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

Happy Christmas!

I had all kinds of good intentions for a moving and thoughtful blog post today, which included writing it yesterday and scheduling it to appear this morning while I was busy gobbling up time with my precious babes and my dear parents. But now it’s after 1pm on Christmas Day and I’m finally sitting down to write.

First off, I know that not all of you celebrate Christmas and I want to be sure you know this is not me foisting my holiday on you. However, when I started to title it Happy Holidays, that seemed contrived because today is Christmas and I’m writing this while Christmas carols blast in my living room, my parents dig into the books they unwrapped a few hours ago, and all three kids are happily ensconced in getting to know their newest belongings. My belly is full of egg casserole and monkey bread, two things I eat only one day a year. Nick is puttering around, ripping new CDs and charging batteries. Frankie is prowling the premises looking for unattended ribbons (for some reason none of us know, he loves to shred ribbons), Gracie is hunkered down in her crate guarding the beef jerky stick she got from Santa, and Daisy is curled up savoring my dad’s affection.

So, you see, there’s no denying what today is.

What’s more, for me at least, Christmas is about love and generosity and peace and hope; and those are all gifts desperately needed in our world and our homes. So…….after much struggle and more than a few bribes……..

Happy Christmas from me and all the critters currently filling our ark:

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Much love and many blessings for a wonderful new year!

Cara

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)

What’s Better than a Houseful of Dogs for the Holidays?

For two days there were no dogs.

At least no foster dogs.

It was weird. Frankie was so bored he managed to get Gracie to (sort of) play with him and he even went on a short run with me.

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Reports are that both Oreo and Dixie are being loved and spoiled in their new homes.  AND each of them has their own little boy. Pretty cool. This makes me beyond happy. It’s what this whole gig is all about.

Friday evening we picked up Continue reading What’s Better than a Houseful of Dogs for the Holidays?

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