Diary, dog rescue, Dogs with Issues, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog

Diary of a Rescue Weeks Eight and Nine: Separation Sometimes Makes You Stronger

I really hope I won’t be writing, Diary of a Rescue Week Fifty-Two, some day.

Daisy is still here, but she is ready to go. She is healthy and happy, and while she still needs a slow introduction to women and won’t go near men, I think she is ready.

Whatever happened to this dog to create such a deeply-rooted fear of men is not something she will simply get over. I don’t know if she ever will, but I do think she will make a wonderful best friend and awesome canine companion for some lucky woman.

As she has gained her confidence, her goofy personality has emerged. She loves attention and is playful and silly. One of her favorite games is keep-away with the football. She will taunt me with it and if I don’t reach for it, she’ll drop it like a toddler drops their spoon from the high chair and eagerly wait for me to pick it up. When I do, she’ll lunge for it and want to play tug-o-war, or if I’m quick enough, I can toss it and she will tear after it.

Every day, she knocks over my small paper recycling bin in the kitchen, just to check for food. She won’t mess with the paper or even dump it out, she just gives it a good sniff and moves on. She loves to chew her antler and will race into her crate for a treat at the end of the day.

She is happiest and most relaxed outside walking in the woods or around our pasture, and she is getting much better on the roads, especially if she can walk with another leashed dog.

She did great with Sue and that’s just more evidence that she is ready to be adopted. Now we just have to find her person.

I haven’t been able to record her diary every day this past week because my dog-world is filling up and I am still not caught up on work from the week I missed. I will continue to post every day I can. Daisy’s world is pretty small, so I worry I’m boring people, but we started this journey and I intend to see it through. If you’d like to follow her days (when I do post them) in real time, you can do that at Cara Sue Achterberg, Writer on Facebook.

Diary of a Rescue Day 50:

Between getting ready for the Rescue Road Trip and Frankie’s allergic reaction that required a vet visit, Daisy was mostly on her own. She hung out in the kitchen and twirled and leapt every time I buzzed thru (which only made me feel guilty for not paying attention to her).

Tonight I took her out on her long line for a little exploring but Ian was practicing javelin and that freaked her out a bit. I bet she’ll be relieved to get out of this crazy house and relax at Susan’s.

#toomuchtodo #beapatientpuppy

Diary of a Rescue Day 51:

I took Daisy to Susan’s this morning. She was anxious, as expected. She liked the backyard-lots of green and plenty of new smells, but she really didn’t want to go indoors.

It took a bit of convincing to get her inside. Fingers crossed she settles in quickly. I know she’s scared and confused right now. My poor girl. She has her football and her antler and bed but otherwise, everything is new.

I know Daisy will love Susan by the end of the week. And then she will know my house isn’t her only safe place and I’m not the only person she can trust.

#hanginthereDaisy #youaresafe

Diary of a Rescue Day 53:

After a rough first day, Daisy is doing better at Susan’s, with ‘better’ being the operative word. She is eating, she is discovering the joy of the big green space behind Susan’s house and she is taking the treats Susan offers. She still needs a lot of convincing and a little help to go back inside the house each day.

When you look at it from Daisy’s perspective, the indoors is still not a place to be trusted. Besides our house, the only indoor spaces she’s ever seen were the shelter, the animal ER, and the vet’s office– all places where, from her perspective, scary things happened. And our house is still kinda scary to her because there are two men living there who, despite their treat-laden efforts, frighten her simply by their presence.

Oh, Daisy girl, you are okay. Hoping for a happy report today and maybe a picture or two. (this picture is me sending her a virtual hug)

Thank goodness for Susan, I’m sure the week will only get better, it would have been a different story in boarding.

#togetherwerescue #anothergooddog

Photo by Nancy Slattery

Diary of a Rescue Day 54:

Every day gets easier for Daisy and clearly, she and Susan are bonding.

“Aside from her anxiety, Daisy is the perfect house guest! She gives great ‘hugs’, loves being brushed, loves hanging out in her crate and doesn’t make a sound. 😊”

Daisy is a sweet, sweet dog. Her fears are huge, but we are steadily chipping away at them with every new person and place that she experiences as safe.

#togetherwerescue #anothergooddog

Day 54

Diary of a Rescue Day 55:

From Susan:

Daisy and I are bonding. She is getting more at ease coming I to the house. She is still very nervous about things out of place.

She did great while I was at work. When I got home I was all set for a long walk. We saw my male neighbor at his work van when we set out. She glanced at him and carried on. No big deal. We went a bit down the back and she saw a woman well over 100 ft away and got scared. Then a woman with a dog jogged by. Still at a distance. She just stood and shook. We turned and walked the other way, she kept looking back over her shoulder. Finally, she relaxed. Walked a bit more and she stopped and wanted my attention. Then she gave me a big lean hug!!! Baby steps.

