barn cats, dog rescue, foster dogs, heartworms, Humane Society of Shenandoah County

Fostering Dogs, Cats, and Possums?

For those who don’t have a program:

We are currently fostering Ladybug and Rufus, two sweet hound dogs who were abandoned on a farm and ultimately rescued by the Humane Society of Shenandoah County.

Rufus Goofus and Ladybug are an adorable pair together but available to be adopted separately.

Rufus is a young seven-year-old who loves to play with toys and other dogs, but more than anything loves to be petted and snuggled. Clearly, he’s not gotten his share of love and attention and would very much like to make up for lost time. He turns his doe eyes on everyone he meets, gives free hugs, and will melt at your touch.

Rufus is housebroken and crate-trained, neutered, up-to-date on shots, and has done great with every dog and person he’s met. He’s tall but weighs less than 50 pounds. He is just such a gentle, grateful soul who deserves to finally have a real home of his own. It breaks my heart that he’s had to wait seven years for one.

Ladybug is heartworm positive and will be undergoing treatment this spring, so she’ll be with us for another month or two. She is a lovebug who only wants to please. In fact, her need-to-please can be embarrassingly obvious. She rarely takes her eyes off of me and if she could talk, I think she’d be saying, “Now? Now? Now?”

Ladybug has a happy energy and is always ready to chase a ball, trot along on a leash, tackle (or try to tackle – he’s too tall for her) Rufus, or roll on her back for a belly rub. She is funny little imp with a true beagle personality (except the chewing – so far, we haven’t seen a lot of that). She is spayed, up-to-date on shots, crate-trained, and seems to be housebroken.

At some point in her life, someone quite definitely was unkind to this dog as she cowers and flattens if you move toward her suddenly, make a loud noise, or lift a hand above waist level.

If you’d like to learn more or adopt one or both of these darling dogs, please reach out to me or apply to adopt through the Humane Society of Shenandoah County.

Tomorrow, we have a third guest arriving to join us in the foster cottage. Gina, who I have written about before, is moving in. Gina originally came from Saving Webster Dogs in West Virginia but has been fostered since last December in Maryland with a special family who have become her advocates. I’ve been watching this sweet dog from afar and am excited to finally get my mitts on her.

Gina looks a lot like my dog Fanny Wiggles, only much larger. Here is a side-by-side:

I will tell you lots more about her in next week’s post, but you can visit the Another Good Dog Facebook group to see all the dogs in action and get the play-by-play of Gina’s arrival.

Cat update: Three of our four barn cats moved in last week. They’ve been staying in customized crates for over a week now. Bellatrix (or psycho-cat as I affectionately call her) is quite unhappy about the situation and gets angrier by the day. Opening her crate to replace food and water is always a scary moment. Nick has taken over that duty, suiting up in heavy gloves to swap out the water bowl or litter box and tongs to add food. She wants out, and to be honest, I want to let her out, but we are taking steps to ensure all the cats know that our barn is ‘home’ and don’t relocate themselves to one of the neighboring farms or try to infiltrate the cat colony across the street from us.

The other two cats – Percy and Myrtle are quiet and seem to have accepted their assumed fate. They only watch us with big round yellow eyes are I replace water/food and litter box if needed (they rarely use the litter box provided and yes, it’s getting pretty smelly in their ‘room’.).

We’ve discovered that we have another resident in the cat room.


I’ve recently learned that possums and cats seem to be able to cohabitate, but since I’m not comfortable with that kind of set up and don’t want to feed a possum (and the possum posse she/he’s likely to create) we are attempting to trap him so we can relocate him to the other side of the valley. Will let you know how that plan goes!

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

5 thoughts on “Fostering Dogs, Cats, and Possums?”

  1. That’s the sweetest pair of hound dogs I’ve ever seen. Here’s hoping their ‘fur-ever’ home is just around the bend. Bless you for giving them such a boost. And Gina…oh my heavens, she could be Fanny Wiggles’ doppelganger! Too cute.


  2. When I had all the cats I also found that a possum and a skunk were sharing my cats’ dishes. I took a photo back in the day (late 80s) of the two I named Vagrant and Fragrant. The cats kept their distance, let their “friends” eat then reclaimed their dishes. I hope those two beautiful dogs get the best people in the world.


  3. Always love your updates. You probably already know but I recently learned the possums eat ticks and ate very desirable . That doesn’t mean they should build a family in your barn, of course.?We want to keep the possums safe from all the coyotes in our neck of the woods.

    Enjoy the VA spring wildflowers.


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