dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, Miss Fanny Wiggles, oph, Rescue Road Trip

Home Again with a Stowaway

It has been a long time since I brought in a new foster dog. April to be exact.

(Which makes me wonder what I’ve been writing on this blog for all these months!)

There is a very special dog in my kitchen. She arrives with a story that began back in June. A story that inspired me to return to Tennessee and go on to Alabama and to now explore more ways I can change the situation.

You may recognize her face…

fundraiser cover

Although she looks much different now…

photo Nancy Slattery

She is no longer covered with poop and emaciated and waiting to be killed in a pound in western Tennessee. I wrote about the Huntingdon Pound on the Who Will Let the Dogs Out blog, it was by far the saddest situation I’ve seen in my travels.

Four days after I visited the pound with my son Ian (who took those powerful pictures of her), a hero of mine, Trisha (of RARE – Rural Animal Rescue Effort) rescued her from that nightmare and brought her (and three others) home to her house. She named her Mocha, but in my heart I had already named her Fanny.

photo Nancy Slattery

Over the course of the summer I kept tabs on this pup. She remained at Trisha’s living in a crate most of the day but getting opportunities to snuggle on the couch or romp in the yard too. Trisha is on the front lines saving dogs in Tennessee and at any given moment there can be more than a dozen or two at her house while she looks for homes for them.

As I planned the next trip with Nancy, determined to continue to shine a light on what is happening in our rural south, I learned that Mocha/Fanny was still at RARE with Trisha, so I asked OPH to pull her and allow me to foster her.

At the end of our trip to Tennessee and Alabama, Nancy and I stopped at Trisha’s and picked up this precious pup, now known as Miss Fanny Wiggles.

photo Nancy Slattery

Fanny was silent on our nine-hour drive north. After a quick stop for a potty break, I couldn’t bear to put her back in her crate and she rode the final few hours awkwardly perched between the seats with her head on my arm, or snoozing on the seat behind me.

photo Nancy Slattery

We stopped at our cabin in Virginia for the night and once out of the car, Fanny cautiously came to life. We discovered that she loves chew toys and seems to be housebroken. She is shy and anxious, having been exposed to very little in her short life, and much of it not so good, but she warms up quickly.

photo Nancy Slattery

The next morning before loading her up for the final leg home, we took her for a short hike in the Shenandoah River State Park. She loved exploring the woods and really, really wanted to catch a squirrel.

photo Nancy Slattery

Home now, in the kitchen, she is shy and worried. There’s been a lot of upheaval in her world, so we are letting her take it slow.

As I learn more about her, I will share it with you. So far, though, I’m pretty smitten with this special girl.

Meanwhile, a few updates:

Daisy moved to a new foster home! I’m excited for her to be with Deb and Scott. Deb is a trainer and they have a wonderful set up in which Daisy has her own room and her own yard. I went to visit her Sunday night (and dropped off my orange kitties!). She looked great and seemed calm and happy. Fingers crossed this is a big step towards finally finding her family!


We’ll still host Daisy when Deb and Scott need a babysitter and I’ll keep you updated on her progress. Fred and George also moved to their house to take up their new jobs as mousers.


Flannery is still here keeping us all entertained. She is now rooming with our two remaining cats and getting along great. She has even shared her dog bed (inside her small crate!) with Luna, but jumps up to greet me too fast so I have yet to get a picture. (Nevermind that a picture of a black dog and a black cat together in the dark of a small crate will be a challenge.) Flannery began her second session of agility training and continues to love it and learn quickly.

I have so much to say about all that I learned while traveling the south with photographer Nancy Slattery and visiting thirteen shelters and rescues. If you’d like to read about those experiences, please visit our blog, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.

While much of what we saw was heartbreaking, there were also incredible stories of hope and heroes. Please do take a gander and consider subscribing because I’ve got lots more stories to tell and big plans for evolving this site and this mission.

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.



Another Good Dog coverReleased August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now


12 thoughts on “Home Again with a Stowaway”

  1. Awwwwww your Fanny Wiggles reminds me of Diamond II, from our shelter. Our Diamond girl had been surrendered to the shelter more times than I care to remember. She was a smallish brown pit with the most gorgeous eyes… used to break my heart when I would hook her up to take her for a walk….she cowered…shook…..was a complete wreck….On the walk however she blossomed into this happy proud girl. Her separation anxiety was off the charts. Her initial family eventually adopted her back (not sure why the shelter allowed this to happen) only to again surrender her!!! I wanted to take her home so badly but had 2 middle aged labs and I just couldn’t do it. I did do my best to make sure she was allowed to hang out in the office most of the day…and she was so happy doing so….while learning people come and go, and come back. Eventually one of the long time shelter dog walkers decided she was going to adopt her….and Diamond has lived happily ever after. She had 2 or 3 unrelated sibs in the house…might be down to 2 now….(one of her sibs was yet another of our shelter dogs who this wonderful woman decided to adopt)….Your Mocha/Fanny reminds me so much of Diamond…..I wish you all of the best for her……how lucky she has such good people in her life! As always, you are forever my southern hero!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love hearing the story of Diamond, also a lucky pup! Thanks for caring so much about the shelter animals. We plan to love on Fanny until she is shiny and sure, grateful that we have this opportunity and wish so many other deserving dogs had it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Two enormous thumbs up to the lead photo of this post. Of all the animal portraits that I have either seen or shot myself — and they are legion — this is about as close to perfection as I think is possible: lighting, composition, expression, color, emotion, spontaneity and just pure magic. This image has it all, and it deserves to be framed and on someone’s wall. The photographer in me kept scrolling to the top of the page to marvel at it again and again. Wow!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was Nancy – guess I should have given her the photo credit somewhere – I better go back and figure out how to add it! And just so everyone knows – Fanny wasn’t loose in the state part – Nancy photoshopped out her leash (and possibly my leg!).


  3. Those ears! They tell the whole story. From ‘scared’ to ‘ready to fly’!
    Glad you have re-located some of the kitties, and that Daisy has ‘graduated’ to a new foster (hopefully then to a home!) Good luck with Fanny and Flannery (boy, those will be tongue twisters).

    Liked by 1 person

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