adopters, cats, dog rescue, foster cats, fosterdogs, Pit bull

The Most Adoptable Dogs

I can’t help but think that if my two foster pups were scruffy or curly or smaller or younger, or this was a year ago, they’d be snapped up by now. Instead, these two housebroken, crate-trained, people-friendly, lovely-on-a-leash dogs are spending long lonely days in their crates in my future foster cottage.

Pretty much every rescue and shelter I know is having the same supply chain issues that the big retailers are having – after experiencing serious shortages early on in the pandemic, they are now experiencing the reverse—too much inventory and too few buyers/adopters.

I don’t know if it’s that everyone who was going to get a dog at some point in their lives, already got one during the pandemic, or if people are hesitating to commit to another mouth to feed and heart to love amidst the uncertainty of this moment in time, but either way, it means Abby and Bonnie are stuck in our foster cottage on our new property waiting for their people to come for them.

Hopefully, when Nick and I officially move to the new place this weekend, we will begin to assimilate them into our household, and move them out of the foster cottage. That should make their days more interesting, but honestly, they need forever homes. Especially Bonnie, who is still a puppy and should be having puppy adventures and entertaining more than me with her cricket hunting and toy tossing antics.

Nick and I are doing our best to keep them from being bored out of their gourds, but with moving house and full-time jobs, it is not easy to care for five dogs and five (foster) cats. Everybody gets short-changed.

We did manage to spend a day with the dogs last Friday. We took Fanny and Otis for a nice long hike in the woods and splashed through the creeks (and left Gracie to enjoy a peaceful morning at the house barking at everyone who went by on the sidewalk with no one to scold her!).

And then after lunch, we left Otis and Fanny to nap at home, while we took Bonnie and Abby to a winery. They were overly excited to be there but eventually settled. Nick and I shared a quick wine tasting just before a pack of people arrived and descended upon our exuberant pups who lapped faces and took in plenty of belly rubs.

Abby was beside herself as person after person crouched down to accept her kisses. Bonnie sidled up to people and once she’d hooked them, collapsed in a heap and rolled over to demand belly rubs.

Driving home, I thought, “These are just such great dogs. I can’t believe they aren’t adopted.”

And yet, they are still here with me. I’m fostering them for the Humane Society of Shenandoah County, which is primarily a cat rescue, so the pool of potential adopters is not ready and waiting.

They are listed on petfinder, but as a pit bull mix, Abby is one of the thousands if not tens of thousands of dogs who are overlooked simply because of that label.

And Bonnie is little, but at 30 pounds, not little enough for the small dog people or big enough to actually personify her label of ‘lab mix’.

I think Bonnie is a perfect family dog – she is so easy-going, so loving, so great with people, and with her submissive personality, has done fine with all kinds of dogs. She’s small enough to live in an apartment, but big enough to keep up on any adventure.

I need your help, readers. Please share these dogs with the people you know. I’m going to work on creating videos of each and hope to get them up on my Youtube channel later this week and on Facebook too, so it’s easier to share these precious pups.

Let’s find them the homes they deserve!

And speaking of finding homes, the ladies left on a transport for Carroll County, Maryland yesterday!

Monday morning, my daughter Addie was here and she helped me get tape collars on four out of five of them. Willow was still wary of me ever since I yanked her back in the window by her tail (saving her from plummeting two stories to concrete) when she and Wheezie tore through the accordion window blocker next to the AC unit in some kind of misguided jailbreak.

I’d been sweetening her up with daily treats and didn’t want to waste all my goodwill by slapping on a tape collar, so I sent her without one (‘Willow is the one without the collar’). Catching her yesterday at 5:15am took both Nick and I, plus a towel and the sacrifice of another set of blinds, but happily, she is on her way to someone else’s home.

I wrote this post too soon, though, and jinxed myself.

Shadow and Wheezie were returned by the receiving rescue. Apparently, the rescue is pretty picky (which surprises me since the Humane Society pays to have the cats spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for whatever, etc., and gives them to the receiving rescue for FREE, who then charges an adoption fee – great racket, right?).

Wheezie was refused because of her snaggletooth (one lower tooth protrudes out of her mouth like a tiny horn. The vet said it didn’t get in the way of her eating and didn’t need to be removed, but I guess it was too unsightly for the rescue). You can kind of see it here, coming out of the right side (your left) of her mouth. Yeah, so unsightly, right?

