Diary, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, hard to adopt

Diary of a Rescue Week Five:  It’s a Big Wide World

Every evening when I sit down to post in this diary, I think—nothing really happened. (except on Wednesday – that was a little too exciting) And yet, when I look through the day’s pictures and start to write, there’s always something to tell.

That’s probably true of all of our lives, not just one rescue dog. So much happens every day that we take for granted and should instead be awed by in gratefulness, but I suppose it’s human nature to think it has to be exciting/tragic/titillating for it to be worthy of writing or reading about. Daisy is teaching me to slow down and appreciate the moments.

This week was made up of a lot of little moments, but her world stretched and she gave me lots of clues to her history and maybe a few that will help to unlock her heart.

I appreciate any help you can give in sharing her story. I really believe it simply she needs to reach the right heart—someone who will recognize her as family and choose to adopt her. Daisy has so much love to give and every day I see more of her huge loving, funny personality.

If you’d like to read her story in real time, you can follow along on Facebook at Cara Sue Achterberg, writer.

Here are this week’s entries:

Diary of a Rescue Day 29:

This is gonna be super quick because I’m late for bookclub and I’ve had a crazy busy day involving a horse dentist, vet, and an unexpected drive to my oldest son’s college (and back).

So, obviously, I didn’t see Daisy much, but this morning I caught some pictures of her with her fork. For some reason, unknown to me, she loves this fork. I don’t even know how she got it in the first place, but she likes to keep it close by – in her crate or on the dog bed.

Every time I see her carrying it I am never quick enough with the camera, but this morning Ian was in the room and she carried and carried it as if she didn’t trust him not to take it if she put it down, so I got these pictures.

There really is a silly, mischievous dog hidden in there under all that fear.

#funnypup #anothergooddog

Diary of a Rescue Day 30:

Once again I didn’t see much of Daisy today. We had a little time this morning. She spent the better part of the day back in the puppy room since Nick and I were in New Jersey to see Addie perform in a show at Rowan.

The puppy room was the best place for her since my oldest, Brady, is home on spring break and there have been plenty of extra young adults at our house. I don’t know if all the extra activity is making her anxious but since her fork is still in the kitchen, she’s taken to carrying around a stuffed football. Guess it’s her security football.

#peoplearescary #footballshelp #togetherwerescue #anothergooddog

Diary of a Rescue Day 31:

It’s been an amazing Daisy day! She spent most of the morning walking laps in the kitchen with her football. She reminds me of the old polar bear at the Baltimore Zoo who used to walk/swim the same pattern over and over. You could stand there for hours (and we did because one of my kids was so amazed by it and was sure if watched long enough he would break his pattern); he followed the same route over and over for days, weeks, years.

Daisy’s pattern is in and out of the crate, then around the kitchen island, then in/out crate, around the island, ad nauseum all the while clutching the football in her mouth and emitting an occasional whine. I made applesauce and then banana bread to keep her company and then I couldn’t stand watching it anymore so I convinced Nick to bring Frankie and go for a walk with us.

Once we left the drive (a first for her), she lit up. Running and sniffing and even trying to reach Nick and Frankie. By the time we got home, they were walking side by side! I saw more tail wagging and happy energy than I’ve ever seen from her. I’m very encouraged. Clearly, she is happier outside and loves going on a real walk. We’ll do lots more of that this week if weather allows and this blasted snow finally goes away.

She’s back in kitchen pacing at the moment, but at least I know how to make her happy and I’m hopeful she and Frankie will eventually be friends. I think the new pacing is just anxiety over the addition of Brady (and his people).

#peoplearestillscary but #theoutsideworld is exciting!

Diary of a Rescue Day 32:

Confessing right up front that these pictures are a day old. I was busy/distracted today by all the activity at my house- new foster dog, college kid home (with friends), a lot of writing to do, needy horses, sick kid, so I never managed to take a single picture of Daisy. But! She had a good day.

Another OPH family member, Ronni, came by to drop off a donated bag of my favorite brand of dog food and stayed to take a walk with me. She walked Gracie and I walked Daisy. Once again, Daisy was happy and brave – walking beside Gracie (who miraculously ignored her!) and scampering playfully or walking happily. Not an ill word was spoken. (Which is saying something since Gracie is usually a bit of a bully).

The pictures are from Daisy’s walk yesterday with Frankie, plus a couple of her with her football which she has carried around most of today. But you can substitute Gracie for Frankie and it was exactly the same.

This pup will be such a fun, sweet, loving dog for a lucky adopter. Now we just need to find that adopter!

#choosetoadopt #anothergooddog

Diary of a Rescue Day 33:

Other than the fact that she carries the football everywhere with her now, Daisy is becoming more and more like a regular dog. Tanis came over and we walked Frankie and Daisy (who carried her football the entire 2 miles) up the road and back. Neither of us thought to grab a picture, that’s how ‘normal’ she’s becoming.

