Diary, dog rescue, fostering, puppies

Diary of a Rescue Week Four: A Week of Growing Puppies

The puppies are doing well. Growing plump and busy.

litter 4-23

It is odd to be raising them in such isolation. Normally, by now, we would be having lots of visitors to help with socialization and even a few potential adopters would be stopping by to meet them. Until they get the all-clear from the vet next week, the rescue has not offered them to the people on the Puppy Waiting List (approved adopters who have been through the application process and are just waiting for the right puppy) or put them on the website. I expect them to be cleared on Monday, but I qualify my assumptions these days.

Below are the diary entries from this week. If you’d like to read them in real time, follow my public Facebook page. You can also catch daily live videos of them on that page or the Another Good Dog Facebook group.

Diary of a Rescue Day 22:

Puppies are doing great. Pippin continues to thrive- still sleeping a lot but more animated when she is awake. Weight gains for everyone. They seem to have imprinted on me- even if I just stop in to check on them they scream like school girls at a Beatle concert.

Tomorrow we will move them out of the box (at their insistence). I’m hoping we don’t have any escapees tonight – they are almost over the wall.

I was overwhelmed by the donations of formula (we’d just run out!), puppy food (the pups are huge fans of the new cans), toys and treats that arrived today. Between these gifts and the two bags of towels that arrived this week, I am feeling so blessed- thanks for the support.


Diary of a Rescue Day 23:

Today the puppies moved out of their box! We set up the puppy room which is actually our mudroom/plant room retrofitted for puppies.

They seem to love the new space but I have yet to see one gallop across their new expanse!

Still, it’s nice to have a little room. They are all loving the canned food that arrived yesterday from donations! No more slurpified dry kibble!

Mia is doing well in her new foster home- I was so relieved to hear that they love her and she is making nice (through a gate) with their dog.

All is good here. I haven’t done weights yet, but I’m sure they are all thriving and happy.


Diary of a Rescue Day 24:

It’s been a good day in the puppy pen. Everyone is thriving. Pippin was more active and playing with the other pups- you can see her in action- brown collar.

My one frustration is that they aren’t doing very well with the puppy pads and a few of them poop wherever they are – on their bed, on/near the water bowl, on the toys, in front of the gate (creating a little booby trap for me).

With my worries about hookworms that means I do a lot of cleaning and/or throwing of towels over the fowler areas. Which means lots of laundry. Luckily it’s sunny and windy today so I can use the clothesline for some extra sanitization beyond the hot water/bleach. Puppies are work! Wormy puppies are more work!

It is all worth it though as I watch their health bloom. They are sweet puppies with fun personalities. To see them in action, check out the Live video I posted earlier this afternoon.

Like many rescues, we are getting lots of new fosters. OPH brought up 40 puppies on a transport Friday night- so if you or anyone you know is looking for a puppy, we have a huge selection on the site and plenty more coming (including a Great Dane litter!).

#fosteringsaveslives #opttoadopt

Diary of a Rescue Day 25:

I made a little video tour of the puppy digs for you. The puppies are doing well. Mr Misto and Dolly are closing in on 4 pounds and everyone is at least 2. Mia is also doing well in her new foster home. I’ll share pictures and news of her soon!
#opttoadopt #fosterpuppies

Diary of a Rescue Day 26:

I didn’t have a chance to write on this day, but here’s a live video from the day:

Diary of a Rescue Day 27:

Pups are doing well, even managing to use their puppy pads occasionally (of course I’ve had to create an expanse of puppy pad territory in their pen to increase their odds).

Today my friend Nancy, who is a professional photographer came by to take belated senior pictures of my son. After we finished that shoot (torturing him with multiple costumes changes, locations, and awkward poses), she took some shots of the puppies.

I’ll post those as soon as I get them. Meanwhile, These pictures of Nancy taking their pictures may give you some perspective as to just how tiny they are.

At 4.9 pounds, Mr Mistopheles is the biggest and at 2.8 pounds, Cinderella is the smallest. At those weights, according to the puppy growth chart they will only be between 15 and 25 pounds!

