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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dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, litters, oph, parvo, parvovirus, puppies, Updates

Movie Mutts and Parvo Puppies

This weekend we bleached the puppy fences, the crate, and the baby gate that we used with our ‘parvo pups’ last fall one last time and finally stowed them in the attic of the garage. They’d been wiped down with bleach last fall and then left stacked in the corner of our stone porch all winter. Even though they’d been bleached once, I was still wary of them. So afraid that in a crevice or a hinge, parvo virus still lingered.

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Amstaff, dog rescue, fosterdogs, Long Term Dog, Who Will Let the Dogs Out

Mia’s Very Own Adoption Event

I’ve come to realize that pictures are more powerful than words. And video is even more powerful than pictures. I can write and write and write about a subject, but seeing it in action always has a bigger impact.

This month marks one year since Mia entered our lives. It astounds me that she is still here. I remember watching her with her puppies and with the people she met and thinking, “It will be so easy to get this dog adopted.”

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adopters, dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog, returned dogs, training

When a Bite Was Just a Bite

Someone told me I jinxed Mia by writing about her last week in such a celebratory way.

Sad to say, she is back and not because I jinxed her but because she was set up to fail. I’ve agonized over how to explain what happened. I don’t want to throw Mia, the adopter, or the rescue under the bus, but I’d say that we all deserve to be runover on this one.

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fosterdogs, fostering, Long Term Dog, writing

Now What? You Tell Me

I’m in a quandary about what to write on this blog.

I could tell you about Otis, also known as Otis-Potis, Otis-the-mostest, and occasionally Otie-oat or Otis-Blotis (as he was called last night after he ate his own and then Fanny’s dinner and waddled about with great joy and an unwieldy pregnant belly).

Otis is proving to be a remarkable puppy, and as his proud mom, I could chatter on for days about his exceptionalism. But that’s not what you’re here for, is it?

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cats, dog rescue, Fanny, Flannery Oconnor, foster dogs, foster fail, fostering, Gala, kittens, Long Term Dog, parvo, puppies

My Four-legged Silver Lining

We are down to just one foster.

Hard to remember when that was last the case. It leaves me wondering what I will write about on this blog. Although Mia is an incredibly interesting and entertaining dog, maybe it won’t be an issue. Just in case, I’m considering a few other ideas (and welcome yours!).

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adopters, dog rescue, Fankie, foster fail, fosterdogs, fostering, parvo, puppies

Home for the Holidays

A puppy for Christmas is a pretty great present, especially if it’s these particular puppies. All of the puppies are medically cleared to go home on Christmas eve.

Lassie and Beethoven have eager adopters who have already come to meet them, who will take home their very special Christmas presents this Thursday. We are still processing adoption applications for Benji, but hopefully he will also go home.

And Otis?

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dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, oph, parvo, puppies

The Aftermath of Parvo

On Sunday afternoon, Nick and I went to Annette and Randy’s house to pick up Benji and Otis. They had been recovering there ever since being released from the hospital in Purcellville. Annette and Randy know a thing or two about helping parvo survivors. They adopted Kofi, who was only survivor of his litter of ten who broke with parvo. In the past eight years, they’ve fostered about 20 parvo pups, nursing them back to health and their forever homes.

Parvo is so insistently contagious that removing the virus from a home once it is infected is nearly impossible. Annette and Randy have chosen to be a foster home for parvo infected pups to come to recover from the virus. And it’s a great place to recover – warm, welcoming people who are smart and experienced, plus a handful of big, loving dogs who help shepherd sick puppies back to health. It’s a special place.

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dog rescue, euthanasia, fosterdogs, fostering, parvo, puppies

Our War with Parvo

Where to begin? I’m exhausted and wired-awake at the same time. I feel a little like I’m in a war—anxious about the next assault, unable to mourn the current tragedy, and working so hard to prevent another.

My worst fears were realized last Wednesday when Hooch broke with parvovirus. This is the demon all puppy fosters fight against. It’s the reason we go through so much bleach, guard who handles our puppies, and count the days out of the shelter and the ones until we can vaccinate.

I suppose I have been incredibly lucky. I’m closing in on 200 fosters, and I hadn’t encountered parvo yet. So, maybe I was due. But, gosh, I would give anything to back this one up and get a different outcome.

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