dog books, dog rescue, Estelle, Flannery Oconnor, foster dogs, fostering, Fruitcake, Gala, Giving Tuesday Pups, Highway Puppies, Hops, Hula Hoop, Miss Fanny Wiggles, Nelson, Oberyn, Oreo, Pepper Puppers, writing

My Hope and My Thanks

Today is the RELEASE DAY for 100 Dogs & Counting.

With all the hoopla and hope, I almost didn’t post to this blog. I still have no foster dog, just plans to babysit Mama Mia who is being returned. As far as my foster world, there isn’t much to tell. Beau is still here and doing fine.

Launching a book virtually means learning new software and platforms and getting comfortable with how I look/sound on camera. It means asking for a lot of help. This is not my forte, to say the least. But this book is too important. It simply can’t get lost in the news of today, even though the news of today itself is overwhelming.

I’ve been fairly late to the game of online book promotion because for the last few months I’ve been stunned into near non-action by the enormity of the challenge and the frustration of being stuck home. Thankfully, I have a wonderful group of people who stepped up to help me as my Launch Team and because of them, I finally began looking for the possibilities instead of the challenges.

And it’s not just the current book demanding my attention. I just received the line-edit for my next novel, which comes out in January. I have two weeks to go through the entire manuscript and get it back to the publisher. Timing, right? As an author, I’m not complaining, it’s a good problem to have, but as a human being, I’m running at mental and emotional capacity.

And then there’s our cabin—we are down to the wire on our own self-imposed deadline (well, the bank’s too, really) to have it ready to rent by August. There are still projects to finish, a website to complete, and, oh yeah, it’s summer so the gardens are in full swing and thanks to COVID-19, all my adult children are living here.

Breathe. That’s what I have to remind myself.

So, up until this morning, I had no plans to post to this blog today, but then….

I started thinking about this community—readers, adopters, other fosters, volunteers, and dog-hearted people. You have supported me through so much—losing dogs and saving dogs, laughing about their antics, and my trial & error training efforts, but most especially, you have supported my trips south to learn and write about the shelters.

100 Dogs & Counting began in my stories for this blog—for you. If you have a chance to read it, you will definitely recognize a few faces. Dogs whose stories you followed and celebrated when they found forever families.

But you will also learn a little about what was happening behind the scenes. I worked very hard in this book to be absolutely honest about my own feelings. Rescue is not easy. I find ways to share the humor and the heart of fostering with you on this blog, but behind that there is pain and growth and frustration and oh, so much learning.

I’m excited to introduce you to some of the heroes who saved many of the dogs who came through my door and thousands of others. They sacrifice so much and inspire me to do more. Their stories will touch your heart and make you grateful for the dog in your life.

Someday I hope I will not need to foster or write so much about shelters and rescue. I’d like to get back to writing novels (fiction is so much more fun!). This crazy detour on my writing path has come to consume my heart.

I think it is not crazy to believe that the day will come when all shelters will be supported by strong volunteers and invested communities which will allow them to educate and be a resource for pet owners, a temporary safe place for an animal between homes. I look forward to the day when shelters will have their own foster programs and the overwhelming need for rescue will end. I believe that day is coming and I’m willing to work to see it happen.

Fostering, visiting the shelters, writing about it on this blog and in the book Another Good Dog, starting Who Will Let the Dogs Out and now writing this book, are first steps. There are plenty of steps left to take.

Thank you for being my community, supporting my work, loving my dogs, and joining me in this campaign to bring about a day when every dog has a home.

Tonight I will be hosting a virtual Launch Party on the Facebook page, 100 Dogs and Counting at 7pm (Eastern). I hope you will join me to celebrate. Many of you sent me pictures of your dogs for my 100 Dogs video montage which will be featured, plus there will be readings, door prizes, special guests, and of course, plenty of dogs. I promise there will also be plenty of glitches  (Isn’t that why people watch car racing—for the crashes?) It won’t be polished, but it will be heartfelt.

Launch party invite

One more favor! If you do read 100 Dogs & Counting (which I hope you will), please help me spread the word by reviewing it on Amazon, goodreads, or any review site. But most importantly, tell others about its message.

I say it again and again—this is fixable. Good dogs do not need to suffer or die in this country. It is far beyond time for change.

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.

For information on me, my writing, and books, visit You can find even more information on my new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One  Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, (Pegasus Books, July 2020) on the book’s very own Facebook page and Instagram account.

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.

If 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:


13 thoughts on “My Hope and My Thanks”

  1. So happy for you, Cara! I’ve ordered my copy from my local (independent) bookstore — which can operate only virtually right now and is struggling to hold on until all this craziness passes — and am anxiously awaiting its delivery. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to have you sign it one day.

    You have been such an inspiration to me — not just because of all you do for animals, but as a writer as well. If I am every fortunate enough to find an agent and get my own novel published, you will be one of the ones for which I’ll be thankful and appreciative for helping me with my query letter and giving me hope that I could do it, too.

    Again, way to go! You’re awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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