dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, litters, puppies

It’s the Cuteness That Saves Them

What can I say about the puppies? They are adorable, but a ton of work. Every time I get to this point (six weeks), I wonder why I do this and swear I will never do it again.

Like small children, I suppose, it’s the cuteness that keeps us from tossing them out on their ears. This bunch is especially cute, with something for every taste. Only four puppies are officially spoken for, so if you’re considering a puppy in your lives (and you’re ready for the work that involves), let me tell you who is still available…

Yuengling is still looking for his forever family and this kind of shocks me, since I think he is one of THE most adorable in an already adorable litter. He is fuzzy and fat like a little bear cub. His chunky face and brown butt remind me of a rottweiler, but he won’t be quite as big as a real rottie, probably landing somewhere in the vicinity of fifty pounds. He is quite the personality – always ready to play, seriously into people, and content to amuse himself with a toy when no siblings or people are available. He’s one of the few puppies (alas!) who regularly uses the puppy pads.

Seneca is a strikingly beautiful pup whose face reminds me of her mother. A gorgeous black lab like she is, I’m surprised she hasn’t been snapped up. She is almost entirely black, long legged, with shorter hair than some of the other puppies. She is VERY people-oriented, preferring all of my attention and not afraid to ask for it. She should top out around sixty pounds full grown and no doubt be as gorgeous and people-friendly as her mom.

Utz is one of the smaller pups. He’s easy-going and very people-friendly, but loves, loves, loves his toys. He always knows when I throw a new toy into the pen. As of this writing, he does not have an approved adopter, but I don’t imagine he’ll last long, as cute and nice as this pup is. He should end up about fifty pounds full grown.

Rocky is still scrawny and small. She is feisty, but wears out quickly. She looks so different than the others and is obviously the runt. Someone compared her to the grinches’ dog, probably because she isn’t fat and sleek like the others, instead she is a bit bow-legged, has very little body fat, and her fur is still patchy in places. This little pup has a great personality, though, tough with the other pups not allowing them to push her around and interested in everyone who visits. Considering she is about half the size of the others, she absolutely holds her own. She is still available for adoption with no applications, and I have a feeling she’ll be here a while so we can get her fat and healthy like her siblings. To that end, she is headed to the vet tomorrow to get a thorough check up so we can be certain she is healthy and ready to go to a forever home.

Hoagie is still available for adoption. This big, fuzzy hunk of sweetness will be easy to love. I find myself gravitating to him and holding him more than the others as he’s just that snuggly. He is a quieter pup than the others, a little hesitant to join the chaos, but once he does he brings his game. He will likely top out at about 60 pounds.

Hershey has approved adopters, but they are still considering the charms of all the pups and deciding which one is the pup that will be best for their family. Hershey only gets cuter. His chocolate color, combined with those light brown socks and tiny tan eyebrows are pretty irresistible. He can, on occasion, have a hound’s countenance, which gains him sympathy points with whoever is visiting. This guy is an all-around nice dog—not too wild, but definitely not shy.

Keystone, Tastykake, and Nittany are all adoption pending with adopters who seemed committed to bringing them home, but as I tell everyone, that should never stop you from applying if you feel a puppy is right for you since situations change and nothing is a done deal until the deal is done. Keystone is the big boy of the bunch, weighing in at nearly ten pounds at six weeks (which put him at nearly 75 pounds full-grown on my puppy growth chart!).

Tastykake is still the demanding lovebug and is the second biggest puppy.

Nittany is a love—gentler than some of the others, quiet but playful.

Nancy Slattery, the photographer who many of the pictures above, plus the holiday pictures, is working with me to create an Another Good Dog puppy calendar featuring the PA pups. We’ll be offering them for sale very soon as a fundraiser for, a mission of OPH that will take the two of us to pounds and shelters in Tennessee and Mississippi this February to raise awareness of the dogs in need in those states. I hope to have information on the Facebook group and this blog by the end of the week just in case anyone wants to purchase one for their holiday list!

Meanwhile, Bell is doing wonderfully. She is friendly and affectionate and finally (finally!) putting on weight and filling out. She is simply beautiful but tragically not very photogenic as she is always in motion.

This girl will need an active adopter who is looking for a running buddy or hiking pal. She is smart and busy, but thankfully respects fences and gates (she’s tall enough to scale them). As a houseguest, she is doing great in her crate and almost has the hang of housetraining. She is curious about what’s on the counter (easily within her reach) but so far is demonstrating great restraint. She does seem to adore my shoes, but has yet to do any real damage, preferring to simply carry them around or lick them (my shoes have never been cleaner).

Bell will be available to go home in early January, but if you are interested in adopting her, you should go ahead and apply even though she will not appear on the sight until closer to the New Year.

If you’re local and would like to visit puppies, feel free to reach out to me. The more socialization they can get at this point, the better.

One last thing – Today is Giving Tuesday. If you’d like to support the work we do at OPH, I’d be grateful if you considered donating to the fundraiser I set up for OPH. Adoption fees do not cover the cost of rescuing, as we often pull dogs that have medical needs. Rocky is headed to the vet tomorrow and I don’t know what we’ll find. I do know that no matter what it is, OPH will take care of her, and to do that it takes money, so if you are looking for a place to make your tax-deductible donation this holiday season, please consider OPH.

Thanks for reading!


Cara Sue Achterberg with pupIf you’d like regular updates all my foster dogs past and present, plus regular videos of the PA pups, be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

For information on me, my writing, and my upcoming book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One  Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, visit

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit

Our family fosters through the all-breed rescue, Operation Paws for Homes, a network of foster homes in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and south-central PA.

Recently released from Pegasus Books and available anywhere books are sold: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at





9 thoughts on “It’s the Cuteness That Saves Them”

  1. I would give if I could but as usual I don’t have a plug nickel to spare. Went to the store this morning and bought for my 2 dogs first, as always. I love Rocky and hope her appointment goes well. Seneca is so beautiful. I was brought up in Geneva NY on Seneca Lake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries – I made my goal and taking care of your pups should always be your priority! I didn’t know there was a Seneca Lake – she is a beauty and currently without an adopter much to my shock. I really thought she’d be one of the first picked. Thanks for reading!!


  2. This is your FB friend Peggy Wentz and I definitely want a calendar this year! Just so you know. Let me know your price and address and I will get you a check in the mail! I will miss seeing the puppies, but will be able to look at them all next yr!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The calendar is going to be AMAZING. I was just looking at Nancy’s pictures! I’ll post information on the facebook group as soon as I have it and also plenty of the ‘bad’ pictures which are equally amazing. The group shot outtakes are hilarious too.


  3. I love this post! (And just quoted you on Welcome Paws!) It’s true that puppies are adorable headaches…and back aches….and laundry machine breakers….and altogether lovable (and it is clear how much you love them all as you describe them). It is amazing how much work caring for a litter of puppies can be; maybe more amazing that we know this and keep signing up for the job again and again!
    Thank you for posting about your experiences (and for having them in the first place!). Now take a deep breath and get back to cleaning! And socializing! And feeding! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enjoy your peaceful time, you’ll be in the thick of this mess any day now I would imagine! At least you should only have half as much poo! We must have some kind of kink in the brain to keep signing up for this, but I suppose this part of the fostering puppies is like labor and we forget it almost as soon as it’s over! Good luck with yours!

      Liked by 1 person

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