Shadow was returned because the hair had still not fully grown back in where she had an allergic reaction, so she had two small bare patches of skin showing. You really can’t see the bare spots, unless you’re looking for them, but they are behind one ear and on the back of her neck. The Humane Society paid to have them tested and treated, but the vet couldn’t come up with anything other than a possible allergic reaction and gave her a steroid shot, antibiotics, and a skin cream.

Wheezie went to a different foster so that she can be taken to the vet to have the tooth removed (not an inexpensive task!) and Shadow came back to me to hang around until her bare patches fill in.

I had planned to be catless, but we’ll figure it out. For the next month or so we will be renovating the cottage on our new property where I will have a writing studio and foster animals. And if it’s anything like the rest of the property, once we start taking up floors and taking down walls, we’ll find even more work to be done. I’ve been trying to think of our new place as a ‘mouse and cookie house’ (one thing leads to another) rather than a money pit, focusing on the ultimate goal – a delightful little homestead and writing studio/foster cottage.

Have a fabulous Labor Day weekend! Oh, wait, before you go, be sure to check out the upcoming online auction we’re having at Who Will Let the Dogs Out to raise money for our fall tour and our emergency shelter fund! Great cause and great stuff! It starts on Tuesday! Click here to learn more.

Alright, that’s it, but don’t forget about Bonnie and Abby – spread the word!

Until Each One Has a Home,

Cara

For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com.

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) 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 WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.

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.

14 thoughts on “The Most Adoptable Dogs”

  1. Hi. My dog was a stray. Not chipped. We plan to keep her but she is an extremely picky eater. Nothing I make her appeals to her. So far rice mixed with ground turkey. Boiled chicken livers. Several brands of dried dog food. Cube steak. Chicken breast. All I want is to put food down and see her eat hearty. But it mostly sits all day. Any suggestions. I will try or buy anything. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a dog who’d lost the will to live — long story. When he came to live with me, he wouldn’t eat. He just didn’t care any more. I changed his mind by hand-feeding him scrambled eggs. It took a couple of days. Seriously. Another thing my dogs will eat when they won’t eat anything, b their stomach is upset is rice boiled with chicken. Sometimes dogs won’t eat because they are afraid, not of you, but just in general.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My pup, Fanny, is also picky and we usually put a ‘food topper’ on her food – either some canned food or a commercial food topper (Chewy has a lot of options), and then add warm water. I only feed Taste of the Wild dry food (my dogs like the salmon formula). There are days Fanny doesn’t want to eat – I don’t leave food in front of her. If she doesn’t want to eat, I remove the bowl and freshen it up at the next meal time with more warm water and topper. She’s a good weight these days, still picky, and still occasionally skips a meal. Some dogs are just that way.

      When I’ve had a super picky foster dog, I will try some dehydrated food on their regular food (with warm water), but it’s very expensive. Sometimes it just takes time or a dog to feel settled in and relax and eat. That might be the case with your pup. And SO glad to hear you’re going to keep her and not take her to a shelter. If she’s struggling to eat with you, I imagine it would be even worse at a shelter.

      Your vet may have suggestions too. I’d be sure to have them do a 4Dx test (for heartworm, lymes, erlichia,) and a fecal check for parasites because a loss of appetite could be linked to one of those things too.

      Good luck! And thanks for saving a life!

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      1. Thank you so much for taking your valuable time to try and help me out. I will carefully consider everything you mentioned. I also did get her spayed along with all her required shots so the tests you mentioned I’m sure she had already. Also going to buy the salmon dry food. Worth the price if she eats it.

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      1. You’re right. I can’t foster dogs. I figured that out. But that said, when I had the right place and was, myself, in the right place in my life, and had six very compatible dogs, it was great for all of us. ❤️

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  2. Can’t believe they turned the cat down for his tooth!!!?? Seriously, I couldn’t even see it in the picture you provided. I had one turn down a cat because he sneezed! He was perfectly healthy! Go figure. I hope your pups get a home soon. They are too cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love reading about your fosters – I too, foster dogs, and as you say – there is definitely a shortage of adopters right now. It’s not that I don’t enjoy having some of these guys stay around long term, but of course fewer adoptions means fewer foster spaces for dogs that desperately need out of shelters. Our rescue (in Canada) is finding good forever homes, but it is definitely taking longer than usual. Hopefully, Bonnie & Abby will find their families very soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How exciting to hear from a dog-hearted foster in Canada! And I love the name of your rescue. Thanks for reading and for fostering! Hang in there, I’m hopeful that eventually this tough time in rescue will get easier. The pandemic created a kind of swell that hopefully will even out in time. It is frustrating, though, has set us back quite a bit in our quest to fix the problem of so many adoptable dogs being unnecessarily destroyed.

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