foster dogs, Pit bull

A Dog You Can Take Everywhere

Haven’t you always dreamed of a dog you can take with you everywhere? I’ve got one for you!

Abby is the most portable foster I’ve had in recent memory. She simply loves a good outing.

This past week, Abby has gone with me to lunch at a sidewalk café, where she calmly sat on the concrete and thumped her tail at everyone who walked by, hoping they would stop to pet her. When they did, she leaned into them with joy.

The next day, Nick and I took her out for a beer at our local brew pub. It was early and there weren’t many patrons, much to Abby’s disappointment, so she had to content herself with just us. She did enjoy watching the cat that has been frequenting the outdoor tables (only to be shooed away by staff).

On Saturday, my friend Holly and I took Abby with us to a winery, where she spent the afternoon charming everyone who happened by and endearing herself to the staff who brought her water and treats.

And then on Sunday, she accompanied me to the Pet Expo in Loudoun County to host the Who Will Let the Dogs Out booth.

She spent the entire day hanging out with Nancy’s husband Matt, greeting everyone (and showering Matt) with waggles and kisses. I was curious to see what she would think of the other dogs, but she just watched them with little interest, only reacting occasionally to the ones who rushed her rudely, and then only with a warning growl to keep their distance (And hopefully educate their owners that it’s rude to let your dog crowd a strange dog in a busy place).

Sadly, despite all of our outings, Abby still didn’t find her forever family. I’m sure they are out there somewhere. And as I keep saying, if only she were twenty pounds smaller or had curly hair or not such a big toothy grin, she would be adopted by now. She’s such a great dog – ticking all the boxes of what most people say they want in a dog:

  • housebroken
  • walks well on a leash
  • loves every person (of all size, ages, gender) that she meets
  • is quiet
  • travels great
  • is incredibly loving and devoted
  • has a great personality and wants to please

This past week, we moved Abby out of the cottage and into our house. I’m assuming she may be here a while and without Bonnie she was very lonely by herself in the cottage. She’s made no attempts to escape her new tiger cage crate. And has been making friends with our reactive brood through the baby gates.

Abby, for her part is polite, quiet, tail-wagging, but our pack has not been so nice. Fanny growls at her, likely threatened by my affection for Abby. Otis initially barked at Abby but has now changed his tune and is anxious for access to her. Gracie does what Gracie always does with foster dogs (this one is the two-hundredth something foster dog she’s met)- she snarls and coughs and barks (while wagging her tail) sending confusing messages from her confused heart.

In an effort to neutralize everything, I’ve been muzzle-training everyone using Baskerville muzzles. I don’t think there is a real danger, but by putting on muzzles, it will take away my own anxiety (which they would most definitely pick up on ).

I’m utilizing the muzzles also because anyone who has ever fostered a pit bull knows that, unlike other breeds, they don’t get more than one chance. If Fanny or Otis were to go after Abby and she defended herself, she is the one who would suffer the consequences. No one adopts a pit bull who has bitten another dog. Never mind the circumstances.

So, we’re walking a careful line and Abby is being patient with us. She’s just happy to be in the house near us. After the other dogs were tucked into bed, Abby joined Nick on the couch to watch football and while she’s probably never done anything like that in her life, she took to it like a natural, snoozing right through halftime.

If you or someone you know is looking for a big, loveable companion you can take everywhere you go, consider applying to adopt Abby – she’s one special girl. It’s long past time for her to have a home of her own. This dog is pretty special, the kind of dog who becomes a heart-dog. She just needs someone to give her a chance.

Abby is available for adoption through the Humane Society of Shenandoah County. Click here to apply.

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit

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 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

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:

11 thoughts on “A Dog You Can Take Everywhere”

  1. Cara, each time I read about Abby it makes my heart ache. I had a dog, Misty, 30 or so years ago who looks so much like her. And personality-wise, Misty was Abby. She could go anywhere, was unfailingly friendly and gentle with all humans and dogs (if dogs were impolite she would growl a warning), loved to travel, babysat a kitten and lived with me in my parent’s white carpeted, fancy Florida home. They ADORED her. We would take Abby in a second were it not for our very elderly Yellow Lab, Belle. She is 15, deaf, has some doggie dementia going on and does not play well with others. We have to honor her needs before ours. Misty was an absolute treasure and I know Abby is too. Lucky, lucky person who gives her a forever home!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. She is a treasure. I wonder if she might make a good therapy dog. Wish she was closer to the Left Coast. Keep giving her good exposure! Hope your auction went well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think she would be a great therapy dog. She still jumps up the first time she meets people and when she gets overly excited – but does settle very quickly, so we are working on that. Plus, she can’t resist chasing squirrels. But she does seem intuitive with people – a huge, gentle soul, probably because she’s been a mom so many times.


  3. I’m so sorry it’s taking Abby so long to find her forever home! She sounds like a wonderful dog. Thank you so much for taking such good care of her while she waits. I know it’s so much harder to place dogs right now….our shelter is full, and that’s not the norm at all. I think things will get better eventually, and until then, we just do our best to care for these precious animals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ann. yes, every shelter and rescue is so full right now. It will take time to get past this overload, but eventually, we’ll catch back up. The pandemic really affected sheltering. If I had to be stuck with a long-term foster, Abby is a really nice one.

      Liked by 1 person

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