adopters, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, puppies, returned dogs, Who Will Let the Dogs Out

Doing the Impossible Requires Rose-Colored Glasses (or I Believe in Adoption Magic)

A week ago, I still had four foster dogs under my roof.

That’s not so odd (for me) except that on Friday I leave for a ten-day whirlwind tour of 16 rescues, shelters, and pounds in Tennessee, Mississippi, and the tail of Missouri as part of Who Will Let the Dogs Out (an initiative of Operation Paws for Homes).

Leaving foster dogs at the house for my busy husband and my even-busier son to care for in my absence isn’t really an option. Which meant I had one week to get four dogs adopted. Could it be done? Especially when two of those dogs had already been returned once?

I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I believe in adoption magic, good juju, and that things-happen-for-a-reason.

I live with permanent rose-colored glasses affixed to my face, just ask my Eeyore husband — I think everything is possible. My reflex response to his questions and the doubters in my path is: Of course, this will work.

(And my second response is – Don’t get upset about something until you have to get upset, no sense wasting emotion. I think the poster in our elementary school guidance counselor’s office says it all – Save the drama for your llama!).

These life-philosophies have been hard-earned and severely tested during my half-century on earth and I stand by them.

So when I signed on to foster three puppies and then picked up a dog at boarding and another on transport (even while my latest foster was still on a 30-day trial), with less than a month to go until the big trip, it didn’t seem the slightest bit unreasonable, let alone undoable. Cake. Walk.

But with just over a week to go until lift-off, I still had two puppies and two dogs. Was I worried? (Only my confessor Fanny Wiggles could tell you and she’s a quiet dog.)

As expected (at least by me) things fell into place.

First Manny went home with a woman who considers three dogs necessary for a proper home. It’s probably a good thing that the three dogs combined weight is less than 50 pounds. So I think that’s the equivalent of having one squirrely lab.


On Saturday, Bo went home with a woman I’ve known since I regularly yelled at her in a riding ring several decades ago. She and her family and her au pair are the lucky adopters who landed this awesome dog. I stand by my assessment that dogs don’t come much nicer than my buddy Bowflex and so far, the second time seems to be the charm.

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On Monday Rockee was adopted by a wonderful woman (whose daughter is a newly minted veterinarian!) and her dog Louie. It’s an awesome home with dog-smart people and a very chill furbrother. He’s doing great with the people and with Louie so far, but is finding the cats irresistible, so let’s all cross fingers that Rockee and the kitties can work it out.

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And then today, the last of my fosters, Jack, went home with a woman who has waited much too long for a new dog and will certainly spoil him all of his days. This is literally true as [spoiler alert] his new adopters are Santa and Mrs. Claus. (Thank goodness because Jack—now Augie Doggie—is such a great pup that even this avowed non-small dog person who will never adopt another puppy, was daydreaming about foster-failing on him!)


So, shew, right? Now it’s time to load up the car and head south.

Nancy and I leave Friday afternoon to begin our odyssey through Tennessee, Mississippi, and the tail of Missouri, hoping to bring awareness and resources to dogs (and people) who desperately need it. If you’d like to follow along, be sure to subscribe to the blog ( and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

We will post stories, pictures, videos, and ideas for how you can help. I remain convinced that the problem of homeless dogs in the south is not that people don’t care but that they don’t know. Help us tell them.

And yes, even without my rose-colored glasses, I am certain that we can fix this problem. That said, it will take ALL of us (including YOU).

Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate. Tell someone. Awareness is the first step to change.

Thanks for reading!

Cara Sue Achterberg with pupCara

If you’d like regular updates of all my foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips from OPH training, 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.

Another Good Dog coverIf you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs . It’s available anywhere books are sold.

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

Many of the pictures on my blog are taken by photographer Nancy Slattery. If you’d like to connect with Nancy to take gorgeous pictures of your pup (or your family), contact:




4 thoughts on “Doing the Impossible Requires Rose-Colored Glasses (or I Believe in Adoption Magic)”

  1. Good job on those 4 adoptions!! I’m pretty sure one of mine will be adopted tomorrow. Julie, my little hound-mix puppy, is still quite shy (feral when I rescued her) and might take another few weeks unless the right person happens along. I am looking forward to your blogs about MS, TN, and MO. I can’t wait until you come to NC in April.

    Liked by 1 person

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