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

You Can’t Tell the Players without a Program

Meet our current (about to change) roster:

Hula, who you will remember arrived deathly thin, riddled with worms and nursing three puppies, is a new dog. She has gained weight, her coat has a nice gloss, and there are no traces of her mommy-life. She is full-on puppy and always ready to play. She is also always ready to steal socks. She pilfers them out of dirty laundry baskets and from where they hide, abandoned in a ball under the couch. Once in her possession, she challenges Frankie or Flannery to a game of tug of war.

They stretch the sock into unimaginable proportions, and then, Continue reading You Can’t Tell the Players without a Program

Hey, That’s Enough, Settle Down!

“Hey! That’s enough! Settle down!”

I find myself yelling these words again and again these days. Hula Hoop is no longer the quiet, calm, exhausted, worm-addled, nursing mama dog. Now, she is full-on puppy.

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photo Nancy Slattery

In the past week, she’s eaten my running gloves (luckily they went right through – eww, definitely shopping for a new pair), devoured the faux-fur edge of one of my slippers, continued the assault on my dog-walking shoes begun by John Jacob (see picture), and Continue reading Hey, That’s Enough, Settle Down!

Our Gated Community

Our little pack has settled in. Brady calls them my entourage, as all four dogs—our Frankie and Gracie, plus fosters Flannery and Hula, follow me from room to room. As I sit at my desk now, Hula is lounging in her crate behind me, Gracie has claimed the sun spot on the carpet near the door, and Frankie and Flannery are squeezed together on the dog bed.

Normally, we live in a gated community. One baby gate sections off the hallway to the puppy room, in addition to the fence that fills the doorway of the puppy room (the flannel sheet hanging over it traps the heat inside and keeps the room warmer, it also allows the pups to get away with all manner of naughtiness).

These gates will come down in just a week and a half when all three pups go to their forever homes.

Another baby gate separates the kitchen from the rest of the house.

 

This is where our adult foster dogs usually reside. That gate will remain closed until Continue reading Our Gated Community

Returning an Adopted Dog (Flannery, Flannery, Flannery…)

All four dogs like to lounge in my office after their early morning romp in the play yard. Having four that get along so nicely is refreshing. Between that fact and the three quiet, sweet, not-quite-so-messy puppies, fostering has never been so easy.

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Flannery finished her week shut-down and emerged a different dog. When she arrived she was snappy and tense, having proven to all that she will not do well in a home with young children. That wasn’t something I expected when she was adopted a few months ago by a family with five children.

Flannery is such a busy, fun, happy pup, so I was surprised to learn that Continue reading Returning an Adopted Dog (Flannery, Flannery, Flannery…)

Have Dogs, Will Travel

Christmas week was joyous and dog-filled at our house. Frankie reveled in the presence of family and the presents under the tree. My mom gave me a sign that says it all –

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My happiest news for you is that Daisy Duke was adopted!

Before she left, though, Nick and I took her along on his birthday trip to the Shenandoah Mountains. She was a great traveler, but just about the time I said, “I don’t know why her previous adopter said she was an escape artist….” she threw in a few parting shots.

For the past three weeks she had been Velcro-ed to my side at all times and never gotten out of crate, gate, door, or window. Honestly, I had even forgotten to worry about it. Continue reading Have Dogs, Will Travel

Puppies Make the Best Holiday Decorations (Plus a Gem of a Foster Dog)

For me, instead of getting crazier, Christmas is a slow down time. We don’t host a big family dinner. We don’t travel anywhere. In fact, we don’t even get invited to many parties and Nick’s work hasn’t had a holiday party in over a decade.

Without little kids bugging me to do it, I haven’t even pulled out the Christmas decorations yet. (And part of me thinks, there is so little time left, maybe I should just skip it?) We will finally get a Christmas tree this weekend when all three kids will be home on break. Maybe then I will dig out the holiday music and think about making some cookies.

One thing that is becoming a tradition for us, though, is Christmas puppies! We’ve had a litter every Christmas since we started fostering, so this is our fourth holiday litter.

As they enter their third week, the puppies Continue reading Puppies Make the Best Holiday Decorations (Plus a Gem of a Foster Dog)