documentary, dog rescue, Dogs with Issues, Gracie, owner responsibility, training, Who Will Let the Dogs Out

Lucky Dog

Holidays are always hard on pets. At this house, it was more the after-holiday that did Otis in.

Our house was full for the holidays with grown children, my parents, and our favorite cousins. The extra people available for petting, walking, and giving treats was welcomed by Otis and Graice, but Fanny Wiggles is an overly anxious, shy dog. A house full of people means she’s off her food, on edge, and reacting at every tiny thing.

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cats, Dogs with Issues, Fanny

Dog Park By Reservation Only

Ever since moving here, I’ve been tracking the activity at the local dog park. It’s a great park. Two big areas that have built-in agilty equipment, plus shade and water and benches to sit on.

It’s a busy place.

And that’s the problem.

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adopters, cats, foster cats, fostering, kittens, Spay and Neuter

Gotcha Day is VERY Different with Cats

Cat adoptions aren’t nearly as exciting as dog adoptions.

Don’t get me wrong – it still feels great to save a cat, it’s just….different.

Cats don’t bound up to their potential adopter (or growl at them either). There’s no carefully orchestrated meeting or a walk with a potential fur-sibling or even a question, really, about the outcome.

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cats

Rescue is Relative (or how I stole the neighbor’s cat)

I know everyone says that bunnies multiply like mad, but I’m beginning to think there’s also a multiplication factor with foster cats.

We’ve been plugging along with our three foster kitties Cleo, Bonnie & Clyde, enjoying their company and helping them to accept that humans are a good thing. Cleo and Clyde are definitely firmly in our camp now, and Bonnie is edging closer every day. They are ready to start finding forever homes very soon.

Otis truly enjoyed playing with all of them, especially Bonnie through the crate walls, but as the weather has cooled off, we moved them out to our sun porch/storage unit. Someday that space will hopefully be a place to read and have morning tea or grow plants or watch the sun set on the mountains just over the top or the town, but right now it is stacked with bins of all the stuff that will go in our kitchen (if we ever have a real kitchen—cabinet delivery has now been set for December 9!). There’s a defunct gas heater out there and some decidedly out-of-date carpet, plus super cheapo windows (according to Nick) that barely open. The window issue has meant that all summer it’s been a sauna out there and we’ve kept the door firmly shut.

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cats, Uncategorized

Another Good Cat (or Three)?

“Sure, and when we find a good one, we’ll keep it.”

This was Nick’s response to my question, “How about if we foster a cat?”

I didn’t point out to Nick that his response was the very same one he’d had about the possibility of fostering dogs seven years ago, and then we subsequently fostered almost 200.

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Uncategorized

Fall Shelter Tour Part One

I’m out on shelter tour for Who Will Let the Dogs Out. I’d love for you to follow along….

Who Will Let the Dogs Out?

Traveling through the south this time around feels different. It’s not just the masks that are sometimes prevalent and other times completely absent. As we wind through the mountains on our way to Nashville, I wondered about priorities. Is it wrong to want to save dogs when people are struggling so much? Will people care what we about what we are seeing? Will they find everything as heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time, as I do?

I think it’s even more remarkable how hard the people we meet are working. Despite the compassion fatigue and an often apathic public, so many continue to fight for lives, even as the wave of homeless dogs builds instead of ebbing.

Everyone said that the silver lining of the pandemic was all the adoptions, the empty shelters, the new awareness of rescue, the flood of fosters. And that was great. I’m definitely not…

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Uncategorized

Walking Dogs

I’m a slave to the leash. Or at least a slave to the creatures on the other end of it. While I’m not presently fostering any dogs, my days still revolve around dogs – walking them.

Living with our three dogs in ‘downtown’ Woodstock, has changed my world (and theirs) dramatically. Now instead of opening the door to let the dogs out, I leash them up, generally one at a time but sometimes two at a time.

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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.

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fosterdogs, fostering, Updates

Almost Ready to Go

Life in this foster house is getting quieter and quieter.

Two weeks ago, a mink got into our chicken house and killed all our chickens. It took a while for us to figure out what could possibly have gotten into the secured coop, but the only possible hole was so small it could have only been a mink. Plus, Mink kill for sport, which is evidently what was happening as all the chickens were dead and none were eaten (much).

We’ve kept chickens for fourteen years and this was the first time we’ve lost chickens in this manner. I’ve run foxes out of the chicken yard (in broad daylight), possums have dragged out pullets who roosted too close to the sides of our chicken tractor, and hawks stole our young birds regularly until we strung wires back and forth across the top of the yard like twinkle lights (with CDs and pie plates dangling from it – very red neck chic). It’s always been an ongoing battle to keep them safe, but for the last few years we’ve been able to do that.

It makes me sad, but in a weird way it’s a relief too. One less thing to deal with in our upcoming move, though I’m sure we could have found homes for our ten aging hens.

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Amstaff, dog rescue, foster dogs, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog, Pit bull, shelters

What ‘Shelter Shortages?’

Melissa Chan wrote in an article for Time magazine last week, “a surge in pandemic pet adoptions offers opportunities for criminals to seize on nationwide demand and shelter shortages…”

People are so desperate for French bulldogs, one small private investigator in Nebraska who specializes in missing pets says calls have increased 60-70% in the past 18 months, averaging 3-5 requests a week.

Reading the article, I could only shake my head. It seemed to me Chan was writing about another world altogether. It wasn’t the news that so many pets are being stolen—that is individually tragic—but it was how she so breezily tossed off the phrase, shelter shortages, as if it were fact.

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