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

Dogs (and Cats) Come and Go

Foster dogs come and go, but our place is rarely empty. After my last post, I realized I left a few plot lines hanging…I never told you what became of Roofus and Ladybug, or updated you on the barn cat/possum outcome. So before I tell you more about Argus and our newest foster, Marley, let me end the mystery.

Ladybug and Roofus have been relocated to another foster home. Not because they aren’t wonderful dogs or because I didn’t enjoy their hounddog charms, but because I care about my neighbors.

Bug is an escape artist. In her time with us, she managed to get out of her crate, the cottage, and the fenced yard on multiple occasions. She squeezed under the gate somehow (Nick added a board to the bottom to prevent that from happening again). EVERY time I let her out of her crate, she raced to the door of the cottage to be sure it was securely latched. The door was old and subject to the whims of humidity and a half-hearted latch. It became a lottery of sorts for her and too many times, she won. Nick has now replaced that door with one that actually closes every time.

More than once (testimony to my inability to learn the easy way), she escaped her crate because the bottom door latch either wasn’t slid through or she wiggled it open. She then pushed the bottom of the door out and slid out. Thankfully, she never hurt herself, but she did manage to eat several bags of treats (scaling the counter is nothing to her).

And the last straw was while I was gone on shelter tour, when she hopped on a chair set too close to the fence and used it to jump to the top of the fence and then to freedom.

When she escaped through the door, Roofus was always her willing accomplice, and together the two of them discovered that the neighbors on the farm behind us have chickens. This only increased both dogs drive to escape and if not for the barbed wire fence that separates our property, I would have definitely met my neighbors over the bodies of their dead chickens.

Note: barbed wire is not generally a secure dog fence, but in this case, it worked because Bug pricked her nose enough times to be afraid of it. That said, the fence is old and doesn’t run to the end of our property, so eventually, she would have found her way around it.

Thankfully, Melisa agreed to take Roofus and Bug and they are thriving in her secure set up (six foot fence and doors that latch). Bug has had the first part of her heartworm treatment and is handling it fine. I’ll let you know when they get adopted.

As for the barn cats, they have all been released into the wilds of our nearly 150 year old barn and I never see them. The food and water I put out disappears each day, but I’ve only gotten one glimpse of Bellatrix bolting across the field. We put a trail cam on the food station and discovered that all four cats are still here with us (in addition to one small possum).

Argus is doing great, gaining a wee bit of confidence and revealing his goofy personality. He’s gotten over his fear of me slamming a door on him (although he’s sure Nick will do it and won’t come in/go out if Nick is in the cottage). We took him out to a nearby winery over the weekend and he did great, charming everyone he met.

Argus makes me laugh several times a day – whether it’s his goofy tongue that hangs out when he’s deep in thought, or the crazy shapes he can contort himself into while sleeping. And he is an absolute love. All day long, he’ll periodically appear at my side and lean his head into my hip while I’m writing, just wanting contact. Sweet, sweet boy.

Our newest foster, Marley, arrived on Sunday. Her owners have had her since she was a puppy the dad brought home from a coworker. She is six now, and although there are plenty of people living in the house (at least five adults and one toddler), no one has time for her. Situations like this break my heart, and while I want to call people out on them, I instead focus on the dog.

She is sweet as they come and very gentle. She watches me warily and is clearly mourning the loss of the only family she has known. She weighs 40 pounds and her breeding is unknown. The family told the Humane Society that she is a husky/shepherd mix, but other than her one blue eye, I’m not really seeing it. She does seem to have the prey drive of those breeds, sniffing out every small creature she can find on our walks. It’s during those walks that she perks up and I see the happy dog hiding inside. She loves to wander, her tail up, as she runs from one side of the path to the other following scents.

We are treating Marley for worms, getting her on a healthy diet (plus vitamins and probiotics), and will take her to the vet for a physical today. She’s in a tough place at the moment, but I know we can help this girl feel better physically and emotionally. She’s a great little dog who deserves a forever home, and a family who will love her all of her days.

Until Each One Has a Home,


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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

4 thoughts on “Dogs (and Cats) Come and Go”

  1. Sorry the two hounds were escape artists but it sounds like they’re in a good place and once through the treatment, ready to be adopted. Sweet Marley has such a worried look on her face, I’m sure she’ll charm someone soon. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s already much happier. And this morning I ran by the hounds new foster home and saw Roofus running around their enormous yard. It’s a much better fit. There’s a reason why we say ‘Together We Rescue’

      Liked by 1 person

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