So now I’m beginning to think daddy was a chihuahua!

#littlepuppies become #smalldogs

Diary of a Rescue Day 28:

A month with these monsters! It seems impossible it’s been that long. They are thoroughly bonded to me. I have to sneak past their room or they erupt.

Normally by now we’d be having regular visitors stopping by daily, helping us to socialize them. Instead, it’s just me (my kids have long ago gotten over having puppies in the house).

I worry that they are not getting enough socialization so I’ve begun pressuring the kids (plus Ian’s girlfriend) to spend time with them. It really says something when you have to strong-arm your children into playing with puppies!

Hopefully, soon it will get warmer and they can get outside and have some adventures. That will also increase the odds of the kids hanging out with them when it’s not in a tiny poop-covered space.

#lonelypuppies #socialdistancing isn’t for everyone.

Thanks for reading!


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.

100 dogs coverFor information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com. I have a new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One  Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, coming out in July. If it sounds like something you’d like to read, I’d be beyond grateful if you’d consider preordering it. Preorders contribute to the success of the book, not only giving me and my publisher some peace of mind but hopefully attracting media attention.

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 WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org.

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 carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

4 thoughts on “Diary of a Rescue Week Four: A Week of Growing Puppies”

  1. Interesting post. Honestly, I can understand both yours and your children’s attitudes towards the puppies, having lived for just under a month with two just after my mom and aunt got their retrievers. My aunt and uncle went to Alaska for a cruise that’d been planned well in advance (the puppies were a last-minute purchase after my uncle saw an advert for them in the paper) and my dog-loving mom agreed to have their puppy, along with ours, until their return. I was sixteen, not much of a puppy fan (it was easier for me to be around them when they were older and calmer), and spent the last bit of June and most of July primarily in the basement, away from them and their antics. My mom made a puppy pen out of the garage, and of course they attracted a lot of visitors. She kept them in the kitchen until they got better in the housebreaking department, and put them in kennels for some peace in the afternoon. She was hoping that I’d help with socializing them, but I admit that I bailed. How do you motivate your kids to spend time with them, given their busy lives? I imagine that their love of dogs works in your favor, at least somewhat. How does Nick feel about them? I did give Gabby (our retriever) and Mindy (my aunt’s dog) attention when they’d be calm, and occasionally gave Gabby the odd treat. Fortunately for me, there were plenty of other people to help with the socialization and training of the puppies. I guess in a normal situation, with people stopping by to help with the puppies, you’d keep the coffee and teapot full? . I remember you saying in another post how you want people to feel welcome in your home. To end on a good note, my mom and I were talking about puppy breeding vs. dog fostering the other day, and she’s all for the latter, wishing that more people would feel the same instead of always rushing to a breeder for furry friends. A woman after your own heart, I’m sure.


    1. Your mom is a woman after my own heart! I think the puppies (like the horses and chickens) are a taken-for-granted thing with my kids. They’ve been around them so long that they are not a novelty, more a chore. I do miss having people stop by to see the puppies, because I think it’s important for the pups to get exposed to lots of different people and different interactions. I don’t want them to grow up shy. We’ll find a workaround I’m sure. It’s a tough time for people and dogs, especially puppies right now.


  2. I agree, puppies need to be socialized, and well at that. So many owners don’t do it enough and then pay later, as do the other people around their dogs. Like you’ve done with your litters, my mom made a point of handling Gabby and Mindy’s paws, mouthes and ears from early on so they would not resist later when they needed work done in those areas. Both dogs developed some health issues, especially with their ears, so needed to have lots of pills and liquid medicines given to them, especially Gabby. They tolerate people giving them their meds, thanks to being taught early on that the people physically handling them mean well. Keep doing your part for man’s best friend. I’m sure that when they’re ready, the puppies will go to loving homes. Then, for you, it’ll be onto the next litter. Hopefully, whenever it comes, there’ll be few or no problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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