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”

Boarding Buddies, dog rescue, foster dogs, returned dogs, shelters, Volunteering

Three New Friends I Met This Week

Bell is recovering from her spay surgery. She’s sporting the cone of shame and confined to crate or kitchen, and it’s still a challenge to keep this busy dog down. I’ve never had a mama dog bounce back from this surgery so unaffected and strong.

Thankfully, she tolerates the cone, even sitting calmly for me while I try to figure out how to feed all the plastic straps in and out of the holes to keep it in place!

recovering from spay surgery

Yesterday Bell had her last romps with Fanny. They played all day long, wrestling and chasing. We had nearly eight inches of snow last week and Continue reading “Three New Friends I Met This Week”

dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, litters, puppies

It’s the Cuteness That Saves Them

What can I say about the puppies? They are adorable, but a ton of work. Every time I get to this point (six weeks), I wonder why I do this and swear I will never do it again.

Like small children, I suppose, it’s the cuteness that keeps us from tossing them out on their ears. This bunch is especially cute, with something for every taste. Only four puppies are officially spoken for, so if you’re considering a puppy in your lives (and you’re ready for the work that involves), let me tell you who is still available… Continue reading “It’s the Cuteness That Saves Them”

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?”

Dogs with Issues, Flannery Oconnor, fostering, Hula Hoop, puppies, returned dogs, training

Returning an Adopted Dog (Flannery, Flannery, Flannery…)

All four dogs like to lounge in my office after their early morning romp in the play yard. Having four that get along so nicely is refreshing. Between that fact and the three quiet, sweet, not-quite-so-messy puppies, fostering has never been so easy.

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Flannery finished her week shut-down and emerged a different dog. When she arrived she was snappy and tense, having proven to all that she will not do well in a home with young children. That wasn’t something I expected when she was adopted a few months ago by a family with five children.

Flannery is such a busy, fun, happy pup, so I was surprised to learn that Continue reading “Returning an Adopted Dog (Flannery, Flannery, Flannery…)”

Breeds, Dixieland, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, Labrador Retriever, puppies

Labeled

For some reason, this current litter is not flying off the shelves like litters past.

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It could be the time of year or the fact that OPH has a slew of cute adoptable puppies on the site right now, but I’m thinking it might be their label.

SIDEBAR: I hate labels. They are restrictive and offensive and many, many times plain wrong. They conjure up assumptions which inevitably lead to judgment and disappointment. I am not just talking about dogs here.

The fabulous adoption coordinator for this litter, Kassie, messaged me after several interviews to tell me that “People want them to be bigger than they are.”

ANOTHER SIDEBAR: Adoption Coordinators (ACs) are the fabulous volunteers who do final interviews and match adopters up with dogs. They are critical to OPH’s ability to save dogs. Without them we would not be able to save nearly as many or process adoptions nearly as fast. AND we need more AC’s. So, if you’ve ever wondered how you can help save dogs from the comfort of your home (and computer and phone), HERE IT IS! Find out more here.

And why would people want my adorably perfect little puppies to be bigger than they are? Continue reading “Labeled”

dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, Frankie, oph, puppies, Spay and Neuter

A Puppy for Frankie (and NO more puppies for Willow)

Frankie got a puppy!

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At least that’s how he sees it.

His interactions with our new foster puppy completely personify the Abominable Snowman’s interactions with Daffy Duck-

“I will hug him and squeeze him and name him George!”

He is delighted to have a new playmate/toy and finds Zander simply irresistible. He paws at him and grabs him by the hind leg to drag around, but then flops on this back and lets Zander jump all over him. They race around the kitchen with Continue reading “A Puppy for Frankie (and NO more puppies for Willow)”

dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, Gala, Giving Tuesday Pups, oph, training

Unsung Rescue Heroes & A New Training Tool

I’d never want to be an adoption coordinator. Seems like an exhausting, frustrating, thankless job.

As the foster mom, I get all the glory for taking care of the puppy or dog in question. But the adoption coordinator is the one who has screened the applications, asked the hard questions, gone over the extensive adoption contract (for the bazillionth time), and made the final decision. Not having firsthand experience, I could be wrong, but it seems like ACs put in hours of effort for each adoption, and for a litter that is tenfold.

Puppy adopters are like new parents – they have lots of questions, good ones, silly one, odd ones, but lots. I get a few of those, but the AC for my litter gets most of them. Adopting a puppy is a big deal, as it should be, and puppy adopters can sometimes get cold feet and back out last minute, change their minds about what kind of puppy they want or get impatient with the lengthy adoption process and the hold time. Some adopters have lots of lines in the water (they’ve applied for several puppies at several different rescues or shelters). All of this means that the ACs are juggling many, many people and puppies at once and the winds change on whims.

As I said, I wouldn’t want their job, but I am VERY grateful that there are these odd people who enjoy being ACs and do a tireless job for OPH.

This litter had more than its share of switcheroos and moving targets. Deb had her hands full. Last fall when I had Edith Wharton and her darling dozen, I actually had to have two ACs because the job was so enormous. I’ve worked with probably a dozen different ACs with OPH and every time, I’m amazed at the work they do. So, I just wanted to mention them in a post—ACs, along with reference checkers, are the unsung heroes of every adoption.

[If you’re one of those people who read my posts and think—“I wish I could foster, but it would be too hard, messy, heartbreaking, etc.,” but you’d really like to help, consider being a reference checker or even an adoption coordinator for OPH. You do all the work from your home with your computer and your phone. If you’d like more information, click here.]

Okay, enough of my shameless volunteer recruitment. What happened this week in this foster house? Continue reading “Unsung Rescue Heroes & A New Training Tool”