dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, Humane Society of Shenandoah County, oph, owner surrender, puppies, shelters, Who Will Let the Dogs Out

I Remember Puppies Now…


Ah, now I remember.

And I’m really glad I only have three as I get my puppy-raising legs back underneath me.

After several different set ups, I’ve settled on having a big area (3/4 of the room) for their awake time and a small area (1/4) for bed time, nap time, and get-them-out-of-the-way-so-I-can-clean-without-helpers time.

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adopters, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, puppies

A Good Picture Can Be the Key

A picture is worth a thousand words. Or a picture can launch a love affair. Either way, a good picture can be the key to a dog finding a family.

Often people tell me that when they saw a picture of their current dog, it was love at first sight. Capturing a dog’s personality as well as its physical features in a picture can work magic. It’s why shelters and rescues love when photographers volunteer their time (and why it would be great if more did!). For dogs coming out of shelters in the south, that initial picture is often all a rescue has to go on when deciding which lives to save. Suffice it to say, pictures matter.

Both of my current foster dogs, Argus and Marley, are adorable, but you might not know that from my pictures.

My snaps didn’t do them justice, so I asked my friend Caitlin, who is an incredibly talented photographer, to do a photo shoot.

Caitlin confessed right up front that beyond one lost dog and her own animals, she’s never spent a lot of time photographing dogs. If only we all could do this well out of the gate…

It’s been tricky to get good pictures of Argus, partly because he’s a puppy so he’s always in motion and partly because he’s a little on the insecure side. Just like that friend who always cringes or blinks when you pull out a camera, he often looked awkward in my pictures. Honestly, though, he is awkward. He’s like that gangly teen who is easily embarrassed and always apologizing for bumping into things as he learns to navigate the world with a growing body and mind.

He also sticks out his tongue when anxious, and even the tip of it appears when he’s distracted or thinking hard. He’s also a little shy around new people. So, not an easy dog to photograph.

Luckily, he warmed up quickly to Caitlin because she’s such a gentle, encouraging soul.

Marley, on the other hand, is friendly as an experienced salesman, ready to be your best friend upon introduction. The challenge with her was to make her look not so frantic – it’s mostly the blue eye that makes her pictures look a little manic. She is so much cuter in person than in pictures.

Her gray muzzle and those mismatched eyes do not come across well on camera, but I promise you, she is adorable. She’s also devoted, often she was too close to photograph well. And she has very light brindle stripes in her coat that look like wrinkles or dirt, also limiting her photogenicness. If you’re looking to adopt an Instagram star she’s probably not your dog, on the other hand, maybe her odd look on camera might work for you. She’s definitely got the personality for it.

Thanks so much to Caitlin Garvey (you can find her on Instagram at caitlingarvey_photography – look her up, you’ll be glad you did) for lending your time and your talent (and your patience) to help us find families for these two special dogs.

If you’re interested in adopting Marley, contact the Humane Society of Shenandoah County, and if you’re interested in Argus, contact Operation Paws for Homes. For more information about either of them, feel free to reach out to me.

And while you’re here, please wish a happy birthday to Argus who turned one this month!

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit

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

foster dogs, fostering, hound dogs, Humane Society of Shenandoah County

Get the Foster Party Started

It’s quite the dog party at my foster cottage. The last month with the hound dogs has been relatively quiet. Other than the occasional concert, they are a pretty quiet pair. Lots of sleeping, casing the joint for treats, and counter-surfing, but no real rough-housing.

Enter Gina, our party girl. She has definitely upped the energy level here.

Rufus is thrilled to have a playmate. The two have regular play sessions all day long – chasing, wrestling, rolling, and lots of keep away with a toy (but no tug, Gina doesn’t seem to understand tug, she just gives the toy up). For a dog who is supposed to be seven, Rufus has some serious game.

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barn cats, cats, former foster dogs, fostering, fostering dogs, Humane Society of Shenandoah County

Moles Plus Dogs Equal Cats

Our yard looks like a five-year-old was turned loose with one of those mini back-end loaders you see in public park sandboxes.

Only there are no children here, just moles.

And dogs attempting to find the moles.

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dog rescue, Ehrlichia, foster dogs, foster-to-adopt, fostering, heartworms, Humane Society of Shenandoah County

Ain’t Nothing But Two Hound Dogs

I’m pretty sure my neighbors know what kind of dogs we have squirreled away in our foster cottage.

Rufus and Bug sing lovely songs periodically that make me smile. I’m not even sure what gets them started or what they are singing about. The serenades rarely last long and sometimes happen shortly after I’ve left them, but sometimes two hours later.

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adopters, foster dogs, fostering

Happy Endings Never Get Old

I’ve put off this post, not because I didn’t think it was going to work, but because I didn’t want to put undue pressure on anyone. This one really felt meant to be, but until I got first reports, I thought it best to stay mum.

Moose was adopted! I’m super excited that this special boy is going to get the life he deserves.

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foster dogs, fostering, training

The Moose Project

After three weeks with Moose, I’ve learned a few things about our big boy (who lost five pounds and is now only 87 pounds!).

Moose has no idea that he is enormous. He never uses his muscle or size to break in or out of places. Initially, we put him in our ‘tiger crate’, the giant steel dog crate we purchased after a previous foster broke out of (and in the processed destroyed) two large wire crates.

Moose wasn’t crate-trained when he arrived, so it seemed like the safest place to put him, knowing that at 92 pounds, he could easily force the wire crate open if he wanted to. This week I transitioned him into a regular crate and he’s never challenged it, even when left alone overnight.

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dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, training

Moose Moves In

I’ve tried. Hard. For the sake of my family and our new home and the holidays and my husband’s patience.

I’ve tried not to foster.

The plan we made (and I agreed on) was once we were settled in our new house, put up a dog fence, and renovated the cottage, then I would start fostering again.

So, we’re here. Mostly settled.

And the dog fence went in last week.

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adopters, Breeds, foster dogs, foster-to-adopt, fostering, hard to adopt, Pit bull

Looking for Your Next Best Friend?

Abby is still here. And it’s just not fair.

She’s no longer living on a chain (yay), but she is confined to one room much of her day. She can see the other dogs, hang out with our foster cat, and watch the activity out her window, but she’d much prefer to be with a person.

Abby is a people-dog. She loves people – all kinds, all sizes, all attitudes. She isn’t discouraged by her predicament, but I am.

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adopters, Destruction, dog rescue, foster cats, foster dogs, fostering

Fostering Animals Is…

It’s all coming back to me now.

Fostering is unpredictable, rewarding, frustrating, entertaining, and so worth it, but nearly always stresses my marriage.

It’s been nearly two years since we were fostering regularly, and somehow, like the rosy memory of childbirth, I’d forgotten.

As we jump back into this passion of ours mine, I was reminded of how unpredictable fostering is….

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