Diary of a Rescue: Month Six

This is a long-overdue post to catch you up on Daisy’s Diary of a Rescue.

Truly, I did not imagine I would still be writing this Diary almost six months later. But maybe that’s the piece of rescue that is hardest – they are all good dogs, but some require a little more of us than others.

Sometimes you rescue a dog from a shelter, imagining it’s shiny new future now that it is ‘out’, but then that future is nothing like you imagined. For whatever reason, some dogs struggle to find a forever family.

In our rescue we call them long-term dogs. I’ve also heard them called hard-to-adopt dogs.

When they first arrive, we are excited and motivated, but when the foster situation drags on (and on), you begin to wonder….will she ever be adopted?

I don’t know.

But I do know she deserves to be.

Daisy B is a sweetheart. She has a huge heart swollen with unused love ready to pour it out on her future ‘mommy’. That much I’m certain of—when the right person comes along and takes a chance on this precious pup, that person will be overwhelmed by the loyalty and love that Daisy will offer.

Yes, Daisy is still paralyzingly afraid of men. But she doesn’t bite or snarl at them like many dogs who are afraid of men will do. She simply runs away from them and if there is no avoiding them, she freezes in terror.

And the amazing thing is that over time, she comes to like men who do not threaten her, men who let her come to them on her terms.

Yes, she is still learning that the insides of buildings are safe, but that fear is waning as she has gotten very comfy inside our house and she has begun visiting others.

And yes, she needs to be the only dog in her home…for now. She is still defensive towards other dogs, obviously having had some not so great experiences. But when she sees another dog, she does not bark or growl, she wags her tail and gets excited, so I know that she wants to have doggie friends, but for now she will require her adoptive family to be focused on her alone.

She’ll need someone patient and someone willing to listen to her. But the rewards, oh the rewards, they will be great.

Because this is a great dog.

It’s killing me that she will be spending so much time in boarding over the next few months as I will be away working on our new house in Virginia and also traveling to shelters in the south again.

If you have been watching Daisy and feeling a pull to adopt or foster her, now is the time to step up. She can be adopted with a lengthy trial adoption period, or even a foster-to-adopt situation. She has had a portion of her adoption fee sponsored, and another generous person has donated funds to pay for initial training with her new adopter.

So, I know you feel it’s a risk, everything in life is, but I’m here to tell you that Daisy is not a risk, she is a sure thing. All she needs is a chance.

What follows are the entries for her diary for the last two months in their entirety as they have been posted on Facebook:

Diary of a Rescue Day 84:

Daisy is a different dog outside- here she is meeting my friend Allison. She met my friend Pam this morning and was just as happy to meet her. I’ve never seen such a drastic difference in a dog’s behavior outside versus inside. Who wants to adopt this silly love bug? #adoptabledog Daisy B #yournextbestfriend

Diary of a Rescue Day 87 :

We’ve discovered that Daisy loves children! These two kiddos stopped by (with almost all of the Rescue Road Trip Team!) on Sunday and Daisy was beside herself with joy. She sniffed and licked them endlessly like they were puppies!

#areyoumymother#adoptabledog Daisy B available thru ophrescue.org 

Diary of a Rescue Day 88:

Daisy had a fun day today. She, Flannery, and I drove to my friend Gina’s house and went for a walk in her busy neighborhood.

With Flannery in the lead, Daisy was a different dog than the last time we walked with Gina. She trotted along, more interested in all the good smells than worrying about the people we passed- she hardly even noticed a man with a leaf blower!

When we came home, her favorite friend Tanis stopped by and that just made her day!

#opttoadopt Daisy B from ophrescue.org #heartdog

Diary of a Rescue Day 92:

This is a long overdue update but our world is busier than usual. Daisy’s days are much the same, divided between time in the kitchen and long stretches outside in the playyard.

She is always overjoyed to see me- leaping and twirling and I have to wait for her to settle and sit to put on the leash. She acts more like a ‘regular’ dog every day and I’m working on her leash manners.

She’s had quite a few visitors and usually greets them happily but hesitantly at first before devolving into the zoomies and tearing around the yard to show off.

I took her to the vet on Friday because the nails on her dew claws confounded me and I couldn’t figure out where the quick was, plus they were too thick for my clippers and were beginning to curl back on themselves. (Full confession- clipping nails scares me so I’m generally much too conservative and rely on long walks on the roads to keep nails under control).

It turned out that she actually had two nails (intertwined) on one foot and three on the other! The vet got them trimmed but said Daisy really should have those hind dewclaws removed at some point. When dewclaws are as floppy and barely connected as hers are, they are normally removed as a puppy when the dog is spayed, but we all know that Daisy did not have a pampered puppyhood.

I worried how she would be at the vet, but she did great and the staff loved her and thought she was beautiful (she is).

I’ve started Daisy on a homeopathic tincture for anxiety and I’m hopeful it will help, but really she isn’t anxious when it’s just the two of us and I think when she gets a real family, she’ll be fine too. She just won’t be a dog that loves to go to the pet store or playground with you (although we’re going to try those places in the next few weeks).

I’ll try to do better with updates this week but it is a busy time in our house full of dogs (10!).

#areyoumymother#opttoadopt Daisy B

Diary of a Rescue Day 94:

Pictures of Daisy

#ready #areyoumymother#adoptthisdog

Diary of a Rescue Day 97:

Daisy is very happy spending her days in the yard, but now that company is leaving and Nick is headed out of the country again, I’m hoping to get her back to a regular schedule (time inside, crate time, walks) and also take her on some outings to see how she is in public places. Her confidence has grown so much that I think she might be fine if she has Flannery along.

Can’t say whether the homeopathic drops are helping but they sure aren’t hurting.

