adopters, dog rescue, Fanny, foster dogs, foster fail, fostering, Gracie

The Adoption Decision

Adopting a dog is not something anyone should do on a whim. Yes, there are many times when you get that ‘feeling’ or ‘connection’ or ‘moment’ that tells you that this is the one.

But when you are a part of a family—human and canine (and feline)—adopting a dog has to be a family decision.

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In this family, the opinions of the kids are important, but as far as the adoption decision, Continue reading “The Adoption Decision”

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?”

Diary, dog rescue, foster dogs, fostering, hard to adopt

Diary of a Rescue Week Five:  It’s a Big Wide World

Every evening when I sit down to post in this diary, I think—nothing really happened. (except on Wednesday – that was a little too exciting) And yet, when I look through the day’s pictures and start to write, there’s always something to tell.

That’s probably true of all of our lives, not just one rescue dog. So much happens every day that we take for granted and should instead be awed by in gratefulness, but I suppose it’s human nature to think it has to be exciting/tragic/titillating for it to be worthy of writing or reading about. Daisy is teaching me to slow down and appreciate the moments.

This week was made up of a lot of little moments, but her world stretched and she gave me lots of clues to her history and maybe a few that will help to unlock her heart.

I appreciate any help you can give in sharing her story. I really believe it simply she needs to reach the right heart—someone who will recognize her as family and choose to adopt her. Daisy has so much love to give and every day I see more of her huge loving, funny personality.

If you’d like to read her story in real time, you can follow along on Facebook at Cara Sue Achterberg, writer.

Here are this week’s entries: Continue reading “Diary of a Rescue Week Five:  It’s a Big Wide World”

dog rescue, Dogs with Issues, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, oph

Diary of a Rescue Week Four: Progress is an Eight-Letter Word

I have to forewarn you that this past week hasn’t been terribly exciting. The progress with Daisy is only incremental and likely will stay that way. Again and again, I shake my head at the depth of pain this dog has endured. Her scars are deeper than any dog I’ve encountered.

It has been a month now since I picked up Daisy on a cold night at the bowling alley where she arrived on a transport from South Carolina.

And yet despite the fact, that during that first week of fevers, labor, delivery, and surgery, literally carrying her 60+ pound body in and out of cars, hospitals, and vet offices, she Continue reading “Diary of a Rescue Week Four: Progress is an Eight-Letter Word”

Darlin, Diary, dog rescue, fosterdogs, fostering, Hula Hoop, pregnant dog, puppies

The Price We Pay to Save a Dog

I sat down at my computer to write on Monday morning and a text popped up from Hula Hoop’s adopter. She is in love with Hula, now Willow, and sent a picture of her sporting a pretty new collar and surveying her new stash of toys.

“Working from home today with my little love bug! But hardly working because I can’t stop watching her! She is such a good girl and we are blessed to have her!”

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These are the messages that make it all worthwhile.

It reminds me of moments like when Hula was a nursing mom and had exploding diarrhea for nearly three weeks. That mess? Continue reading “The Price We Pay to Save a Dog”

dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterdogs, fostering, hard to adopt, oph, training

Meet YoYoMa (and her remarkable foster mom)!

It’s a quiet house now.

Just us.

Well, and Willow, but she feels like she’s one of us.

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Willow’s spay appointment is May 3, and after that she’ll be ready to go to her forever home. I’m pretty certain by then she’ll have one. She was just added to the website and there’s so much to love about this girl that I expect there to be plenty of applications.

There is rumor that we’ll have a new pup joining us on Friday night from the transport. Check in on the Another Good Dog facebook group for updates.

Since I have no dog stories to tell on my little herd, I thought I’d do something special this week. I’d like to introduce you to a very special dog who came into the rescue about the same time as my Gala but is still searching for her forever home.

YoYoMa is a foster mom herself, as you’ll soon discover. I’ve followed her story because I think it’s a special one and because she is such a funny dog! Her pictures always make me smile. She’s had a hard-luck life and more than deserves a forever home, so I appreciate anything you can do to help us find her people.

I’m also going to introduce you to her foster mom, Val, who is someone I look up to and learn from every day.

Here’s my Q&A with YoYoMa (and then the same questions posed to her foster mom Val!) Continue reading “Meet YoYoMa (and her remarkable foster mom)!”

Darlin, fosterdogs, Uncategorized, Vera Bradley, whelping

What Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a few days make in the life of a foster dog home. We started this week with two fosters and the certain knowledge that Vera was going home on Friday to her forever family who had come to visit and spent a good hour with her -walking her, playing with her and falling in love. Estelle would leave the next week after her spay surgery with a delightful family who live just over the line from us in Maryland.

