adopters, Carla, Daisy Duke, dog rescue, Flannery Oconnor, Foo Foo, former foster dogs, foster dogs, fostering, owner responsibility, returned dogs

Returned Dogs Are Inevitable

There have been so many adoptions this spring and summer. It’s a wonderful thing, but with lots and lots of adoptions come the inevitable returns.

Making a decision as momentous as adopting a dog for the rest of its life based on pictures, maybe a few videos, a foster’s notes, an adoption coordinator’s questions, and usually only a single meeting, is definitely a gamble, albeit an educated one (the same kind my brother claims he uses to win money in Vegas).

We shouldn’t be surprised or dismayed when a dog is returned. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the dog or the adopter.

What’s really remarkable, I think, is Continue reading “Returned Dogs Are Inevitable”

dog books, dog rescue, Estelle, Flannery Oconnor, foster dogs, fostering, Fruitcake, Gala, Giving Tuesday Pups, Highway Puppies, Hops, Hula Hoop, Miss Fanny Wiggles, Nelson, Oberyn, Oreo, Pepper Puppers, writing

My Hope and My Thanks

Today is the RELEASE DAY for 100 Dogs & Counting.

With all the hoopla and hope, I almost didn’t post to this blog. Continue reading “My Hope and My Thanks”

Barkalona, dog rescue, Edith Wharton, Flannery Oconnor, fosterdogs, fostering, Frankie, Volunteering

Fostering Can Be Fun and Easy

One of my semi-permanent foster kitties, Luna, seems to enjoy smacking our new foster dog, Bo (he is Bowflex on the OPH website and was Tick at the shelter).

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Bo is like one of those overly eager to please, see-only-the-sunny-side dogs who pokes his nose into everything, including Luna’s face. He chases the reflections from the prism that hangs in my window as they waver and wander over the walls, and he quickly changes course, no hard-feelings, when Continue reading “Fostering Can Be Fun and Easy”

dog rescue, Dogs with Issues, Flannery Oconnor, former foster dogs, foster dogs, fostering, Gala, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog

Sometimes it Don’t Come Easy…

Sometimes rescue is hard. Sometimes it doesn’t come easy.

As I put the final touches on my next book, due to the publisher December 1 (and if all goes well, released July 2020), I’ve spent a lot of time remembering one particular dog who changed my life. Gala was with us for over eleven months, but truly she has never left my heart.

Gala-7
photo by Nancy Slattery

The new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (and yes, that is a mouthful and no, it wasn’t up to me), begins with Gala. Up until Gala, fostering had been mostly fun, occasionally stressful, but ultimately a win-win for all parties involved.

Gala challenged me, not just in terms of exposing how much I don’t know about dogs, but emotionally as I wrestled Continue reading “Sometimes it Don’t Come Easy…”

dog rescue, Dogs with Issues, Flannery Oconnor, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog, oph, returned dogs, training

A Designer Dog Looking for his Designer Family

There was a time when we had two, even three new fosters each month, but for the last few years, it’s been one long-term foster after another (Gala, Flannery, Daisy…) and a few puppy litters. This weekend we had planned to welcome a much anticipated foster dog from Alabama – Houdini, whom I met while visiting Walker County Animal Shelter where OPH partners with RUFF to support the shelter and rescue dogs.

That reunion has been postponed because transport for Houdini and the other RUFF dogs fell through at the last moment. Hopefully, he will catch his freedom ride at the end of this month and we’ll welcome him then.

Meanwhile, Fanny was in need of a playmate as Flannery and Gracie easily tire of her endless puppy-like energy, so I Continue reading “A Designer Dog Looking for his Designer Family”

dog books, Flannery Oconnor, foster dogs, foster fail, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, Long Term Dog, returned dogs

Flannery, Flannery, Flannery—what will we do with Flannery?

It would be very easy to keep Flannery. I’d love to foster fail and make her a permanent part of our pack.

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Undoubtably, she fits in here just fine. Continue reading “Flannery, Flannery, Flannery—what will we do with Flannery?”

dog rescue, Flannery Oconnor, fostering, Gala, hard to adopt, training

Risk Worth the Reward: Long Term Dogs

Flannery is about to enter her sixth month in OPH care which makes her a ‘long-term dog’.

2019Jan-51
photo Nancy Slattery

Currently, up to 30% of the dogs on our site are ‘long term dogs’. There’s a reason why each dog got that label and it certainly doesn’t mean those dogs aren’t good dogs.

It’s just means Continue reading “Risk Worth the Reward: Long Term Dogs”

Destruction, dog rescue, Fankie, Flannery Oconnor, Gracie, Hula Hoop, puppy bowl, training

You Can’t Tell the Players without a Program

Meet our current (about to change) roster:

Hula, who you will remember arrived deathly thin, riddled with worms and nursing three puppies, is a new dog. She has gained weight, her coat has a nice gloss, and there are no traces of her mommy-life. She is full-on puppy and always ready to play. She is also always ready to steal socks. She pilfers them out of dirty laundry baskets and from where they hide, abandoned in a ball under the couch. Once in her possession, she challenges Frankie or Flannery to a game of tug of war.

They stretch the sock into unimaginable proportions, and then, Continue reading “You Can’t Tell the Players without a Program”

Dogs with Issues, Flannery Oconnor, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, returned dogs, training

A Dog’s Eye View

Flannery is such an interesting dog.

The puppies are cute and Hula Hoop is a sweetheart, but Flannery is complicated and funny and just so not-your-average-dog. I adore her. Even though she is nothing like any dog I’ve ever wanted.

She’s little. Only 30 pounds.

2019jan-25
photo: Nancy Slattery

She’s a busy-body – always in the middle of whatever is happening and worming her way onto the couch or dog bed, even if there is clearly no room for her.

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She is the first dog up at the slightest noise. And weirdly, Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View”

dog rescue, Flannery Oconnor, fosterdogs, Hula Hoop, poop, puppies

Our Gated Community

Our little pack has settled in. Brady calls them my entourage, as all four dogs—our Frankie and Gracie, plus fosters Flannery and Hula, follow me from room to room. As I sit at my desk now, Hula is lounging in her crate behind me, Gracie has claimed the sun spot on the carpet near the door, and Frankie and Flannery are squeezed together on the dog bed.

Normally, we live in a gated community. One baby gate sections off the hallway to the puppy room, in addition to the fence that fills the doorway of the puppy room (the flannel sheet hanging over it traps the heat inside and keeps the room warmer, it also allows the pups to get away with all manner of naughtiness).

These gates will come down in just a week and a half when all three pups go to their forever homes.

Another baby gate separates the kitchen from the rest of the house.

 

This is where our adult foster dogs usually reside. That gate will remain closed until Continue reading “Our Gated Community”