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

Back to the Dogs

This morning as I began to reorient myself to life in the real world after three wonderful weeks in the mountains, I started by cleaning up and putting away the detritus of summer. School starts on Thursday. It will be the last ‘first day’ for us as our baby starts his senior year in high school.

While I was away, Thelma was adopted. Thanks to another OPH foster, Liz, and my boys, Thelma’s family came to meet her one day and was back two days later to adopt her and bring her home.

They decided to keep the name! I checked in on them yesterday via email and text. They absolutely love her and sent pictures of some of her adventures. And so far she hasn’t chewed up anything of significance, but mom assures me that at least for now the ‘kids are all over her all the time’ so she hasn’t had too many opportunities. They did gift her with a leather baseball glove, so that may keep her happy for a while. Nick and Ian were distressed to learn that she has already become a Nats fan.

Without Thelma, there were many (many) toys and items-that-became-toys in pieces to clean up, scattered around the house. I did relish that for the first time in six months I could kick off my sandals (the crappy ones I bought to replace my good ones Thelma destroyed) at the door and not have to worry about their safety. I erased the final list of Thelma’s destruction from our kitchen menu board. The impact of that dog won’t soon be forgotten.


I picked up Daisy from Kat’s house where she was boarding for the last three weeks. She looked good and seemed happy to be ‘home.’ With Thelma gone, Daisy will reclaim the kitchen space and have more chances to interact with the guys in this house, reinforcing that they are not to be feared (and they sometimes have treats to share).

Another OPH volunteer, Paul, who is a boarding buddy and also an old friend of mine, visited Daisy while I was gone and struck up a friendship. He made great strides with her and seems determined to win her over completely. He stopped by Monday evening to spend some time with Daisy.

Paul’s patience seems endless and was rewarded last night when after more than an hour sitting on the grass interacting with her, he was able to put a leash on Daisy. That sounds so very simple, but it was a first. The biggest reason that Daisy has to go to boarding when I am away is that none of the guys in this house can do that—if they approach her outside she will bolt and hide under the deck or circle the perimeter of the yard endlessly. We’ve elected not to force her knowing that she’s had plenty of force placed on her by other men in her past.

Paul’s success gives me hope, but I also know that my husband who works long hours and my teenage son who is busy-busy-busy with his life, can’t possibly sit for an hour each time they need to bring Daisy in for bedtime or because it is storming or the temperature has gotten too high. But still, this gives me hope that maybe, eventually, it won’t take over an hour each time.


Flannery is resting after an exciting vacation with us in the mountains. She was good company, although a little anxious at times – as Nick says, “She’s a sidekick dog,” and is happiest with another canine to rumble with. Even so, she enjoyed our daily hikes, rides in the convertible, and chasing down just about anything we threw for her (including returning the rocks I threw out of our future dog yard which is filled with construction debris).

The house set in order, I’ve begun my next adventure—planning another shelter trip! This time I’m headed back to Tennessee and then on to Alabama and maybe even Mississippi! If you’d like to follow along, subscribe to or follow on Facebook. I’ll be taking Nancy Slattery along, so you know there will be some awesome photos again.

fundraiser cover

We are looking for the following items to take with us, plus donations to help defray the cost of the trip:

Leashes – regular or slip leads

Collars and harnesses

Metal dog bowls

High-quality treats

Durable dog toys (no stuffed toys)

High-quality dog food, especially puppy food

Flea/tick treatments and preventatives

Amazon gift cards

You can drop off/send items to me before September 14:

Cara Achterberg

1568 Deer Creek Road

New Freedom, PA 17349

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, we’d be super grateful, although I feel guilty asking, again, since my last trip was only two months ago. While we are able to mooch lodging a few of the nights we are traveling, there are still several hotel stays (although Nancy and I have figured out that we can tough it out in the cheapest of dives), lots of gas, and minimal food (we’ve also figured out that we can survive on cheese and crackers and peanut butter for days at a time).

You can send donations by check or through Paypal –

Or donate through the fundraiser on the Who Will Let the Dogs Out facebook page.

I promise I won’t keep badgering you about the trip on this blog. If you want to be badgered or get more details, follow the Who Will Let the Dogs Out blog where I’ll begin sharing details as I confirm them.

Thanks for reading!

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

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 or connect with me on Facebooktwitter, or Instagram.



Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now

Another Good Dog cover






13 thoughts on “Back to the Dogs”

  1. Nice post. Did Daisy get to spend some time with a trainer during her time in bording? Was a report on her progress written? If so, would you be able to share it on here? I’m glad that she’s come this far in the time she’s been with you. How nice of Paul to continue visiting her, and for you to keep encouraging her interactions with Nick and Ian, while at the same time respecting their own time commitments and schedules. She’ll get there eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a little miscommunication on the ‘board and train’ piece, it was really just boarding, but in a home environment. So that part was good, but not a ton of training. Kat did have some thoughts on Daisy, suggesting that we put her on prozac (which is relatively common and inexpensive for anxiety in dogs I’ve learned) but OPH will do more evaluation before we make a move like that. She isn’t the first to suggest it, so it deserves examination. Paul is dedicated and continues to make progress.


  2. Glad that things are going well. Keep us posted on how things go with Paul. I think that even I could grow to like Daisy, given her friendly, calm nature. I know she gets excited sometimes, but all living things do. Keep blogging when you can.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Today is international dog day, or at least in North America it is, according to the morning TV newscast I’m listening to. They also said that for a dog lover and owner, every day is dog day. True enough. Hope you have a good day with your furry friends.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. High five to Paul for patience! Maybe you can advertise Daisy as a guy test for a woman owner “Does your prospective romance have the patience and kindness you deserve? Daisy will make him prove it.”
    I like to think that Nick and Ian not pressuring Daisy to approach allowed her space to observe them and see that they meant no harm, which eased her mind to accept Paul.
    Flannery’s profile states that she gets along with cats, but she’s so high energy that I thought it just meant she didn’t want to kill them. Her lying down with Molly (?) gives me a whole different view to her personality. Speaking as a cat owner, a photo like that (with a slightly better view of the cat) would be great information.
    And yeah for Thelma!
    p.s. Love the convertible! What fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love this idea about Daisy. Is it okay if I steal it? I’ll try to get a better picture of Flannery lying down with cats – it is a big deal since so few of my foster dogs have ever been this good with them.


Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s