fosterdogs, LIly, Meredith, puppies

Ch-ch-ch-changes…a foster dog’s life is full of them

I’ve moved more times than I care to remember in this life. And I know that each time I relocated, there was an adjustment period. Unloading boxes and setting up utilities and discovering the idiosyncrasies of each new house and neighborhood was stressful in many ways – both good and bad. It always took at least a week or two before I really felt like I had my feet on the ground and could begin my new life.

I’ve learned that my foster dogs go through even more stress when they move in with me. And it’s not just the flying nerf darts, grumpy Gracie, or the swatting and suspicious cats. I know the dog I bring home from transport will not be the same dog I hug goodbye after a few weeks.

I wrote last week about Meredith’s miraculous transformation and it was that, but she continues to transform. As she has gained confidence, her energy level only increases. It’s dangerous to update your foster dog’s information on the public website right away because like a guest who has just arrived, the dogs are many times just being polite. They don’t know you well enough yet to let down their guard.


On Meredith’s page, I wrote “excellent leash manners” because she seemed to have those. She trotted carefully next to me, always glancing up to see if I needed anything. But a week later, Meredith has settled in and realized that nerf darts don’t hurt, Gracie is all bluster, and the cats don’t really mean it. Now she lunges out in in front of me, straining against the leash in her excitement to head off for a hike in the woods or around the pasture. Because she is only 30 pounds or so, this isn’t necessarily dangerous (unless it’s barely light out and you’re wearing slippers and headed downhill on frost-covered grass when one of the cats taunts her by casually appearing just out of reach). Her leash manners need some work. I deleted any mention about leash manners on her OPH page.

At press time, Meredith is still a little on the shy side with new people, but I’m fairly certain that will change. When new people reach for her, she backs away and ducks her head. Yesterday when we popped in to the OPH event at the pet store, she cowered behind me at first, but after store workers, OPH volunteers, and potential adopters began offering her treats, I could see a light go on – Ah! People=treats! She began greeting everyone who entered the store wondering if they, too, came to bring her treats. I have no doubt that the overly enthusiastic love that Meredith showers on me will soon be offered to all people.

Here’s a picture of her hanging out with my little brother and his wife last evening. She’s learning that people won’t hurt her and many of them have treats in their pockets. Continue reading “Ch-ch-ch-changes…a foster dog’s life is full of them”

foster dogs, fosterdogs, Itz Luv, LIly, oph

Foster Dog Party

Once again the snow is piling up outside, but this time around Lily has a playmate to keep her busy and it isn’t me and my tennis balls.


Itz Luv joined our party on Saturday arriving on transport from South Carolina. She is one easy-going sweetie-pie taking everything in stride. She sat nicely for her bath, was appropriately grovelly in her introductions to Gracie, and then eagerly took on Lily with some full-on all-body contact hard-core play. She’s half Lily’s size and weight, but rarely backs down, until Lily sits on her (literally). Both dogs are grinning ear to ear as they slam around my kitchen, wrestle over toys, and have never-ending tug-of-war matches.


That sigh you heard? That’s me relaxing because now I’ll get some uninterrupted work done.

Luvie, as we call her, went to her first OPH event on Sunday and was a super star – playing with all the other dogs and smooching with anybody available. She was most especially enamored with the kids. Continue reading “Foster Dog Party”

fosterdogs, LIly, oph, Rottweiler

Who Am I to Judge?


She’s baaaaack!  After a indulgent vacation on an island far, far away, we reluctantly came home. This meant Lily could also come home from her week spent with another foster mommy (thanks Chris!).

Lily jumped right back into our household without missing a beat. My youngest child says she is a snow-caller because her reappearance coincided with another big snow. Lily is quite the snow bunny-


It seems that one week was all it took for us to forget about Lily’s amazing chewing abilities. She has jaws of steel and a puppy-sized desire to eviscerate pretty much anything she can get her teeth on. Including Continue reading “Who Am I to Judge?”

LIly, oph

The Good and the Bad of Liliana

IMG_2444So now that Lily’s been here nearly a week and demonstrated that she’s more or less housebroken, she’s been given the run of the place. This is good and bad.

Good – Lily is a BIG dog. I know she doesn’t look that large, but she’s SOLID and has a tail more like a beaver’s than a dog’s. That appendage is strong and can hurt you or anything else in its path. Plus, it’s basically set on nonstop wag due to her happy heart. Now she can run full-out through the living room, up and down the stairs, before coming to a sliding stop on the wood floor in the kitchen. (She’s getting better traction since I took her over to visit Chuggy, and Jim trimmed her nails for me! Big shout out to Four Paws Pet Shop & Grooming – thanks a million! I’m terrified to trim nails so Jim and Rosie may regret the day they said to bring my fosters in for free nail trimmings!)

Bad – Lily is like an over-sized puppy. Fun, right? Ahuh, until she gets ahold of your slipper. She’s got adult size teeth with a puppy-sized urge to chew. Bad combination. So far, besides my slippers and my gloves, she’s destroyed pretty much every dog toy we’ve given her. At first, this was a good thing since we had accumulated WAY too many worn out dog toys and needed to get rid of a few anyway. But now we’re running out of toys. All, I’ve got to give her are old sneakers and tennis balls, which are totally uninteresting after a minute or two unless someone is flinging them for you – here’s Lily in action:

Good – Lily is a whiner when left alone. Now that she can continually check-in with everyone, she whines less. That is, until she realizes that no one wants to play.

Here’s Lily requesting a play date

Bad – Now Gracie has to deal with Lily full-time. Gracie is a grumpy, snarly, socially awkward dog who is about as tall as Lily, but 20 pounds lighter. What Lily wants more than anything is for Gracie to PLAY with her. C’mon, just one game of tear around the house? Ya wanna, Ya wanna, Ya wanna? Here’s what happens: Continue reading “The Good and the Bad of Liliana”

Chuggy Alabaster, LIly, oph

Our Special Visitor (and news of the Chugster!)


We were foster dog-less for almost 24 hours.

The plan had been to be foster dog-less until after we get back from our BIG VACATION (I can’t tell you about it or you’ll be super jealous and stop reading my blogs).

But then, you know, twist my rubber arm. Plus, this isn’t just another foster dog this is a VERY SPECIAL foster dog.

Super excited to tell you that Liliana (or Lily), the puppy mama, is staying with us for two weeks!! I’ve been smitten by this gorgeous girl since the first time I laid eyes on her, which was back in November when she was giving birth to all those beautiful puppies.

And here’s the thing about Lily. Consider what she’s been through. Basically she’s a teenage mom. Her age is guessed to be between 1 and 2, but her need to play, chew, and RUN make me certain it’s closer to 1. She was impregnated, abandoned, kenneled, then shipped a day’s drive north where she gave birth to ten puppies with four birth attendants that she’d only just met.

So, considering all that, you’d think Lily might be a little shy. Maybe suspicious. You’d think she might have trust issues. Continue reading “Our Special Visitor (and news of the Chugster!)”