I’m Betting on Hound

I have only five days left with these puppies.

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And depending on the weather that will go by in a flash or it will seem like forever.

These babes have decidedly outgrown their tiny puppy room. We finally got them outside for some extended time and they loved it. I invited my favorite photographer to stop over and she got some amazing shots of these pups.

Before I share a few of my favorites, I need to give a shout out to Nancy Slattery! She donates extensive hours to OPH photographing pups and then uploading and editing and posting the pictures to help us get dogs adopted. My pups already have adopters, but I asked her here because a) I knew she’d love to come play with them and b) I wanted these pictures for an upcoming project and c) I haven’t gotten the chance to hang out with her in a while, so it was the perfect ruse.

Nancy brought her daughter Casey with her as assistant lighting director and Casey held a remote flash which is partly how these pictures came out so great. Mostly they came out so great because Nancy is Nancy. (AND if you are ever looking for a professional photographer for your own dogs or yourself, ask me for her contact info. Nancy took my headshot long before I discovered her gift with pet photography. She’s quick, talented, and very reasonably priced.)

Despite my grumbling about the messes they make, these five weeks have flown by and their happy energy and adorableness have gone a long way towards easing us out of the winter that never ends.

Early on, I made a few bad guesses as to their breed, after all they were fuzzy, fat, and delectable; they could have been anything. They are labeled blackmouth cur, and that seems likely—as one person commented on their pictures, they look as if their tails are dipped in chocolate.

The other breed I’m becoming more convinced we’re dealing with here, though, is bloodhound.

Here’s a photo of bloodhound puppies at four weeks from the Fishing Forum next to a photo of a few Chocolate Factory pups at four weeks: Continue reading I’m Betting on Hound

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Cuteness/Poop Overload

If you’re in the Another Good Dog facebook group, you know that these current puppies are unreasonably adorable. I can’t stop posting pictures, particularly of Augustus Gloop, whose wrinkles are beyond amazing.

Continue reading Cuteness/Poop Overload

Inside the Chocolate Factory

I don’t want to stand in your way, so let me get right to it—puppies!

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This little bunch of puppies is beyond cute. Maybe it’s because it’s been a year since I had pups this young, but somehow Continue reading Inside the Chocolate Factory

Fosterless

This is the longest we’ve gone without a foster dog since we started fostering with OPH just over three years ago.

It’s weird.

It’s made me aware of two things – 1) I spend a lot of time fostering and 2) I don’t like being without a foster dog.

I’m amazed at how much time this has freed up. I’ve had time to work with Frankie (and even a little with Gracie) on his homework for doggie school two or three times a day. We also take a two-mile walk each morning and sometimes again in the afternoon. I’ve stayed on track with my latest manuscript and even had time to cook dinner nearly every night. I even had lunch with a friend and on one balmy day recently, I took my convertible out for a drive with no destination in mind.

Of course, just because I don’t have a foster dog in residence, doesn’t mean Continue reading Fosterless

Unsung Rescue Heroes & A New Training Tool

I’d never want to be an adoption coordinator. Seems like an exhausting, frustrating, thankless job.

As the foster mom, I get all the glory for taking care of the puppy or dog in question. But the adoption coordinator is the one who has screened the applications, asked the hard questions, gone over the extensive adoption contract (for the bazillionth time), and made the final decision. Not having firsthand experience, I could be wrong, but it seems like ACs put in hours of effort for each adoption, and for a litter that is tenfold.

Puppy adopters are like new parents – they have lots of questions, good ones, silly one, odd ones, but lots. I get a few of those, but the AC for my litter gets most of them. Adopting a puppy is a big deal, as it should be, and puppy adopters can sometimes get cold feet and back out last minute, change their minds about what kind of puppy they want or get impatient with the lengthy adoption process and the hold time. Some adopters have lots of lines in the water (they’ve applied for several puppies at several different rescues or shelters). All of this means that the ACs are juggling many, many people and puppies at once and the winds change on whims.

As I said, I wouldn’t want their job, but I am VERY grateful that there are these odd people who enjoy being ACs and do a tireless job for OPH.

This litter had more than its share of switcheroos and moving targets. Deb had her hands full. Last fall when I had Edith Wharton and her darling dozen, I actually had to have two ACs because the job was so enormous. I’ve worked with probably a dozen different ACs with OPH and every time, I’m amazed at the work they do. So, I just wanted to mention them in a post—ACs, along with reference checkers, are the unsung heroes of every adoption.

[If you’re one of those people who read my posts and think—“I wish I could foster, but it would be too hard, messy, heartbreaking, etc.,” but you’d really like to help, consider being a reference checker or even an adoption coordinator for OPH. You do all the work from your home with your computer and your phone. If you’d like more information, click here.]

Okay, enough of my shameless volunteer recruitment. What happened this week in this foster house? Continue reading Unsung Rescue Heroes & A New Training Tool

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