery to a game of tug of war.
They stretch the sock into unimaginable proportions, and then, just in case you think you could ever wear that sock again, she commences shredding it. The remnants and strings color my carpet. This morning she found a blue striped sock I believe once belonged to Brady. Now it’s in a million pieces on my living room floor.
When there are no socks or playmates available, Hula will search in one of the toy baskets located in most rooms of our house. She’ll use her long snout to nose through the offerings and select a new antler or kong or stuffed toy remnant. It takes her a few days, but eventually the contents of the toy basket are strewn all over my house. She is worse than a toddler this way.
Hula will have a Meet & Greet this week. She will be spayed on Thursday, and potentially go home with her forever family this weekend. I’m happy for this beautiful girl. Less than three months ago, she was a starving, worm-addled pregnant stray dog wandering around on the Tennessee border and soon she will have her own family where she can be loved all the rest of her days. She is one lucky dog. Too many good dogs, just like Hula are not as lucky. This is how rescue works. She’s the poster child for why YOU should get involved.
Flannery continues to entertain us and is settling more and more, but introductions are tricky. The first few weeks she was here, she nipped at people she met who reached towards her head. I solved that problem by not letting new people touch, only look. It’s frustrating to Flannery because she LOVES attention and LOVES to snuggle.
We’ve kept her in the no-touch zone for long enough and I’m ready to venture out and let people meet her. Reason being that I’m growing much too attached to this little love nugget. We all are. Ian calls her ‘little dog’ and loves to scoop her up on his lap. Nick indulges her – allowing her to lick plates and to snuggle with him on the couch—two activities normally reserved only for Frankie.
So it’s time for Flannery to practice meeting and greeting in advance of a real meet and greet (none of which are on the books). I don’t think the nipping is going to be lifelong problem; it only surfaced when she lived in a home with five small children. I think once she is ensconced in a loving home with no small, grabby children, she will blossom as she has here, and some lucky family will fall in love with this dollbaby as we have.
Frankie has been attending Rally Obedience classes. Rally reminds me of dressage with horses. Basically, it’s a course you and your dog follow in which you have to perform obedience moves at prescribed points. Frankie has always had tremendous focus (especially considering his age and breed) and instead of yanking me all over the place from his end of the leash (as he does when we are out and about anywhere except Doggie School), his eyes stay focused on me as he does a 90 Right Pivot or a Right Hand Spiral or a Halt and Walk Around.
Of course, it helps that my pockets are loaded with high-value treats and the other dogs are crated, but still. I think my pup is remarkable. Whether or not he ever actually competes at Rally Obedience is beside the point. Taking classes and practicing the moves is good for his brain and our relationship.
Frankie had a date with his favorite girl, Edith Wharton (another great OPH rescue), on Sunday to watch the puppy bowl. They crashed and tumbled all over the Slattery house as we tried to spot the OPH pups on the TV. The above portrait was taken by Nancy Slattery. You’d never know that in reality when this picture was taken, Frankie was actually sitting on her ottoman in front of the TV keeping a vigilant eye on her cat outside. The magic of photography!
Gracie seems content as she can be. She follows the pack around, tail wagging, and eager to be included. They are always happy to invite her into the rumbles, but more times than not, she prefers to watch and cheer (or scold) from the sidelines. Here’s her with Flannery, her favorite playmate:
Still, it’s nice to see my awkward pup joining in. It’s even nicer to see the big smile on her face. The arthritis that normally bothers her in the cold, damp weather has not been in evidence. Perhaps, these particular foster dogs are good for her soul and her body.
And now for the real news! Watch for another blog post THIS SATURDAY introducing you to a special dog arriving on Friday’s transport! I plan to chronicle her journey in daily posts, titled, Diary of a Rescue. If you don’t already subscribe by email to this blog, you might want to do this now (check the right sidebar) so you don’t miss any of the excitement!
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! You can also purchase a signed copy or several other items whose profits benefit shelter dogs!
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 now