Today is Remember Me Thursday.
It’s a day to light a candle to remember the countless dogs who are waiting in shelters for a forever family or who have lost their lives while waiting.
Having just spent over a week visiting the shelters and Continue reading Please Don’t Forget the Dogs Still Waiting
The past two weeks have been very hard. I keep expecting to wake up feeling better one day, but I don’t. There is a heavy sadness that hangs over me and weighs down my days. Grief hits me in repeated waves throughout my day. Pretty much everything in my house is a trigger. I miss my boy.
The foster dogs are keeping me busy and preventing me from hiding in my room with my grief, but I wish they would find their homes. I worry they can sense that my love right now is hollow. I am operating by rote.
Desperately searching for answers or any form of peace, I have Continue reading I Need To Be Clear About This…Pit Bulls Are Not Dangerous Dogs
I am home again after a week of visiting and volunteering in seven animal shelters in our rural south with an amazing team of volunteers.
When I try to describe the experience, I have to grapple for words. I’ve been to the shelters before; I was there while on book tour last fall. But this time, Continue reading The Business of Saving Animals
Oreo went to his first adoption event on Sunday. At a jewelry store!
Nelson Coleman Jewelers in Towson, MD featured OPH dogs in their holiday catalog. The pictures are gorgeous (and so are the dogs!). To celebrate, they hosted an adoption event on Sunday.
Oreo was pretty nervous at first—hair raised, clinging to me, but after he realized all that was expected of him was to sit calmly while people loved on him, he did great. He’s such a gentle, well-mannered giant, I forget that he hasn’t seen very much in his four years besides the rural countryside and the inside of a shelter.
Which is what makes him so remarkable. For all he’s been through and the many, many ways that people have let him down, Continue reading Saving Oreo’s Life
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!
I have so much to say.
My head is spinning with all I want to tell you—the extra three dogs in my house, their stories, the impending puppies, Frankie’s new classes, news of the book’s travels.
I’ll get to all of it, but if you want quick pictures and updates, you can always jump over and join the Another Good Dog facebook group where I try to post daily doses of my foster world. You can also sometimes catch updates on previous foster dogs there, which is always a treat (hint, hint to you adopters!).
But first, I need to tell you about my other shelter visits.
On Friday, Continue reading I’m Not Gonna Shut Up Anytime Soon
I’m home again now and only just beginning to process all that I saw and learned in the last ten days touring shelters in the south. Images of the dogs haunt me – their eyes full of sadness and confusion, their bodies tense and leaping with stress or shut down and still.
They scroll through my mind when I wake in the night and when I sit down at the computer now to write this. There is much to feel hopeless about in the world of southern shelters and rural dog rescue.
But there is also much to be hopeful about. There were two shelters we visited that made it clear that while there is still so far to go, Continue reading It Can Be Done (but it may require SuperWoman)