People Save Dogs, but Dogs Can Also Save People

Sharing Gala’s situation last week triggered an avalanche of reaction. Many, many suggestions for trainers, meds, herbal supplements, etc. And more than that—lots of support and encouragement, which is maybe what I needed most. Sadly, it did not trigger any adoption applications.

I want to be clear, I was not suggesting that it is time to euthanize Gala. I don’t believe she’s out of options. And I ABSOLUTELY believe she can be successful and happy in the right adoptive home. What drove my frustration and sadness is that I’m pretty certain our foster home is no longer helping her. Her anxiety is up, not down. Yes, she has improved in many areas – she is better on the leash, she is accepting of her crate, she knows commands like sit, stay, and come. She is not trying to escape our house.

In other ways, though, I feel she has peaked and is regressing. Her reactivity to people has increased, and I believe that’s a combination of her becoming attached to us (and feeling she needs to protect us), and my nervousness when she meets someone new. I always worry how she will react. Gala is an extremely sensitive dog. And Gala loves me beyond reason. This combination becomes combustible when we are in public places where her anxiety is already ramped up.

This realization is what drove me to tears. I wrote that I don’t think I can save her, but I didn’t mean that someone else couldn’t. Continue reading People Save Dogs, but Dogs Can Also Save People

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What it Takes to Raise an Awesome Dog

Frankie and Buford have become bestbuds.

I know Frankie will miss Buford when he finds his forever family. And I’m sure that will be soon, because this is one awesome puppy.

He’s my sweet little shadow in the house, regularly nudging me with his big nose (think Spud McKenzie) asking gently for my attention. I traveled to Hanover with Buford for an adoption event and he slept quietly the whole drive which was hilly and long. At the event, he was calm and friendly—quite a difference from the other overly excitable puppy attending the event. They really don’t make much nicer pups than this. Somebody is going to score bigtime with this adoption.

I know having dogs and puppies coming and going may seem a bit disruptive emotionally for Frankie, but it’s my greatest hope that instead of being a negative experience for Frankie’s little heart, it’ll be a positive one. He’ll discover that there are LOTS of dogs to love and that even though I might be paying a lot of attention to the latest visitor, that dog is just that – a visitor. I’m hopeful it will make Frankie a welcoming, confident, friendly dog who is always ready to make a new friend.

Because that is exactly NOT the kind of dog Gracie is.

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Upon meeting any new dog, Gracie’s assumption is Continue reading What it Takes to Raise an Awesome Dog

Buyer’s Remorse?

You know how parents tend to overreact with their first kid? How they immediately assume the worst-case scenario so that every funny bump is cancer and every new word means their child is destined to win a Pulitzer?

This is me with Frankie.

He’s actually the second puppy I’ve ever adopted, Gracie being the first. When I adopted Gracie, though, I also had three kids at home, a traveling husband, and I was co-president of the PTO. There just wasn’t time to get all worked up over her every move.

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But now I only have one kid at home and he’s bigger than me and other than stocking the refrigerator (almost daily), he needs very little from me. Which gives me plenty of time to fuss over Frankie. Continue reading Buyer’s Remorse?

Foster Fail

Ninety-five dogs later…..I’ve finally found the one.

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It’s not that I haven’t loved the ninety-four that came before him, but this guy seems to belong here. As my husband would say, “He ticks all the boxes.”

He’s a boy.

He’s got very short hair.

He’s a Catahoula (swoon).

He’s very mellow and unflappable.

He’s not gonna be huge.

He’s friendly, but not in-your-face.

He’s not a whiner. He’s happy for my attention, but doesn’t demand it.

He’s happy to play with siblings, but also happy to play with his toys.

Maybe it’s the fact that he’s grown up with five sisters, but this Continue reading Foster Fail

Life in the Fun House

Life sure is fun when you have six lab puppies in the house. I know I say this every time, but these pups are special. They are incredibly loving and sweet. Never mind that they are beyond reasonably cute – completely off the charts of adorable.

Bug is the tiniest pup and she is beautiful, smart, and sweet and has the softest ears!

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Dart is busy, confident, fearless, and so crazy cute. Continue reading Life in the Fun House

Puppy Complaints (and Perks)

You’d think if you were a kid and you had a pack of puppies in your house, it would be awesome.

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Heaven, really.

Not my kids.

It’s not that they don’t like them—they do.

They’re just over it. Completely.

I didn’t think anyone could ever max out on puppies, but I guess I’m wrong. Only weirdos like me insist on nonstop puppies.

Here are the complaints: Continue reading Puppy Complaints (and Perks)