Destruction, fostering, Hula Hoop

Hey, That’s Enough, Settle Down!

“Hey! That’s enough! Settle down!”

I find myself yelling these words again and again these days. Hula Hoop is no longer the quiet, calm, exhausted, worm-addled, nursing mama dog. Now, she is full-on puppy.

photo Nancy Slattery

In the past week, she’s eaten my running gloves (luckily they went right through – eww, definitely shopping for a new pair), devoured the faux-fur edge of one of my slippers, continued the assault on my dog-walking shoes begun by John Jacob (see picture), and Continue reading “Hey, That’s Enough, Settle Down!”

Catalina, Destruction, fosterdogs, oph, puppies

BLM (Black Lab Mix)- the Catchall Breed of Rescue Dogs


And the dog wheel goes round and round. The only thing consistent is the color of all these dogs – black.

When I turned up at the OPH event in York this past Sunday, it seemed like a bit of a racist event – all black dogs. Well, to be honest, there were a couple brown dogs and even one tiny white (and black!) dog named (appropriately) Sylvester, but they were all on the smaller size, so they were eclipsed by sheer size and number of big, black dogs.

If OPH has a trademark dog is must be “black lab mix.” BLMs are prevalent in the site’s listings on most days. Nothing wrong with a BLM, mind you, I’m just a hound girl myself.

Bernie landed in a stellar forever home on Sunday. She’s got an adorable, like-sized fursister to hang with and two of her very own children! Her new family was super nice and they seemed like a perfect fit. They sent me pictures later in the day that clearly showed Bernie (now Zora) is making herself right at home. Happy for Bern!

With Bernie’s departure, we welcomed our fourth BLM of 2016 on Sunday. Catalina is a skinny (seriously skinny), leggy, long-nosed girl who resembles a German shepherd in her size/shape/nose length, but has the short black coat of a lab. She’s spent the last week in a local boarding facility as there was no room in the foster inn.

When I met Catalina, she was nervously guarding her own personal space at the event – happy to meet people, but snarling at dogs that crowded her. Perhaps a week in boarding, after a month or two in a shelter, had made her a little defensive and suspicious. Being shuffled like a number and lodged with other nervous strangers in noisy unfamiliar quarters would make me touchy, too, so I tried not to judge. Just took her leash and carted her quaking self home. Continue reading “BLM (Black Lab Mix)- the Catchall Breed of Rescue Dogs”


Survival of the Cutest

I think God made puppies cute so they could survive.DSC_8262

Otherwise, how could you forgive them when they do things like…..

Eat the hard-earned check you received (more than a month ago) for tutoring some kid in math after school? (Just because your mom told you to put it somewhere safe, i.e. the bank, doesn’t give the little poltergeist permission to destroy it.)


And what can you do but forgive the puppy whose innocent chewing sharpened the tip of your baseball cup to a painful self-mutilating weapon. (I know – hysterical! Except to the innocent ball player who can’t be bothered to put away his gear after a scrimmage and who is horrified that a puppy touched his cup, yet is the kid who slips it off on the drive home and leaves it on the carpet in the hall. When I showed it to him he said, “Gross! I can’t believe the puppy touched that!” LOL.) Continue reading “Survival of the Cutest”


Snow Day to Chew On


It’s been a big day! Not only has over a foot of snow fallen and Galina’s been doing plenty of swimming in it, but today, Galina got her first package! Of all days! Kudos to our mail lady – she’s the bomb.

Galina’s package came from a friend in Delaware, a dog named Peyton, who read about her penchant for chewing and her woefully unsupDSC_7853plied (and unsuspecting) foster family and sent her three mega chew toys.

These are heavy duty. She won’t be destroying these babies any time soon. In fact, as I listen to her this very moment working on the “Jr. Ring” I worry for her little teeth. She’s giving it her best shot.DSC_7862

The timing couldn’t have been better since this morning Galina finished off what another dog started and condemned our worn out ottoman to the curb.DSC_7842

I look at it as helpful. I’ve been wanting some new furniture, and she’s just moving the process along.

Gracie was equally excited to receive the toys and shared in the spoils, claiming the shark for her own.DSC_7875

Just in the past few days the two dogs have become bossum buddies. They wrestle for long periods of time and then sleep it off side by side. DSC_7836

A new transport of dogs is arriving tomorrow night and there’s a dog on the list I really, really want to foster, but I’m trying to apply some discipline to this endeavor. I do feel a little like a junkie, telling myself “I can handle it….just one more dog.” But we have only one crate and Galina has taught us a very important lesson about fostering – you truly don’t know what you’re in for. That said, I can’t risk my furniture or my relationship with my husband on another chewer.


Fostering is Bitter Sweet

Feeling very grateful this afternoon. Just made it home from Pittsburgh after having to extend what should have been a 2 day trip to a 3 ½ day trip thanks to weather.

I agonized about whether to stay safe in Pittsburgh or chance it through the mountains in a snowstorm to get home. I felt bad leaving my husband in charge of my menagerie. But good man that he is, he cleaned horse stalls, hauled buckets, took Galina for endless laps of the yard, mixed up her semi-complicated food concoctions, and vacuumed up all the exploded Beanie Babies. He said – stay there, I got this.

And still I hedged.

The kids would miss school I worried. Surprisingly, the kids were not at all concerned about missing a day of school.

Finally, I realized that the biggest reason I wanted to get home was Galina. I worried that she was confused by my lengthy absence. We’ve bonded quite well in the past week. I didn’t want to be yet another adult deserting her.

And I just plain missed her. It didn’t help that my husband was sending me adorable pictures via text all weekend while he was in charge of her….

Like her run-in with a roll of toilet paper….


And her sweet face and wagging tail blur as he talked to me on the phone…. Continue reading “Fostering is Bitter Sweet”