Daisy’s looking so much healthier and is really a good weight now. She remains petrified of the guys and we are just accepting that for what it is. With me, she is incredibly loving and affectionate and I have no doubt that she is ready to share that love with an adopter – it will need to be a female adopter. Maybe this thing with men will just take time. Her fears are firmly entrenched but hopefully not immovable. After all, she is always initially frightened of new women and it takes her time to warm up, but she does.

I’m very curious to see how she reacts to children, but haven’t had a chance to find out. I need some young kids who can move slowly to test her out on. I have a feeling that she might trust children.

We have a new foster dog in the house, but so far Daisy has ignored him when he walks by, as she does both Gracie and Frankie.

Happy to report it’s really been an uneventful day at this foster house.

#easydoesit #daybyday #togetherwerescue #anothergooddog

Diary of a Rescue Day 34:

A pretty big day for Daisy- she made a new friend! Molly patiently sat on the floor with me for a good hour and Daisy circled and circled with the football in her mouth getting closer and closer to Molly.

Finally, she got brave and reached out to take a treat from Molly. That was the beginning. After that, there were kisses and pets and more treats. She showed her playful and affectionate side, which is something only I ever witness. There is hope for this dog!

We had a bad moment shortly after which resulted in me ending up with a banged knee when I dove to separate Daisy and Frankie who got in a scuffle. The last time they tangled, it was my fault because I intentionally let Frankie in to meet Daisy, but this time it was Frankie’s fault because he barged past me at the gate in his hurry to greet my friend Gina, who had just arrived to help walk dogs. He didn’t even see Daisy who was saying her goodbyes to Molly.

Daisy is fiercely defensive when it comes to other dogs and I think that trait may be as entrenched as her fear of men.

Frankie is fine, just chastened, and I am pumped up on ibuprofen, hoping the pain and swelling are temporary. (I was able to walk dogs so I’m probably just being a baby.)

Never a dull moment here at this crazy dog house.

#dontbesopushy #newfriendsaregood  #togetherwerescue #anothergoodog

Diary of a Rescue Day 35:

Thankfully Nancy stopped by today and did a little photo shoot with Daisy so I’ll have some MUCH better pictures to post once I figure out how to see and download them without upgrading my Dropbox (I tried opening a new Dropbox with a different email but they were on to me…).

Daisy had a quiet day, but she needed one after the excitement of yesterday. My friend Linda is visiting and making slow steady progress in winning Daisy over, and hopefully we can get her out for a hike tomorrow.

Daisy did great at the photo shoot- racing around in a circle because she was happy to be outside with me, chasing a ball (slowly), gnawing on a stick, and startling at the chickens. Can’t wait to see the results!

My bad pictures do show you how much weight she’s gained. (And her messy room)

#justwait #modeldog #togetherwerescue #anothergooddog

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, visit 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.

One last thing! I will be leading a group of eight volunteers on a week-long trip to volunteer in some of the shelters we work with in North and South Carolina. We will be posting stories, pictures and video of our adventure. You can see all of it by following our Facebook page, OPH Rescue Road Trip. We promise to share the dogs we meet, the heroes we help, and the reality of shelters in the rural south. It may not always be easy to see, but hopefully it will also inspire you to help the many, many dogs in need. And if you’re so inclined, you can support us with donations through our Road Trip Fundraiser.

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 now

Another Good Dog cover


9 thoughts on “Diary of a Rescue Week Five:  It’s a Big Wide World”

  1. Nice post. I don’t blaim you for noting your knee pain… it’s never nice when you bang your knee unexpectedly, or any body part for that matter, especially when it’s from moving quickly and not having much time to think about it first. Glad both Daisy and Frankie are fine. I think I could be around Daisy for a short time if I met her and you were handling her despite being nervous around dogs myself, as she sounds like a gentle dog who’s working on healing from her obviously difficult past. I could probably form a bit of a soft spot in my heart for her, even though I’m far from in a position to adopt any pet. Keep us posted, and keep helping her to heal. You’re doing a good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You and Daisy are both amazing. She reminds me so much of my sweet Sophie, my first rescue, who was so shy and fearful, especially of men. She stayed shy forever but learned not to be afraid of men after many years. I think I might be falling for Daisy, but I have two dogs (but no men 😊) and you think she would be better as an only dog. I love reading your posts; your writing is terrific and I am enjoying seeing Daisy make steady progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Meredith! At this point, I do think she’s better on her own. That said, she’s only encountered my submissive male dog. hard to say how she would be with females, but in her current state she’s pretty defensive towards other dogs that pass by her gate. It may be a different story outdoors. I hope she is like your Sophie and can overcome this fear of men, but like Sophie, I would guess it will be years before that can happen.


  3. Glad you like my comments… I feared I’d sent too many at one time. It’s never my intent to overwhelm, just to encourage. Keep us posted on Bugs too. I liked the video of you walking Daisy. I could hear the birds in the background… a sure sign that spring is coming and more time can be spent with your furry friends outside.


  4. I am always so moved by everything that you do! Daisy and her fork are absolutely hilarious! It’s so funny how they discover things and add them to their private collection!

    Liked by 1 person

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