adopters, Dixieland, dog rescue, Fanny, former foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, Gracie, puppies

Who Doesn’t Love a Happy Ending?

What a special week it is for ten lucky families! All of the PA Pups went home to forever families last week.

It is always fun when families come to pick up their pups – so much excitement and joy! Of course, that joy is likely tempered when they get home and the whining and housetraining and teething begins in earnest, but from my end it’s always fun!

I stressed to all my adopters how important it is for them to set their pups up for success by intentionally socializing them by introducing their pups to all kinds of people and other dogs. I tell them to handle their pup’s feet and ears and teeth early on so that care is easier down the road, and always (always) use positive reinforcement to train their pup. It will be fun to watch them grow up and every update on the Another Good Dog facebook group is a joy to see.

If you don’t know the story of the PA Pups, how close they came to having their tiny lives snuffed out before they’d even taken a breath, and why this is such a special rescue, read the story here.

FebIf you didn’t get your copy of the PA Pups calendar before we sold out, you’re in luck! I’ve ordered more and you can get yours by emailing me ( to set up payment and delivery. Every penny made on these calendars will go towards the next trip for Who Will Let the Dogs Out, a mission of OPH that I will be telling you LOTS about in the new year. The goal of WWLTDO (I call it Waldo for short) is to raise awareness about the situation in southern shelters to bring about change so that someday there will be no need for my puppy room.

With the puppies launched, it is time to focus on their mama. Liberty Bell is doing well, finally getting to a healthy weight and learning how to live in a household. She does extremely well in her crate, which is remarkable because this girl is one active pup. She has energy to spare. She and Fanny love to full-on wrestle every day.

We took Bell with Fanny and Gracie to the dog park and then for baths. This was Bell’s first real bath since she left the shelter and was long-overdue. She wasn’t thrilled by the experience but now she smells much better and her coat is shiny.

Bell is learning leash manners and loves to go for walks and hikes. She has easily mastered ‘sit’ and comes when called. She’s a smart girl, so I’m confident she could learn nearly anything. She loves to play fetch and enjoys pretty much every toy we offer her. That busy mind needs activity.

If you, or someone you know, is looking for a training partner to help them with their new year’s resolution to get more exercise, Liberty Bell is your girl. She is a loving, affectionate, active dog looking for a forever home of her own. Now that her pups are launched, it’s time to find her a happy ending of her own.

Bell and her puppies were so lucky, but their story isn’t common. Too many puppies and dogs never even get a chance at a happy ending. This is what motivates me to continue to foster even when it isn’t easy. It’s what inspires me to write and sends me south again and again to learn the stories and spread the word. And in 2020, it will be highlighted in my upcoming book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (July 2020 from Pegasus Books).

My Christmas wish is that stories like the PA Pups will inspire YOU to get involved in 2020. We need every hand and heart we can get.

Later this week, we’ll be hosting one of our previous foster mama dogs; we’ll be babysitting Dixieland for a few days while her family is away. I offer this service to former foster dogs in exchange for a donation to Waldo. It’s a win-win. We get to see one of our dogs and raise money for shelter dogs at the same time. Be sure to watch on the Another Good Dog facebook group for pictures of Dixie!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday whatever your tradition. Hold the ones you love close, spoil your pups, and take nothing for granted.

Thanks for reading!

CaraCara Sue Achterberg with pup

If 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



3 thoughts on “Who Doesn’t Love a Happy Ending?”

  1. What a beautiful, happy ending! The smiles on the faces of those ten families just warms my heart. Thank you for rescuing these adorable puppies and their beautiful mamma, Bell! Your are a true hero in my book.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What happy photos of the pups with their new families! And beautiful shots of Bell!
    I love your dog-sitting policy. We know and live nearby several of our former fosters and love the opportunity to walk or dog sit them. What a neat idea to suggest a donation to help other dogs in need, thereby continuing the mission. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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