Breeds, Catahoula Leopard Dog, fosterdogs, fostering, Gala, oph

The Ridiculous Nature of a Label

Can’t a dog just be a dog?

A happy dog? An energetic dog? A lazy dog? A funny dog? A best-friend dog? A dog who runs-thru-the-invisible-fence-and-rolls-in-horse-poop dog?

Why do we insist on labeling a dog as a particular breed? I’ve been thinking about this way too much of late. Partly, this is because of my new puppy, Frankie, but mostly this is because of my foster dog, Gala.

Frankie is, allegedly, a Catahoula Leopard Dog. Which only means that the vet who inspected him in South Carolina Continue reading “The Ridiculous Nature of a Label”

dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, Gala, lost dog, oph, Pepper Puppers, puppies, running with dogs

Runaway Gala (& The Pepper Puppers)

This time I really thought I’d seen the last of Gala.

That was my thought, anyway, as I watched her disappear through the woods in pursuit of a herd of deer. She was headed in the general direction of Maryland, and I was pretty sure she would make it.

We were about a mile and a half away from home on our regular run when the deer appeared. Gala did what she usually does – leapt in the air after them.

Because we run with the Easy Walk harness, this usually means that as she reaches the end of her lead, the harness forces her to do a lovely pirouette in midair and land facing me again.

This is the point where I say, “Leave it,” in my firm, take-no-prisoners voice, and then she does not leave it. Most days it takes three or four pirouettes and reminders before she gives up and simply prances for a quarter mile or so.

On Friday, she had done about four pirouettes, when she went airborne for a fifth. This time, though, Continue reading “Runaway Gala (& The Pepper Puppers)”


They’re Really Lovers, Not Fighters, Honest!

DSC_9994I need to find a way to harness all this dog energy to power my house. Two border collies, the Amazing Frank, and my own over-anxious, awkward personal dog, Gracie, have turned our home into something of a three-ring circus.

Lucky for us the boys are all super good at coming when they are called, so they can have regular romps outside. This is a video of the craziness…

It’s so entertaining that one of my new favorite activities is to retire to the top of our hillside in the evening with a glass of wine and watch the shenanigans. The only problem is, just like boy children, boy dog play can sometimes graduate to boy dog fights.

Usually this happens when somebody (the “senior” member of these musketeers) gets tired and has had enough. Texas, who has endless energy and can outrun all the others, just never quits, but since he is too speedy for Frank to grab him, Tennessee usually ends up on the bottom of the pile. Unlike Texas and Gracie who will both take their licks and slink away, Tenn hangs in there for a moment too long probably protesting with growls that say, “Hey! That wasn’t me! It was him! He did it! He’s the one you want!” but either Frank is color blind and simply sees an annoying black dog or he enjoys kicking a little Tennessee butt on occasion.DSC_0059

There’s only been one serious incident which resulted in a small cut on Tennessee’s face. It’s one more nick on his sweet face that was already covered with tiny tooth sized injuries when he arrived at our house, so I’m guessing he isn’t a stranger to these scuffles. I tended his wound and chastised Frank and kept them apart for a few days, but finally relented. They really, really, really wanted to play. And up until that point, they’d done well together, wrestling for hours without it breaking into bloody battles. Besides, Texas needed some relief as he was limping from one too many top-speed full-body slams with Frank. Continue reading “They’re Really Lovers, Not Fighters, Honest!”


A Day in the Life

My days are still blurring together on this publishing roller coaster, but Frank is steady as can be. He did prove that he is a real dog and not the Super Dog I thought him to be…..

He rolled in horse manure. Covered himself in it actually. Proving himself to be a true dog. Fun times.

And then a group of deer ran across the road in front of us and he scrambled to the end of his leash in a hurry to join that parade as opposed to staying with me on our happy run. I’m relieved to say that all these years of running with Gracie have prepared me to hold tight while a dog levitates at a full-run (ala Wylie Coyote) on the end of my retractable leash.

So, yes, Frank is mortal. Sigh. He’s still my favorite dog ever, though.

Here’s what it’s like to be Frank….

6am wake up call. He waits patiently in his crate, thumping his tale against the wire sides, occasionally emitting a high pitch whine that you would swear couldn’t possibly have come from him.

DSC_9782 Continue reading “A Day in the Life”


Stuck With Each Other

DSC_9641The decision has been made. Frank is not staying. Well, he’s staying for a few more weeks, but then he’s off to a terrific new life with a wonderful new family.

After much debate and waffling, we made the decision not to adopt Frank. We love him, maybe too much, for which we will decidedly pay in a week or so, but we cannot keep him.

The biggest reason is my darling personal dog whom I malign on a regular basis on this blog. So for the record – I love Gracie. I do. But she drives me nuts and she is everything I don’t want in a dog – disloyal, disobedient, disrespectful, and for lack of a better word – dumb. But, she’s our dog. We’ve had her since she was a puppy. The kids love her. This is her home. Gracie is going nowhere (even though I do occasionally flirt with the idea of switching pictures on the OPH website and giving Gracie away to an unsuspecting adopter….). Continue reading “Stuck With Each Other”


Fabulous Frank

DSC_9637So, you may have noticed that I haven’t been quick to write about Frank. I haven’t even updated his profile on the OPH website.  I’ll get to it, I will. But right now I’m still humoring this crazy debate between my head and my heart about Frank.

Frank is awesome. And I know as soon as I start writing about his awesomeness, some wonderful person is gonna want to adopt him and I’m still trying to figure out if we are that awesome person.

I’m not going to foster fail. I’ve said that. Again and again. Heck, if I was going to foster fail it would have been with Carla, not some skinny, funny looking, boy dog with crazy eyes.

My husband is pressuring me. He loves this dog. He even said last night, “What if I put in the application and he’s my dog?”

But he isn’t his dog.

Frank loves me. Yesterday when I left him for the first time, he nearly went through a window screen to follow me. Continue reading “Fabulous Frank”