Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

It’s hard to write about the dogs when I’m not with the dogs, but I’ll try. I’m actually in a California hotel room recovering from my brief brush with Hollywood. If you’d like to read about that adventure, you can find it on my other blog, My Life In Paragraphs.

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The drama continues with Oreo. Continue reading Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

Beware of Dog/s?

Over the weekend, Nick posted a Beware of Dog sign on our driveway.

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He did it in response to the fact that two of our neighbors were burglarized, but he also did it because legally it’s a good idea. You should be aware of my dogs.

It’s a sign we should have posted long ago since Lucy bit the UPS guy and Gracie tried to bite the Fed Ex man (and bit me instead when I stepped between them). And now Frankie Continue reading Beware of Dog/s?

My Heart and House is Full

My heart is so full this morning that tears seem to turn up on my face without warning.

Sunday night was the official ‘end’ of my tour, although there are still a bunch of events this month and I’m hoping to get more opportunities to talk about the book, its purpose, shelter dogs and how we can all make a difference. (So feel free to toss my name/contact in any direction you want!)

My last event was sponsored by an awesome person, Karen Johnson and Paws Go. She designs and sells fabulous t-shirts and gives away much of what she makes to dog-related causes. During August and September that cause was OPH.

Sunday night, Karen hosted a book signing for me at Nectar Wine & Coffee Bar in Alexandria, an adorable little spot with great VA wine selections and amazing food. Rooney came to sign along with me (thanks Lauren!).

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The generosity and kindness of so many overwhelmed me as I drove home from Nectar through the growing darkness.  Not only Continue reading My Heart and House is Full

Welcome to the World, Puppies!

The last time I whelped puppies, it didn’t go so well. It’s been over 18 months since that tragedy, but it still crept into the back of my mind when I watched Dixieland in the whelping box.

Fostering a pregnant dog is exciting and amazing, but it is also terrifying. These dogs come with no history, no prenatal care, lots of stress (theirs and yours), and normally no timeline. I was lucky to have a general idea of when Dixie’s pups were due because of the x-ray she had to check out her broken back leg.

As the days ticked past the ‘due date’, Continue reading Welcome to the World, Puppies!

Am I Becoming a Broken Record?

I’ve been kicking around ideas for this post—lots to say, not enough space (the usual for me).

My thoughts are scattered because part of me is in North Carolina worrying about the dogs at the three shelters we visited who were all evacuated. I know they’re confused and frightened, but so far, at least, I know they are safe.

In a news story about the Anson shelter, I saw footage of several of the dogs I met – Oreo (who is coming to my home at the end of the month), the Great Dane that Lisa and I flirted with (whose destiny is uncertain), Sparky (the shy, adorable pit mix with bandit eyes that Lisa coaxed out to say hello to us), and a large gray pitbull whose sad face I’ve been carrying around with me ever since I met him. Of all the dogs we met, his eyes seemed to sear my soul – the depth of sadness and the resignation broke my heart.

Seeing those friends crammed in crates and stacked in a van, while the people around them talked in panicked voices and the flood water closed in on them was unbearable. I want to be down there, doing something, and yet again, Continue reading Am I Becoming a Broken Record?

Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!

There are so many dogs in my house, it’s hard to keep them straight. After everything I saw on my shelter/book tour, I just can’t say no.

I feel an urgency I didn’t have before that trip. There are simply too many good dogs dying in our shelters; foster homes can buy them time.

If you’re waiting for someone to ask you to foster dogs – I’m asking. More foster homes can make a difference. YOU can make a difference.

Here’s our current roster:

Flannery O’Connor is a quirky little southern sprite.

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We picked her up as scheduled on our last stop of the tour at Scott County Animal Shelter in Gate City, Virginia. In fact, we picked up six dogs there, but Flannery was the only one without a committed foster home, so Continue reading Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!

Finally– a Rescue!

After a fun night and day in Nashville with my hubby in which we discovered my book at Parnassus Books (Ann Patchett’s bookstore!), visited a few honky tonks, got some much needed rest, and I bought new cowboy boots (!), we headed to Scott County, VA to visit the shelter that inspired my book.

Back in summer 2016, I was about forty foster dogs in to my rescue adventures when I attended a training seminar with OPH. We heard about how the rescue came to be, how many dogs we had collectively rescued to date (6000, I think it was), and then we heard from some special guests. Rachel and Ashley had come all the way from Scott County, Virginia. Ashley was a volunteer and foster mom and Rachel was a volunteer, foster mom, and rescue coordinator for the Scott County Humane Society.

As I’ve learned, at many rural shelters the intake is handled by animal control and the ‘shelter’, but the actual saving of dogs is done by volunteers, many times a Humane Society organization. If not for these amazing people, the dogs would just be held until their owners came and found them, or they were euthanized. Sadly, there are still rural shelters where there are no volunteer organizations like the Humane Society.

Rachel and Ashley had come to OPH’s meeting so they could tell us about the impact OPH had on Scott County. OPH began pulling dogs from Scott County in mid-2015. At that time Scott’s kill rate was well over 60%. Now, a year later their rate was just 3% thanks in large part to OPH. They just wanted all of us to know we were making a difference. It was the moment when I realized that fostering dogs was critical not only for the dog in my home, but for the people who worked in the shelters.

I was excited to go to Scott County because this time instead of just delivering donations and touring the kennels, we were going to get to spring six dogs! The van was almost empty and Nick and I Continue reading Finally– a Rescue!