Daisy loves her toys and kind of plays fetch (though she is easily distracted). Mostly she loves attention- butt scratches and snuggles. She is so ready for her forever home, but we will keep trying to expand her world.

#readywhenyouare #opttoadopt Operation Paws For Homes

Diary of a Rescue Day 98:

Just had to post this picture I got of Daisy tonight. She is such a pretty dog.

I took her for a walk yesterday in a busy neighborhood without Flannery chaperoning and she was amazing. We passed a man with his dog and she didn’t even miss a beat, even when he talked to us (told me I had a ‘gorgeous dog’). We ran into another guy that Gina knows well and we stopped while she gave him a hug and I shook his hand and Daisy did not panic, just waited quietly. I really feel like we’ve turned some kind of corner in terms of her confidence.

I walked her this morning and pretty much forget to worry about her, like she was a ‘regular dog’. We went about three miles with no panic attacks, no issues.

I’m seriously considering introducing her to our dogs once Nick is back from his work trip in a week. At the very least, we are going to go check out the dog park, since she now loves to go for rides in the car and jumps right in. I need a house to visit. I think her biggest hurdle will be going indoors. We may try the pet store or home depot, and take Flannery along for that. Anybody local who would like a Daisy visit, let me know!

#thisgirlisonherway #progress

Day 98

Diary of a Rescue: Day one hundred and something:

We’re in our fifth month with Daisy and this finally happened.

Diary of a Rescue Day 124:

I’m sorry it has been so long since I’ve given you an update. It has been a really hard couple of weeks here.

Daisy has been unfazed by the emotional turmoil, as far as I can tell. She’s had long days alone in the side yard but is happy outside. She pulled some of the lattice off the side of the small porch out there to create her own little shelter (rejecting the puppy house that Nick removed the side from to allow her access). Now she reminds me of the troll under the bridge (the nice one). Sometimes when I go outside I have to stand and call to her and wait for her to crawl out. At which point, she inevitably gets the zoomies, thrilled beyond reason by my visit and oblivious to my sadness.

A few early evenings Nick and I have sat outside with her, quietly watching the bluebirds who have moved into the birdhouse on the fence (for the first time since we put it up). Daisy is always happy for our company and has grown to be very affectionate with Nick. As long as he is seated in the Adirondack chair or on the steps, she covers him with kisses and insists on pets. If he gets up, she follows him, sometimes showing off with her zoomies but shying from his touch. It’s progress and makes me believe that she will be able to be adopted into a home with a man in it, as long as he is patient and waits for her to accept him.

I am praying hard for her to find an adopter. We will be away a lot this summer and this will mean that Daisy spends a lot of time in a boarding facility. She is ready to find her home and has an enormous heart that has years worth of love stockpiled inside waiting to unleash it on her person.

If you know someone looking for their next best friend, please suggest Daisy. She loves children and women but would do best as a solo dog. She seems pretty oblivious to cats, walks great on a leash/harness in all kinds of environments, and is crate-trained and working on basic commands (she’s an ace at ‘sit’).

#adoptabledog #opttoadopt #yournextbestfriend.

Diary of a Rescue Day 135:

Daisy has come so far and now we just have to wait for the right person to come along and choose her. I never know what makes a person choose a dog- I guess it’s a bit like falling in love- totally unpredictable.

Daisy is more than ready and as you can see in this video has tons of love to give. She deserves a happy life.

Today I will drop her at a boarding facility for the week while I am gone in Tennessee visiting the shelters. She did fine last time but it was a different facility. I’m supposed to take her bed but her bed is actually a ‘nest’ of bits of blankets she shredded a few months ago. Not sure what they’ll make of that so I’m going to take the blanket I use to cover her crate when the kids are up late with the lights on and one of my t-shirts for comfort. I’m guessing she’ll shred both.

I know she’ll be safe and it sounds like a really nice kennel (indoor/outdoor), but I’ll worry nonetheless. It will be a long week for her and I just hope we get our same happy Daisy back at the end of it.

#opttoadopt Daisy B Operation Paws For Homes

Diary of a Rescue Day 143:

Daisy is sooooooooo happy to be ‘home’ after a week in boarding. The facility was spotless and the staff very attentive but it still feels like (and smells like) a shelter.

Daisy had an indoor/outdoor run in one of the quiet buildings. Those are the ones where the kennels don’t face each other so the dogs know other dogs are there but can’t see them. This immaculate facility had 200 kennels. I requested that Daisy not be handled by men and was told there are no men on staff.

She doesn’t seem any worse for wear. Gosh this pretty girl is ready to be adopted. I just wish it would happen.

#pickme #DaisyB Operation Paws For Homes

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to know more about my blogs and books, visit CaraWrites.com or subscribe to my occasional e-newsletter.

If you’d like to know more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, visit AnotherGoodDog.org, where you can find more pictures of the dogs from the book (and some of their happily-ever-after stories), information on fostering, and what you can do right now to help shelter animals! You can also purchase a signed copy or several other items whose profits benefit shelter dogs!

If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more pictures and videos of my foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog Facebook group.

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to comment here on the blog, email carasueachterberg@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebooktwitter, or Instagram.

 Best,

 Cara

Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now

Another Good Dog cover

Published by

Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

8 thoughts on “Diary of a Rescue: Month Six”

  1. Nice updates. I was touched reading about the progress she’s made with Nick. Funny video of her with him where he speculates that she may prefer older men. He must be a witty guy, able to meet each foster dog where they’re at. I’m glad she got such good care while in bording. Please let us know how it goes taking her to playgrounds and dog parks. She’ll get there.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t know that there was a board and train service out there. Nice… seems like she could benefit from that. I’m sure there’s the right female owner out there somewhere, and likely she knows some gentle, dog-loving men who Daisy can gradually learn to trust. Keep us posted.

        Like

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