Barkalona, Billie Jean, booktour, Breakfast Pups, Fannie, foster dogs, fostering, Frankie, Hamilton puppies, Okeriete, puppies, Snapdragon

Being (kind of) Famous

I’m still figuring out this being famous gig.

Not that I’m famous in the everyone-knows-my-name way, but famous enough to have my bad-hair picture splashed across the centerfold of the New York Post, my book mentioned in People Magazine, a live interview with the “most listened to pet talk radio show in the country” and lots of dear family and friends turning out for my book launch.

It’s exciting and overwhelming and humbling.

I don’t know how to say thank you enough, and truth be told, I feel a bit guilty. I know of SO MANY amazing people at OPH and its partner shelters who are doing so much more than me and my little foster home. But I’m grateful that I can do what I do, knowing that it’s only because of so many other people, not the least of which is my husband Nick and my three kids who have suffered through the poop and the plunder. Just this morning Grits destroyed one of Brady’s socks and Billie Jean got the other.


Before I give you the reality of my past week, I have to say one thing – I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

I’m not.

Seriously, I’m beyond thrilled.

But while it might have looked great online, there were plenty of moments when I was well aware that I’m really not that important! The dogs helped out a bit in hammering home that point. Continue reading “Being (kind of) Famous”

adopters, dog rescue, Fannie, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, Gingersnap, Nowzad dogs, Okeriete, oph, Pit bull, puppies, shelters

Getting Serious About Dog Rescue

Are you as afraid as I am to turn on the news? I feel obligated, but at the same time a heart can only take so much. This past weekend I finally heard some GREAT news. I was privileged to attend OPH’s seminar for volunteers. I learned even more about this fabulous organization I’m a part of and left feeling motivated to do more.

The highlight for me was a presentation from two women from one of the shelters that OPH partners with in south western Virginia. I went to school in southside Virginia a million years ago, so I remember that part of the country as rural, blue-collar (when there are jobs) with field after field of tobacco. I worked at a pub in Danville where I served mill workers who called me “Yankee Girl” and never missed an opportunity to remind me that Danville was the last confederate capital of the south!

Rachel and Ashley traveled north this past weekend to share with OPH the impact our organization has had on their shelter in Scott County, VA. I couldn’t hold back tears as I listened to the statistics they shared. I think it was the best news I’ve heard all summer, actually all year, and it renewed my desire to help more dogs and my admiration for the people who work so hard to save them.

OPH began partnering with the Scott County Human Society shelter in mid 2015. Take a look at the impact we are having on this one shelter- Continue reading “Getting Serious About Dog Rescue”

Berneen, Okeriete, oph

Being the Mama

There’s something about mama dogs.

It’s as if they know something other dogs don’t.

I remember a similar feeling after giving birth to my own first born. The world seemed maybe not so simple, while at the same time it was much clearer to me what matters.

Berneen (or Bernie as we’ve taken to calling her as she is also a bit of a rumpled underdog) has clearly been a mama. Her body would testify to that, but so would her heart.

I picked her up from boarding on Sunday in the rain. She ducked her head as I herded her to my car, but I know now it wasn’t because of the rain. That’s been her way. She’s an incredibly humble dog, always wanting to get out of your way, not claim too much space. She still crumbles to the floor when I reach for her collar to snap the leash on and whimpers in gratitude once it’s clear we’re going for a walk.

She spent the first two days here sleeping. She lay on the Frank bed (covered with a blanket because I worried when she hadn’t peed for hours – although she has yet to have any accidents). She lay with her legs tucked under her so that she resembled a seal. She seemed exhausted, not even raising her head when we moved about the kitchen. I wondered if she was mourning something or someone or if the last months of being a stray and a shelter dog were very hard and finally she was in a safe place where she could sleep.

She’s clearly been someone’s dog before. She’s housebroken and well-mannered. She reminded me of Carla when she first arrived – another heartbroken dog.

Oak was just dying to meet her and when I finally allowed it, he crawled all over her, like the puppy he is. Continue reading “Being the Mama”

fosterdogs, Meredith, Okeriete, oph, puppies

There’s Always Another Good Dog

Fostering has so much become our way of life that all my kids (and most of their friends) always close the baby gate behind them when they leave the kitchen, even when there’s no dog about. They are careful when they exit/enter the house, looking all around them like soldiers averting land mines. No one wants to chase a foster dog up the hill.


Visitors don’t bat an eye at the keys hanging out of the front door lock (on the outside) because they know that some of our fosters (Meredith, Tennessee, John Coffey, and Frank) know how to work a lever handle door. Even if you’re only going for a piece of wood for the fire or to throw some scraps to the chickens, LOCK the door behind you.

The stacks of towels, bags of food, and random collars that litter the landscape of our house don’t look so out of place to me anymore. I just dust around them (if I were to dust).

Best of all, there’s no need to explain the random crates, assorted dogs, or that funny smell to anyone who stops by because they know all about my dog habit.

Meredith took off for her forever home on Monday after being a ROCK STAR at the Hanover OPH event. She was a much different dog than the frightened little girl who hid behind me on her first visit to the pet store. Continue reading “There’s Always Another Good Dog”

Chuggy Alabaster, Meredith, Okeriete, oph

Rescue Dog Fill in the Blank

IMG_0631I just returned from a much-too-quick trip to Florida to meet with a book club. (Shout out to the fabulous ladies of the Forest Lakes Estates Book Club! Smart, interesting, fun women! Thanks for having me!)


I don’t think that there has ever been a dog more happy to see me come home than Meredith. She nearly lost her mind – leaping through the air, yelping with joy, only to throw herself on the ground and wriggle around, before tearing around the house and repeating the process ad infinitum. Gosh, she breaks my heart – would somebody please adopt this girl already??!

Meredith has the biggest, happiest heart. That was hard to see at first because she was so terribly frightened of people. Because she can’t tell us, we can only guess where her fear comes from, but she’s quickly overcoming it and learning to trust more every day. I promise you that if you take this girl home and love her, even a little, you will have a devoted disciple all your days.


Add to the loyalty factor- she is gorgeous and has the most velvety coat imaginable. It’s like permanent puppy fur. We fitted her with a harness and solved most of her leash issues – she still gets on a happy tear occasionally and bounds around in sheer joy, but it’s much more controllable with the harness.

I’ve taken her for a 4+ mile run and she is stellar – great manners, no monkeying around, cordial to all we encounter.

And, she’s so smart we were able to house break her in one day! She’s not a huge chewer, although she will inspire you to keep your counters clean. She’s trying very hard to make friends with Gracie, but Gracie has no patience for her exuberance.

Meredith’s also over-the-moon excited to get to know Okeriete, but we haven’t put them together yet because I fear she will squish Okeriete. The energy level alone with the two in one room could power a football stadium.

Speaking of Okeriete, I know you’re dying to know something about our tiny little buddy. Continue reading “Rescue Dog Fill in the Blank”