Diary of a Rescue Week Six: Change is Coming

The coming week will mean a big change for Daisy.

I am preparing to leave on the OPH Rescue Road Trip, a weeklong trip with seven other volunteers to visit six of our partner shelters in North and South Carolina to spend our days working in the shelters. Our hope is to not only offer physical help with the dogs and the work, but to learn more about the needs of our shelters and to raise awareness of those needs.

You can follow along on our Facebook group, OPH Rescue Road Trip, where we’ll be sharing pictures, stories, and live videos all week long.

This is an exciting adventure for me, but it means that Daisy will have to leave our home which has been her safe haven for nearly seven weeks. Nick and Ian cannot be left in charge of Daisy for an entire week.

It’s not their safety I’m worried about – Daisy has shown no aggression at all towards any people (although it’s more than clear that she has suffered at the aggressive hands of people). The problem is that she goes into a blind panic if Nick or Ian approach her and I worry for her safety and emotional health if we force the issue. We have made incremental progress, but sadly, there is still so far to go in convincing her to trust them.

She has three options. One would be Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Six: Change is Coming

Big Dog Lessons

I hope I didn’t take on more than I can handle.

Last night it seemed overwhelming, but today in the sunshiny energy of a new morning, it seems, well, maybe not totally doable, but somewhere in the realm of possibility.

We have a new foster dog. And he’s Continue reading Big Dog Lessons

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

If I Never Fostered Dogs….

I’ve always liked dogs.

Liked them.

I wasn’t necessarily a ‘dog person.’ We always had a dog when I was growing up. A steady stream of strays and dogs that just happened into our lives. Truly, I never gave it much thought. I liked cats better. Especially once I hit young adulthood and lived in an apartment.

But now, somehow, dogs have taken over my life. My days, really my hours, revolve around dogs. Currently, we have four here at the house. Two are permanent residents and two are foster dogs only here for a spell awaiting the moment when their forever families find them.

As I write, Continue reading If I Never Fostered Dogs….

Diary of a Rescue Week Three: Together We Rescue

This past week taught me the truth of ‘Together We Rescue’.

Sometimes we forget the fact that none of us has to go through this life alone. It’s our choice.

Like most people, asking for help doesn’t always come naturally for me. I want to be that strong, independent, I-can-handle-it person, and more than that, I just don’t want to bother anyone. We’re all more than busy, right?

Thankfully, when a crisis rose up this week for Daisy, friends stepped in an offered help and for once, I was smart enough to take it. It was that help that got us through the week and helped Daisy to expand her own circle of trust, proving that she is more resilient than I thought.

Yes, she is still terrified of men and has yet to let my husband or son pet her or put on a leash, but as she watches Nick’s outstretched hand or creeps towards him and then scurries away, I know her mind is weighing it all. Risk versus reward. It likely took some time to inflict the emotional wounds she carries and it will take even longer to heal them, but this week proved that we are making progress.

If you’d like to follow this Diary of a Rescue in real time, you can do that on Facebook at Cara Sue Achterberg, writer. Here are this week’s entries: Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Three: Together We Rescue

The Long Haul

We are settling in for the long haul with our pack.

Flannery has no applications (C’mon people! You are missing out on this super fun, super loving, super smart pup!)

and I really can’t imagine anyone Continue reading The Long Haul

Diary of a Rescue Week Two

All along this journey, I have been buoyed by an outpouring of support online and by friends who have come by and brought food and company or emailed to ask what they can do. I even got a lovely gift from Arkansas!

As we lost the puppies last week, people kept saying, “I could never do that,” but somehow, I think you could and more than that, I could never do it without the support of family and friends.

If last week taught me anything, it’s that I am stronger than I know. All during that long, long night when Daisy’s labor began and it became clear that it was too soon for puppies to be born Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Two