adopters, documentary, dog books, dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, owner responsibility

A Dog Worth Saving

I’ve been sitting on some great news — and dying to tell you but practicing patience.

I’ve held off because you know me and jinxes, and if ever a dog was jinxed it was Mia. A series of bad luck and bad management had created a perfect storm that led to her being with us for over a year as our foster dog.

When dogs linger with us, I always tell myself to trust in the ‘adoption magic.’ The right family and the right home will appear at the right time. I’ve seen it happen countless times now. Certainly a dog as special and loving and fun and smart as Mia was stalled at our house because the family that was just as special and loving and fun and smart just wasn’t ready yet.

Well, people, the wait truly paid off this time! Mia is finally home with the kind of family she deserves.

Over the last two and a half weeks since she was adopted, I’ve gotten near daily pictures and videos of the love story that has been unfolding in her new home. Her people love her and she clearly loves them!

She is being spoiled as she so deserves. She is the first family dog for her wonderful family, and I fear the bar is being set pretty high. It’s awfully rare to adopt a dog that is already solidly housebroken, crate-trained, playful, fun, nondestructive, quiet, and friendly.

Mia does have some serious energy, but so does her new family. She also knows how to relax and chill, and from what I’ve seen, so does her new family. Is she perfect? No. But her family is more than willing to work on the areas, like leash pulling, where she still needs some work.

Due to her adoption history, I offered that OPH could give Mia a trial adoption period. Her new mom said, “If we take her home, she’s ours. There will be no returning. If stuff comes up, we’ll work through it and get help if we need it.”

That’s the kind of adopter every dog deserves. No dog is perfect, no person is perfect, and once we all put down those expectations we can get to the business of loving each other for a lifetime.

Early on, I sent this graphic to Mia’s adopters. The 3-3-3 rule is well-known in rescue, but I think it’s important to stress it for anyone adopting a dog, especially a rescue or shelter dog.

I am so happy for Mia. Knowing she is settling in and happy, and seeing the evidence of that on a regular basis simply fills my heart. It’s why we foster.

When I think of what could have happened to this sweet pup and how badly humans have failed her, I’m just grateful beyond reason. We often give up too easily and accept situations that are not fair or right, believing there is nothing we can do. There is always something we can do. We just have to choose to do it.

We will be on a fostering hiatus while we sell our house and move to Virginia, but I won’t stop working for change. I’ll be working hard via, Who Will Let the Dogs Out and our film, Amber’s Halfway Home. Using it as a tool to spread the message that the problem of adoptable dogs suffering and dying in our nation’s shelters and dog pounds is absolutely fixable. And fixing it starts with awareness. Our hope is the film will open eyes and hearts and inspire change. Here is a little teaser…

(Miller is a dog much like Mia who is still waiting his forever home at a rescue in Indiana)

Once we are settled in Virginia, I’ll also begin touring for, 100 Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, which will be released in paperback in September, sharing its message of the challenges and joys of fostering, along with my absolute believe that with awareness and leadership, we can bring the change that will save lives like Mia’s and so many other deserving dogs.

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit where you can also find more information on my 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 my latest novel, Blind Turn (Black Rose Writing, Jan 2021)

If you’d like regular updates of all our 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, find the link to our podcast, and keep up with all that is happening with Amber’s Halfway Home, our short documentary film about rescue in the dog pounds of Tennessee.

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:

15 thoughts on “A Dog Worth Saving”

  1. So happy for Mia and her forever family!! We adopted our OPH doggie Pepper for the two week trial as well and almost five years later, she is still with us. Thank you and all OPH fosters for your hard work and endless love. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great news about Mia! It’s a win for everyone involved. I am so appreciative of your efforts on behalf of dogs. I know that your life is enriched through these animals and their eventual families. We will miss you in southern PA.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad that Mia found her forever home. I hope it truly will be for forever. What’s the 3-3-3 rule? All the best with your move. Things are looking up more and more these days on many fronts. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello! Another York County PA area reader here. Great to see fostering and adoption working out well! We have recently donated to second chance locally. (My wife does most of the donating). She’s also ironically starting up a dog blog, just not yet published. We have 3 dogs and would totally consider fostering more dogs, but at the moment with grandma living with us, probably best not to have more dogs at the moment. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – how fun, another dog blog! What is the address? We are also a three dog family and taking a hiatus from fostering. We do hope to get back to it once we finish our move (to Woodstock, Virginia) this summer. We will likely stick to puppies and/or cats, though. Walking a fourth dog might consume my life! Thanks for reaching out and for fostering. If I can help your wife with her blog in any way, please do let me know!


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