Sally

Beautiful post written by one dear friend sharing another dear friend’s story. Inspiring and beautiful. Source: Sally

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Hero Dog in my House

This past Sunday a VERY special dog arrived to celebrate the holidays with us.

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Momma Bear is from Iraq. Her story breaks my heart every time I look into her beautiful eyes or feel her lean against me with her trusting heart.

I’m sure I won’t get all the details right, but let me tell you just a piece of Momma Bear’s story.

Last winter a man and his wife living in Iraq, learned of three dogs living on the campus of a University. The dogs were in danger of being exterminated (per campus policy). This amazing couple has rescued 17 dogs through their own efforts and money. Hearing that one of the dogs was injured and in danger, the man went to the campus to help. Momma Bear was there, along with the injured dog.

When the man attempted to aid the injured dog, he was surrounded by a pack of male dogs. Momma Bear put herself between the man and the pack and defended him. He was impressed by her bravery, and experienced it again another time when he returned to the campus to help a dog who had given birth to puppies. Once again, Momma Bear accompanied him and protected him from other dogs. Continue reading Hero Dog in my House

A Puppy in Paradise

 

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I’m trying to prepare Foo Foo for the weekend. It’s gonna be a biggie. Especially if you’re a puppy. There will be eight (yes eight!) college students camped out all over the house for the weekend. This will be huge for the puppy on so many levels!

First, there’s the obvious food droppage. Foo Foo is the queen of food droppage. In fact, I haven’t needed my robotic vacuum since she was installed in the kitchen because she does regular and thorough sweeps of the floor gathering all crumbs and dust-particles-that-smell-like-food, and bits-of-paper-and-trash-that-could-be-food, which really just leaves dirty socks and school papers. These she chews on as after supper snacks.

I know her breed is listed on her paperwork as “lab-mix” (the catchall phrase for dog rescue I’m learning) and I’ve claimed she looks like a miniature weimeriener (spellcheck doesn’t know what to do with this word, but I know I’ve got it wrong). But I’m gonna go with hound.

This girl is some kind of hound. Nothing eats like a hound and I’ve never met a dog more devoted to food. Here’s a video of Foo-Foo eating dinner. I wish we’d gotten a better one. Sometimes she is so frantic, she shoves the bowl all over the kitchen with her excitement. This time the bowl was pretty stationery.  Addie’s been timing her and so far her top time is 35 seconds start to finish, but I think she beats it on this one since she didn’t have to chase after her food bowl (I found one with rubber grip feet). Continue reading A Puppy in Paradise

Of Miracles and Magic

It was quite a weekend! At least in terms of dog fostering, but definitely not exciting in terms of regular clean-the-house-be-mom-drive-kids-everywhere. Pretty yucky weekend for all that, plus I made the mistake of finally getting on the scale after several months of too much wine and too many new recipes to discover I’d gained five pounds since summer. Ugh. Let’s not think about that – let me tell you about my amazing weekend instead!

First up, John Coffey went home on Saturday with a family that is perfect for him. He knew it immediately. Three boys – all for him!! And fun parents- dad’s even a runner, so score there, too. Sometimes when an adopter turns up, I have to simply trust that OPH did their due-diligence and the pup is the right match, but sometimes it’s completely clear that there is magic at hand. John Coffey was so anxious to get going with his family that he leapt in their car as soon as a door was opened. We had to bring him back out to take a picture, but you can see from the picture how happy he was – what a smile!

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So, super duper awesome adoption. Now I have all my fingers and toes and anything else that can be crossed, crossed that he is not overwhelming them with his happiness and enthusiasm, and that he has NOT broken into the lego room that their youngest son told me about!

Just before John Coffey’s family arrived, I got word that the puppies were being born!

What puppies? (you sound just like my husband!) Continue reading Of Miracles and Magic

Adding Chaos to the Calm

Why I keep adding chaos to an otherwise calm situation is beyond me. We’d just settled into a routine with John Coffey and Gracie (who have become great buds) and then I go and answer a plea for a foster home for a returned puppy.DSC_0775

Not sure what made me take this one. Maybe it’s my puppy addiction. I’m owning that now. Puppies are my crack.