Fast forward two days—there is an urgent plea for fosters. Could I take a pregnant dog or a litter of nine puppies who could be flown in (yes, flown in) on Thursday? My puppy room was empty and my two fosters all set. Another litter? A pregnant dog? Either option would be fun and sure, I could use a break from the editing grind to drive to the airport in my favorite state.

I decided to go with door number one because door number two was nine definite poopers and door number one came with the excitement of delivery and the possibility of many fewer puppies. A gamble, I know, but I was taking my chances and going with the devil I didn’t know.

So yesterday, I drove to Warrenton, Virginia to pick up my newest mama dog. She is not a spring chicken and this is not her first rodeo, but gosh, doesn’t she melt the heart?

I had all kinds of silly names picked out (with the help of my family the night before), but upon meeting her silly didn’t seem appropriate. She’d been Darla at the shelter and I took to calling her Darlin’ so that’s her new name—Darlin’. I’m going to give the pups ‘pet names’ like schnookie-puss and sweetems. Anybody got a good one for me?

Darlin’ liked the whelping box and hopped right in upon arrival. She’s been there ever since and her temperature has dropped to 98.9, a sure sign that labor is imminent! I’m spending my day with my laptop on my lap in the puppy room, waiting.

But wait! Isn’t it Friday? Isn’t Vera leaving today? Nope. Sadly, her wonderful adopters had a health emergency. Everyone is going to be fine, but they won’t be adopting a dog at this time. No one in my house was upset at the idea that Vera would have to stick around. That said, four dogs plus who-knows-how-many puppies is pretty much my capacity so please spread the word that I have a 60-pound, cat-chasing lovebug looking for a home!

And if you want to follow the birth, as it happens, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook page where I’ll be posting updates and maybe even do a live feed after everyone has arrived.

If you’d like to know more about me and my writing, I’d be thrilled if you checked out my website, CaraWrites.com, where you’ll find links to all my books, my other blog, and far too many pictures of dogs!

 

Foo Foo, foster dogs, fosterdogs, John Coffey, puppies

Of Miracles and Magic

It was quite a weekend! At least in terms of dog fostering, but definitely not exciting in terms of regular clean-the-house-be-mom-drive-kids-everywhere. Pretty yucky weekend for all that, plus I made the mistake of finally getting on the scale after several months of too much wine and too many new recipes to discover I’d gained five pounds since summer. Ugh. Let’s not think about that – let me tell you about my amazing weekend instead!

First up, John Coffey went home on Saturday with a family that is perfect for him. He knew it immediately. Three boys – all for him!! And fun parents- dad’s even a runner, so score there, too. Sometimes when an adopter turns up, I have to simply trust that OPH did their due-diligence and the pup is the right match, but sometimes it’s completely clear that there is magic at hand. John Coffey was so anxious to get going with his family that he leapt in their car as soon as a door was opened. We had to bring him back out to take a picture, but you can see from the picture how happy he was – what a smile!

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So, super duper awesome adoption. Now I have all my fingers and toes and anything else that can be crossed, crossed that he is not overwhelming them with his happiness and enthusiasm, and that he has NOT broken into the lego room that their youngest son told me about!

Just before John Coffey’s family arrived, I got word that the puppies were being born!

What puppies? (you sound just like my husband!) Continue reading “Of Miracles and Magic”

Uncategorized

Now Starring JOHN COFFEY…

DSC_0680I’ve gotten in the habit of only blogging once a week about the foster dog of the moment, but John Coffey simply cannot be contained in one post per week. The dog is busy.

First off, if you know anyone looking for a Frisbee-catching, ball-chasing, potential movie star trick dog – send them my way. I’ve got the dog for them. If my nephew/dogwhisperer Brandon lived closer, I’d be adopting this dog and calling an agent.

This dog is crazy athletic, intensely paying attention, and as eager to please as a used car salesman. Throw in a tiny little bit of manic, and you’ve got the makings of dog headed for Hollywood, or at least dock-diving. At any rate, John Coffey needs a job.

I can run him four and a half miles in the morning, and still he’s dancing (for minutes at a time) on his hind legs as I’m preparing dinner.

He will chase a ball ALL DAY. Did I say all day? I meant 24 HOURS A DAY SEVEN DAYS A WEEK UNTIL THERE ARE NO BALLS LEFT ON THE PLANET! Here’s a meager selection of the balls John Coffey can catch (it’s hard to be the photographer and the ball thrower…) Continue reading “Now Starring JOHN COFFEY…”