Diary of a Rescue: Week One

Word of Warning: If you are not following along on this Rescue Diary on Facebook, you may not know that this story is a hard one. Sadly, it is a reality of rescue that we can’t save them all and that sometimes the damage that has been done prior to the dog arriving with us is insurmountable. Still, we do all we can and while that may not be enough, it is more than many dogs would experience apart from rescue. The following are the Facebook Diary posts in their entirety: Continue reading Diary of a Rescue: Week One

Diary of a Rescue: Day 1

My next foster dog arrives tonight, a pregnant shepherd mix from South Carolina named Daisy.

shelter pic

I plan to chronicle her journey in realtime on my Facebook writer page. If you’re not on Facebook, I will collect those entries and publish them weekly on this blog.

Word of warning: there are no guarantees here. This is a shelter dog with no history, so while I hope there’s a happy ending coming, that may not be the case. Mama dogs who land in shelters have often not had any kind of prenatal care, may be undernourished, riddled with worms, and definitely not talking about who the baby daddy is. My most recent mama dog had a near textbook delivery, while the one before that was tragic. I want to be honest about this business of rescuing dogs and will share with you the story, no matter the outcome.

Shelter dogs arrive with Continue reading Diary of a Rescue: Day 1

Welcome to the World, Puppies!

The last time I whelped puppies, it didn’t go so well. It’s been over 18 months since that tragedy, but it still crept into the back of my mind when I watched Dixieland in the whelping box.

Fostering a pregnant dog is exciting and amazing, but it is also terrifying. These dogs come with no history, no prenatal care, lots of stress (theirs and yours), and normally no timeline. I was lucky to have a general idea of when Dixie’s pups were due because of the x-ray she had to check out her broken back leg.

As the days ticked past the ‘due date’, Continue reading Welcome to the World, Puppies!

Am I Becoming a Broken Record?

I’ve been kicking around ideas for this post—lots to say, not enough space (the usual for me).

My thoughts are scattered because part of me is in North Carolina worrying about the dogs at the three shelters we visited who were all evacuated. I know they’re confused and frightened, but so far, at least, I know they are safe.

In a news story about the Anson shelter, I saw footage of several of the dogs I met – Oreo (who is coming to my home at the end of the month), the Great Dane that Lisa and I flirted with (whose destiny is uncertain), Sparky (the shy, adorable pit mix with bandit eyes that Lisa coaxed out to say hello to us), and a large gray pitbull whose sad face I’ve been carrying around with me ever since I met him. Of all the dogs we met, his eyes seemed to sear my soul – the depth of sadness and the resignation broke my heart.

Seeing those friends crammed in crates and stacked in a van, while the people around them talked in panicked voices and the flood water closed in on them was unbearable. I want to be down there, doing something, and yet again, Continue reading Am I Becoming a Broken Record?

Our Tragic Weekend

If it’s painful, you become willing not just to endure it but also to let it awaken your heart and soften you. You learn to embrace it.
– Pema Chodron

The heavy sadness that followed me everywhere this weekend despite the sunshine, seems to have let up a bit. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve had my first real sleep in three nights or that the tide has truly turned in my puppy pen.

If you’ve been following on the Facebook Another Good Dog group, you know that it has been a tragic few days here.

After three nights of nearly no sleep, it’s hard to remember the order of events, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I mix up a detail or two.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Darlin’s temperature dropped soon after she arrived here Thursday afternoon which meant that labor was imminent. Continue reading Our Tragic Weekend

What Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a few days make in the life of a foster dog home. We started this week with two fosters and the certain knowledge that Vera was going home on Friday to her forever family who had come to visit and spent a good hour with her -walking her, playing with her and falling in love. Estelle would leave the next week after her spay surgery with a delightful family who live just over the line from us in Maryland.

Fast forward two days—there is an urgent plea for fosters. Could I take a pregnant dog or a litter of nine puppies who could be flown in (yes, flown in) on Thursday? My puppy room was empty and my two fosters all set. Another litter? A pregnant dog? Either option would be fun and sure, I could use a break from the editing grind to drive to the airport in my favorite state.

I decided to go with door number one because door number two was nine definite poopers and door number one came with the excitement of delivery and the possibility of many fewer puppies. A gamble, I know, but I was taking my chances and going with the devil I didn’t know.

So yesterday, I drove to Warrenton, Virginia to pick up my newest mama dog. She is not a spring chicken and this is not her first rodeo, but gosh, doesn’t she melt the heart?

I had all kinds of silly names picked out (with the help of my family the night before), but upon meeting her silly didn’t seem appropriate. She’d been Darla at the shelter and I took to calling her Darlin’ so that’s her new name—Darlin’. I’m going to give the pups ‘pet names’ like schnookie-puss and sweetems. Anybody got a good one for me?

Darlin’ liked the whelping box and hopped right in upon arrival. She’s been there ever since and her temperature has dropped to 98.9, a sure sign that labor is imminent! I’m spending my day with my laptop on my lap in the puppy room, waiting.

But wait! Isn’t it Friday? Isn’t Vera leaving today? Nope. Sadly, her wonderful adopters had a health emergency. Everyone is going to be fine, but they won’t be adopting a dog at this time. No one in my house was upset at the idea that Vera would have to stick around. That said, four dogs plus who-knows-how-many puppies is pretty much my capacity so please spread the word that I have a 60-pound, cat-chasing lovebug looking for a home!

And if you want to follow the birth, as it happens, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook page where I’ll be posting updates and maybe even do a live feed after everyone has arrived.

If you’d like to know more about me and my writing, I’d be thrilled if you checked out my website, CaraWrites.com, where you’ll find links to all my books, my other blog, and far too many pictures of dogs!