Or maybe I just want to ease the heartbreak that surrounds any return. I know the puppy will be confused. I know the adopter will be in turmoil. It’s not an easy thing for any reason. I see the dogs and puppies listed as returns and I want to just swoop in and take them all. Make it better. This is my third return and the heartbreak in the eyes of the returner was evident once again. Poor people. Poor dogs. But it’s for the best and I’m just grateful a decision was made. No dog should have to stay where she isn’t ABSOLUTELY wanted and loved. And no adopter should keep a dog out of GUILT. Not healthy. Not good. For anyone.

This made me think whether or not I keep Gracie out of guilt. There may be a sliver of it there, but it’s mostly that I made a promise to this pup (and the kids that love her). She is absolutely wanted and loved by four out of the five people living here. Fostering has given me a new appreciation for her. She’s consistent. She’s trying. She’s doing the best she can.

Gracie, our personal puppy
Gracie, our personal puppy

So on Wednesday, Foo Foo (who had been named Daisy and seems to answer to it despite only being with her new adopter barely two weeks) moved in. She came with a plethora of pink – pink collars (2), pink leashes (2), pink toys (many), pink harness, pink sweater, even a puffy pink jacket. There was a hot pink crate, but I declined it as we already have three crates cluttering up our space and no pink room to match. Continue reading Adding Chaos to the Calm

The Best Side of John Coffey

IMG_2123John Coffey has been with us now for eight days.  I thought we knew him pretty well, but yesterday I took him to an OPH event and discovered a whole new side of him.

The activity and the other dogs sent him into sensory overload. He’s a pretty intense little guy. I’ve mentioned that he’s paying attention to everything. Well, it’s tough to pay attention to everything when everything includes five or six other dogs, dozens of people, a busy parking lot, yummy food smells, and even an entire bag of tennis balls.

He was frantic, pulling at his leash and barking. The only way to calm him was to pick him up. At thirty-five pounds plus, that didn’t last long. Luckily there were several teens there who have that teenage ability to see right through bad manners and noise. They happily cruised him around the parking lot, hunkered down with him on the far edge of the event, and sat with him in the kissing booth (which he rocked, by the way. John Coffey is a first rate kisser.)IMG_1331

I was frustrated that all anyone was seeing was the bad side of John Coffey. I’d hardly ever heard him bark before yesterday. He’s actually a quiet dog. No one who was in Hanover yesterday would have guessed that.

He rarely pulls on the leash, but yesterday he couldn’t stop pulling and was gagging and coughing from the effort. Not pretty.

He growled and barked at most of the boy dogs. I don’t think he meant anything by it, but again, not an attractive feature. Who wants to take home the bully dog? At our house, he and Gracie have bonded and really enjoy each other. He’s a lover, not a fighter.

I couldn’t even distract him with tennis balls yesterday. When I picked one up, his gaze would lock on to it and he’d chase after it, only to drop it the moment another dog/person/food/noise/car came into his view. He was too distracted to show off his superior catching skills.

So all anybody got to see was a nervous, frantic, barking bundle of snarly nerves. That’s not John Coffey.

Here’s the lesson in this- not all dogs enjoy adoption events. And some dogs would do better to avoid them altogether. John Coffey is one of those dogs. It’s not fair to put him in a situation where his best self can’t be seen. Especially when he has such a great best self.

So, while I’ve got you here, let me tell you about his best self. Continue reading The Best Side of John Coffey

Now Starring JOHN COFFEY…

DSC_0680I’ve gotten in the habit of only blogging once a week about the foster dog of the moment, but John Coffey simply cannot be contained in one post per week. The dog is busy.

First off, if you know anyone looking for a Frisbee-catching, ball-chasing, potential movie star trick dog – send them my way. I’ve got the dog for them. If my nephew/dogwhisperer Brandon lived closer, I’d be adopting this dog and calling an agent.

This dog is crazy athletic, intensely paying attention, and as eager to please as a used car salesman. Throw in a tiny little bit of manic, and you’ve got the makings of dog headed for Hollywood, or at least dock-diving. At any rate, John Coffey needs a job.

I can run him four and a half miles in the morning, and still he’s dancing (for minutes at a time) on his hind legs as I’m preparing dinner.

He will chase a ball ALL DAY. Did I say all day? I meant 24 HOURS A DAY SEVEN DAYS A WEEK UNTIL THERE ARE NO BALLS LEFT ON THE PLANET! Here’s a meager selection of the balls John Coffey can catch (it’s hard to be the photographer and the ball thrower…) Continue reading Now Starring JOHN COFFEY…