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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adopters, foster dogs, fostering, hard to adopt, training

The Best Trainer for Your Dog

It finally happened.

Mama Mia left for her forever home after 11 months in foster care. I still find it so hard to believe it took so long to get this amazing dog adopted.

Her adopter is a determined and patient woman, who was certain all along that Mia was her girl. It took three meet and greets, this last one happening with the help of trainer, Geraldine Peace, who you’ll recall was such a huge help with Billie Jean.

Every time I spend time with Geraldine I learn more about managing and training dogs. She was able to do in minutes what I was not able to do through two other meet and greets—introduce Mia safely to her new 9-pound senior fur-sister. At each of my attempts, Mia was just too over-the-top excited and could not settle enough that I felt safe introducing them. I never, for a moment worried that Mia would hurt the little dog. What I worried about was her unintentionally hurting her because of the size difference.

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Breeds, fostering, puppies, puppy bowl

Which Way Does Your Tail Wag? (plus DNA results!)

There are a lot of wagging tails in this household, and Otis has just upped the ante.

He has a big, loose, 180-degree+, constant wag. His tail can make circles or figure eights. I’m fascinated by its repetoire.

Mia’s tail is also constant, and mostly back and forth, with her hips going just as fast.

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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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foster dogs, foster fail, fostering, hard to adopt, kittens, parvo, puppies

A New Year of Fostering

What will fostering look like for us in 2021?

I honestly don’t know. Maybe one thing 2020 has taught me is that I can’t assume anything about the coming year.

I have many hopes for my ‘dog life’:

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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, foster dogs, fostering, oph, parvo, puppies

The Lessons of Parvo

I’m not sure where to begin to write about this odyssey that began two weeks ago today and is still not over. I’ll try not to ramble, but I’m running on fumes after having spent the night in the puppy pen. I did catch a few hours sleep with puppies nestled against me (or Beethoven sprawled across my neck!).

I didn’t know a lot about parvo before this began—probably what most dog rescue people know. It’s a highly contagious virus that can be lethal, especially to unvaccinated puppies. But now I know so much more.

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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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