adopters, fostering, litters, puppies

Foster Puppies: Quick Before They Escape!

The puppies are thriving and noisy and ever since getting their first taste of freedom in the puppy yard, all they want is “OUT!”

Or at least, that’s what I imagine they are saying as they yip-yip-yap all the live-long day whenever they are left in the puppy room. Thankfully, the weather has been nice and they’ve had plenty of time in the puppy yard. If only I could install my desk out there, we would be all set. As it is, I can’t leave them out there unsupervised.

It’s not just my crazy-paranoia about chicken hawks (who have stolen my chickens, so what’s to keep them from taking a puppy?), it’s also that they have been carrying on a quiet campaign to dig under the fence. Each time I put a stop to it by either using a board or rock or – and to be honest this works best – dog poop in the hole. But I have to stay vigilant as these are clever and adventurous pups.

Over the weekend, Nick and I (and Fanny and Mia) took a quick trip down to Chateau Frankie to fix the washing machine and do a little general clean up.

This left Ian in charge of the puppies. He has not appreciated their enthusiastic cheering while taking his online classes in a room above them and only agreed grudgingly to watch over them while we were gone. He taunted me by text, suggesting he might have forgetten to latch the gate.

I worried, but for no reason because as always Ian stepped up to the task. In fact, he managed them better than I—giving them lots and lots of outside time. So much that he bragged that he only had to clean up two poops inside while we were gone.

The pups have finally figured out that the puppy pads are for pooping and also seem to realize that outside is the best place to go, especially when we hustle them out the door the moment they finish eating (which is record speed these days—adopters might want to invest in slow down bowls!).

Ian was also able to get plenty of workouts in—by carrying them all out at once in a laundry basket, which required juggling fifty shifting pounds while speedwalking (and repeating that to get them back in). When he was outside, he ran laps around the yard with the pups charging after them to efficiently wear them out.

Nancy came for a photo shoot and we attempted to get a group shot first using a stick…

and then on the steps, both proved impossible but highly entertaining.

In the end, Nancy used photoshop to create a group shot.

Four out of five have approved adopters who sound more than ready for their tiny charges, and the remaining puppy has a line of applicants. Most of the puppies will have fur-siblings which is a great thing as they will need help running off this level of energy. Two of the pups will be adopted in to the same extended family so they will get to grow up together (but not in the same house), which warms my soul.

We are contemplating a 2021 Another Good Dog calendar. Last year we made one using Bell’s pups, but this year’s would have a mix of dogs and puppies. The money used would go toward our upcoming Who Will Let the Dogs Out trip in January to Florida (via NC and GA and home through AL and TN).

The puppies are set to go home this weekend and my family is ready for the peace and quiet! It feels like this bunch was a whirlwind that flew through our home. It went by too fast.

Thanks for reading!


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit where you can also find 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). And be sure to join me LIVE every Tuesday on the 100 Dogs Facebook page for “Let’s Talk Rescue” where we continue the conversation started by the book.

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.

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 where you can follow the blog that shares stories or find the ink to our brand new podcast!

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:

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