adopters, dog rescue, fostering, oph, owner responsibility, poop, puppies, training, Who Will Let the Dogs Out

My Hope for These Puppies

There is not much to tell about this past week in our foster world.

The puppies got cuter.

The mess got bigger.

I am ready for them to go home.

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Today they will get vaccinations, deworming, and their first heartworm preventative. And tomorrow seven of them will leave. The other two by Saturday.

Meet and Greets will be much different than any of my other litters. Usually, by now, I’ve met the adopters – they’ve come to visit and met their puppy weeks ago. It will be odd to hand these puppies over to strangers I’ve only just met.

Thankfully, I work with an awesome adoption coordinator and a team of people who do an outstanding job processing applications and checking references. The people who come up my driveway are qualified to adopt these puppies. And I have to trust that they are ready for the responsibility of raising a puppy and that they will love them beyond all reason.

But here’s what I really hope.

I hope they will ask for help when they need it. When they are frustrated and unsure how to handle their puppy—I hope they will reach out to the dog-hearted community. OPH has an entire Rescue Adopted Village with over two thousand members who are ready with advice, sympathy, and support. The community in the Another Good Dog Facebook group is a wonderful resource; they have watched these puppies grow and will be thrilled to share in the joys of raising them. I am always a resource, not that I know everything about raising a puppy, but I can point towards others who do.

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I hope they will work hard to say ‘yes’ to their puppies instead of ‘no.’ I hope they always, always, always look for a positive way to teach their puppies. I hope they will remember that puppies don’t understand English and have no idea they shouldn’t poop in the house or bite a finger or chew up a shoe. When they do these things, they aren’t being ‘bad,’ they just don’t know the house rules. I hope adopters will remember that puppies have the comprehension of a two or three-year-old and treat them as such, remembering that toddlers need repetition, praise, and opportunities to figure things out.

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I hope they will be their puppies best advocate, protecting them from dangers in their house and world, supervising them with children, and when their puppies are overtired or frustrated, offer them comfort and a safe place to escape, so that they feel safe.

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I have a million suggestions, but they all come down to this – I hope these adopters will love their puppies and remember that good dogs don’t just happen, you have to raise them. These are good puppies who will be good dogs—if you put the time and effort in.

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Now they are ready to start their forever lives with their forever families, and I am ready to send them out the door. Seven weeks have flown by and they have been a joy and a trial.

I’ve thought of Elphaba a lot this week, remembering her. She looked so much like Evan Hansen and would have been a gorgeous dog. Her death haunts me, but I know that it will likely save the lives of puppies to come.

Rescue isn’t always easy. Puppies are adorable, but this bunch has been hard on my heart. So, I’m going to take a break from puppies and foster a special dog I met two months ago while in the south with Who Will Let the Dogs Out. If all goes well, he will arrive this Friday.

If you can’t get enough of these puppies and would like to support the work of Who Will Let the Dogs Out (an initiative of OPH Rescue), we will be selling sets of 12 notecards featuring the Broadway Babes and the amazing photography of Nancy Slattery. All proceeds go to Who Will Let the Dogs Out and shelter dogs. Each set is $25 (includes shipping). To order, email me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com. You can pay via paypal or check. We have a limited number of cards, so don’t wait!

Thanks for reading!

Cara

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.

F100 dogs coveror 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.

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: nancyslat@gmail.com.

 

 

10 thoughts on “My Hope for These Puppies”

  1. Nice post. Another reminder for me concerning my interactions with dogs of all ages. It’s hard for me to not automatically go to “no” when they misbehave, and I know that parents of two or three year olds can have that tendancy sometimes too. I guess there’s a time and a place for it, and not every negative interaction with a dog calls for it. When do you say no to your dogs, be they puppies or adults? I know you try to maintain a positive relationship with them while still insisting on good manners from them as much as possible. I imagine that just distracting them, or trying to, isn’t always the answer when they get out of line. You’ve obviously learned a lot from your five years of fostering, and I encourage you to keep doing your part for man’s best friend and teaching the rest of us. Everyone has something useful to bring to the table.

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    1. Everyone does have something useful to the table! I love that sentiment. I try to save my no’s for dangerous situations. Messy situations are fixable. The other day, Fanny was off-leash with us playing ball and she saw the horses running in the pasture and started after them, I yelled, “NO!’ so loud I nearly lost my voice. Luckily, she decided I was serious. If I used NO with her all the time, it probably would have not had the same effect.

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      1. Good call. Just yesterday I was at my mom’s, and her neighbor, who looks after Gabby and Mindy most of the time these days, brought them over for a visit. The dogs, not knowing anything about social distancing, ran to her and got a bit too close for my comfort. Sometimes telling them to settle down works, sometimes not. As my mom’s neighbor says, their manners regarding eager greetings haven’t improved much with age. They’re definitely a lot easier to be around now than when they were dogs being trained. I’d take having them in my face for just a few seconds over being jumped on or pawed at any day. Keep doing your part for man’s best friend, and sharing your advice for raising, as your blog is titled
        , another good dog

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