The Tears Are More Than Worth It

Without Oreo the house feels empty.

In fact, after he left on Saturday with his new family, Frankie spent the rest of the morning looking for his pal. He ran up and down the stairs and wanted to go out in the playyard to look and then back in the house to make the rounds again. It was a good thing we had Sip for a Cause on our calendar that night to distract all of us.

Some dogs are just special. Not that I haven’t loved every dog I’ve fostered, but some of them burrow a little deeper into your heart.

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I saw something on Facebook about the pain you endure as a foster mom yesterday. It said – Continue reading The Tears Are More Than Worth It

He Deserves Better

So, I’ve made a decision. And the puppies have been very helpful in my decision-making process.

All kinds of people have been visiting, trooping into our house, sitting on a couch or floor with a puppy in their lap. For me, a solitary writer, this is a welcome break. The puppies also love it and need the socialization.

But the dogs in this house find visitors stressful. I had hoped that Oreo’s calm happy state would rub off on Frankie and Gracie, but it seems to be the reverse. As more people come to visit, Oreo is more stressed. He’s been a perfect gentleman, but it’s clear he would prefer a quieter home.

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photo credit: Ian Achterberg

I think if the other two didn’t react to a new car in the driveway as a potential terrorist attack, he wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Unlike my other two, I’m pretty sure Oreo would adjust to this if I asked him too, but I don’t want to ask him to.

It’s not fair to Oreo. Which has led me to this conclusion: Continue reading He Deserves Better

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?

Another Good Dog ON THE ROAD!

I am the queen of best laid plans. I almost always assume the best. The way I see it is – why waste all that negative emotion dreading and worrying and stressing something when you can instead bask in the view from your rose-colored glasses?

Or – more simply – as the poster in the guidance office says, “Save your drama for your llama.”

Save the drama for your llama

We are now four days away from the start of my southern book tour and Billie Jean and Grits are still here.

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Still not adopted.

Billie Jean is Continue reading Another Good Dog ON THE ROAD!

Being (kind of) Famous

I’m still figuring out this being famous gig.

Not that I’m famous in the everyone-knows-my-name way, but famous enough to have my bad-hair picture splashed across the centerfold of the New York Post, my book mentioned in People Magazine, a live interview with the “most listened to pet talk radio show in the country” and lots of dear family and friends turning out for my book launch.

It’s exciting and overwhelming and humbling.

I don’t know how to say thank you enough, and truth be told, I feel a bit guilty. I know of SO MANY amazing people at OPH and its partner shelters who are doing so much more than me and my little foster home. But I’m grateful that I can do what I do, knowing that it’s only because of so many other people, not the least of which is my husband Nick and my three kids who have suffered through the poop and the plunder. Just this morning Grits destroyed one of Brady’s socks and Billie Jean got the other.

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Before I give you the reality of my past week, I have to say one thing – I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

I’m not.

Seriously, I’m beyond thrilled.

But while it might have looked great online, there were plenty of moments when I was well aware that I’m really not that important! The dogs helped out a bit in hammering home that point. Continue reading Being (kind of) Famous

Testing My Assumptions About My Canine Good Citizens

Assuming anything about your dog is probably a mistake.

(Same goes for most people.)

When Gomer arrived, he was a manic, frenzied force, racing around my kitchen on his noisy toenails, tongue hanging out, pausing only to leap on any persons who happened by.

We took him for a walk with Frankie and he lunged at him over and over, snarling and yipping and frothing at the mouth. And when he was on his own, he attacked the leash itself.

I tried to contain him in the kitchen, and he leaped over the gate to follow me.

I thought, Continue reading Testing My Assumptions About My Canine Good Citizens

Sometimes it’s Easy

Sometimes it’s really easy to foster. Sometimes it’s not.

Willow has been one of our easiest foster dogs to date. Absolutely housebroken, wonderfully crate-trained, not overly-chewy (except stuffed animals). She loves our visitors, tolerates visiting puppies, and listens in an I-will-do-anything-you-ask-especially-if-you-have-a-treat kind of way.

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Little Zander is also one of the easiest foster puppies we’ve ever had. A house-broken, mild-mannered, relatively calm puppy who’s worst habit is his penchant for shoes.

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So, I didn’t hesitate to leave my 15-year-old in charge of the foster dogs, plus Gracie and Frankie overnight last Friday. Nick and I headed to New Jersey to see our daughter perform in a benefit showcase. We would stay over and pack her up the next day and bring her home from college.

I left Ian a list of instructions and even measured out the dogs’ meals and labeled them so he wouldn’t be confused.

No worries, right? Continue reading Sometimes it’s Easy