I’m leaving the crate door open for a bit but she doesn’t know what to do. Keeps going in and out.

I’ll try to update again tomorrow.


photo by Nancy Slattery

Diary of a Rescue Day 57:

Yesterday I visited the shelter where Daisy came from, Anderson County PAWS. When I told the rescue coordinator how Daisy was doing, she was surprised. She said that while she was there she did well in play groups and the men that moved her to clean the kennels never mentioned having any problems with her. Daisy was pregnant at the time, but that still seems remarkable to me, now having known her for more than eight weeks.

She is doing fine at Sue’s house, settling in, but still the same frightened dog. I’m looking forward to seeing her tomorrow and bringing her home. She will be living full time in the kitchen as we’ll have a new mommy-to-be in the puppy room.

Here are a few pictures Sue took. She also sent a more detailed report but I can’t seem to cut/paste it. We are on our way home from the road trip and running on fumes.

Diary of a Rescue Day 58:

Daisy is home! I was really happy to get the report from Sue that she loved her and they had a good week despite the tough beginning. I think that will be the way with any adopter- it will take a few days of adjustment and then Daisy will let down her guard and her adorable personality will shine through. Sue said she was the easiest foster she’s ever had!

She seemed happy to be home (although when I picked her up, it took her a minute to figure out it was me!). She did a few laps of the kitchen with and without her football.

I’ve decided we have to stop treating her with kid gloves. Living in the kitchen full-time will force her to interact with the guys or hide in her crate. I think she’ll give them a chance. The first time she saw Nick today, she came over and gave him a sniff.

She spent the rest of the afternoon watching everyone out the door or through the gate. It made me happy to see her engaging in her own way.

#wewillgetthere #timetotrust

Diary of a Rescue Day 59:

Daisy is creating a new normal for us (and the other dogs). She is installed in the kitchen full time. The other dogs have been incredibly respectful and, even when I’m in the kitchen, don’t whine or fuss at the gate.

Daisy does lots and lots of laps around our center island. She does huge Gala-worthy leaps of joy when I come thru the gate. I’ll have to catch that on camera somehow. When the guys are in the kitchen, she either walks her laps, giving them wide berth or hides in her crate. It’s only her first full day so I am hopeful this will change.

Today, my friend Laurie came by to donate two really nice crates and she came in to meet the pack. It was just a quick pop-in so I didn’t expect to introduce her to Daisy but while she was visiting with Frankie and Flannery, Daisy whined for attention. When Laurie went to the gate, Daisy did her happy spins, so we went in. As long as I was nearby, she was happy to see Laurie and bumped her with her football and even let her pet her. It was the quickest I’ve seen her warm to someone. It might be Laurie’s loving, gentle manner or maybe Daisy’s week without me made her braver. Either way, it was great to see.

#timetofindafamily #togetherwerescue #anothergooddog

day 59

Diary of a Rescue Day 61:

Missed yesterday but nothing too exciting happened with Daisy. All the excitement was with the other dogs (and no, no puppies yet!).

Today Gina and I took Daisy and Flannery on a long, long walk. We even stopped to splash in the creek. This video was at the very end as we walked up our drive to the house. Daisy is such a relaxed happy dog when she’s with another dog outside, but I haven’t solved the mystery of why she doesn’t like them inside yet.

No matter, she is such a devoted dog I’m sure she will be more than enough dog for an adopter. She truly adores me,; it’s almost embarrassing. I just wish her real person would find her so she can start adoring her.

#onewomandog looking for a #onedogwoman

Diary of a Rescue Day 62:

Just Another day with this silly girl and her football.

#opttoadopt Daisy B


Day 62

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to know more about my blogs and books, visit CaraWrites.com or subscribe to my occasional e-newsletter.

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.

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


5 thoughts on “Diary of a Rescue Weeks Eight and Nine: Separation Sometimes Makes You Stronger”

  1. I was rereading some earlier diary entries about Daisy after reading your most recent update. Could you try and paste the text from Susan’s emailed report from their time together in a future post, perhaps one that reflects on your quest to help Daisy heal and where she is at the time you’re writing compared to earlier in her stay? You’d wanted to share her report on here before, but had tech trouble. She sounds like a sweet dog. I got to thinking that perhaps someone who mistreated her before might find this blog sometime if they get a conscience or just by pure happenstance, and they could see what damage they did to her. I wonder how they’d feel. I wonder if they’d care. It’s good that many care about her just as she is.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s