We have a very special guest with us this week. (As if four dogs wasn’t enough!)
Oreo and I go way back to the day I met him in a shelter in North Carolina, where he’d been living on and off for over a year. He’d been adopted out twice, but neither adopter chose to neuter him or bring him inside, so he ran off (as unneutered male dogs are want to do) and Animal Control returned him to the shelter each time.
There was something special about Oreo—the way he looked at us, the way he leaned into his kennel fence desperate for your touch, and how he’d hold your hand through the fence.
It was a long and winding road from that day which you can read about in previous posts, but finally over two months later he was our foster dog.
We came very close to foster failing on him because he is just that special, but lucky for him he found a wonderful family.
About a week or so after Frankie’s tragedy when I was hurting so badly I could barely function, Oreo’s mom messaged me to ask if we’d be interested in babysitting Oreo while they were on vacation. I jumped at the chance to spend time with that special boy, knowing his presence would be a healing one.
It has been.
I’ve loved having Oreo as my large white shadow all week. Nick and I took him with us to our new mountain cabin in Virginia (a future dog-friendly vacation rental!) He patiently lounged around (and kept an eye on the yard kitties) while we worked (and worked) cleaning and fixing and cleaning (and cleaning).
Each morning, though, Oreo and I hiked. He is quite possibly the best hiking partner a girl could have.
He also accompanied us to a brewpub where we sat outside near a creek and enjoyed beers, while he enjoyed the bowl of water the staff brought him and the pieces of chicken they slipped him. He was a great sport about strolling through Lowes for over an hour while we bought supplies. Driving to the cabin and back, our Honda Element was crammed to the roof, but we carved out space for Oreo and his bed and he proved to be an excellent traveler.
We’re home again now, back with our girls. Daisy spent the weekend in boarding with her own indoor/outdoor kennel in the quiet building between two very calm, sweet pups we met when I dropped her off. I feel guilty taking her there, but I want her to be safe while we are gone. The tiny cabin and all the noise (we are sanding the floors and walls) would stress her out and leaving her with the boys is impossible as they still can’t touch her. It is progress that she will sniff them and doesn’t panic at their presence, but if they approach her she bolts. So boarding is the only place for her while we are away until she is adopted or we find another foster home. Please send up wishes that one or the other of those two things happens soon, as the boarding facility, while clean and safe, is basically shelter life.
Ian and Brady looked after the other girls. Thelma did manage to chew up Brady’s headphones, but otherwise they did fine without us.
I have to say that I am kind of shocked that Thelma hasn’t been adopted. She is just about as nice a dog as you can find – gentle, sweet, excellent with children and all people, great with other dogs. She’s under forty pounds and only a year old. Really, she hits the sweet spot in terms of adoptable dogs.
Her only fault would be the chewing, but in a more supervised atmosphere where teenagers don’t leave their belongings everywhere and plenty of chew toys are provided, that can certainly be avoided. So, fingers crossed she’ll find a home soon.
Flannery continues to thrive at Agility class. Even in the sweltering heat, she is a rocket. I think she’s found her thing. Now she just needs to find an adopter who wants a competitive agility dog.
If you aren’t a subscriber to my author newsletter, you may not have heard the news. I have a new publishing contract with Pegasus Books! The book tentatively titled, One Hundred Dogs and Counting. It will be the story of our fostering adventure, but will also take the reader on the rescue road south to see where the dogs come from. I’m excited to start writing and hopeful for a 2020 publication date.
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, 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 email@example.com or connect with me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.
Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now (and on sale!)
4 thoughts on “Our Special Visitor”
Nice post. Glad you’re having a good time with Oreo. I take it that your children are happy to have him back too? Did he get noticed by others while you were at the brewery and Lows? There must be several dog-friendly stores in the US. Never heard of dogs being in Home Depot or bookstores until I read your blog. While I’m personally not a fan of bringing dogs into public places like that, it beats leaving them in a hot car for a long time without food and water. People still do that, and it’s so irresponsible. Best wishes with getting your book written. Are the stories in it also found on past blog posts? Should make for an interesting read.
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Thanks Ana – yes, there are more and more dog-friendly places in the US. Oreo got a lot of attention at Lowes, not as much at the pub since there were other dogs too. The new book will be similar in style to Another Good Dog – it will have some of the stories from the blog in more detail interwoven with our family life and my trips to the southern shelters. I’m hopeful it can be a book that educates and inspires people to help change the situation for so many dogs in our rural shelters. Oh and watch for a Daisy Update tomorrow!
I’m so glad you got to have Oreo stay with you for a while, especially when you needed him so much. Dogs do help us heal!
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I think it will be the dogs that pull me back from this sadness, I’m hopeful at least.