Fostering Dogs May Require a Sacrifice (or Ten)

You make many sacrifices when you foster dogs. That’s the truth of it. The sacrifices are generally worth it, but they’re a reality.

I think it’s expected that we make sacrifices for causes or events or creatures that are important to us—maybe that’s how we know what’s important to us — we don’t mind the sacrifices (much).

I’m continually amazed at what people will sacrifice for their pets, and humbled by what other foster parents will do for their foster dogs. I definitely do not have the market cornered on suffering or stress endured at the hands (paws) of my foster dogs.

Thelma is a joy. A love. An absolute sweetheart. She rocked the K9&Kds event today, charming everyone, young and old. Watch how she handles the attention of the children at our Fourth of July party (fireworks did not phase her, btw, more evidence of her easy-going and tolerant soul).

Note: This is a lot for a foster dog (or any dog) to not just tolerate, but to invite. Thelma followed these two around all night, thriving on their ‘attention,’ but she (and the children) were supervised.

As evidenced, Thelma is quite a remarkably rare dog.

But there is a dark side to Thelma…. Continue reading Fostering Dogs May Require a Sacrifice (or Ten)

I Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again…

I am still struggling on a daily basis to accept that Frankie is gone. To say I miss him doesn’t even begin to touch what I feel. Caring for the other dogs gets me out of bed, but moving forward? That seemed out of reach. I need to do something with my grief – so the trip that Ian and I have been planning since winter has been the perfect panacea.

I had hoped to share about this trip weeks ago, but like so much else in my life right now, it was pushed aside. We’ve shortened our originally planned trip in terms of days and distance, but it feels right to be doing this now and I’m grateful for the distraction and the chance to do something to honor Frankie.

Ian is my 17-year-old son, my youngest.

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He’s my baby, despite the fact that Continue reading I Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again…

Diary of a Rescue Week Ten: Frightened Dog Getting Braver

Daisy continues to surprise us as she gains her confidence and health. Thelma had her puppies on Tuesday and I watched Daisy, wondering if she would be bothered by the sounds in the next room, but she seemed unfazed.

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The only notable thing that happened Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Ten: Frightened Dog Getting Braver

Time for some Puppies!

Puppy watch has begun in earnest. After a week of her temperature holding steady at a consistent 100 degrees, this morning Thelma’s temp dropped to 98.7. She is still happy to see me and thumps her tail, but she doesn’t get up and climb over the side of the whelping box to greet me.  More tellingly, Continue reading Time for some Puppies!

Diary of a Rescue Weeks Eight and Nine: Separation Sometimes Makes You Stronger

I really hope I won’t be writing, Diary of a Rescue Week Fifty-Two, some day.

Daisy is still here, but she is ready to go. She is healthy and happy, and while she still needs a slow introduction to women and won’t go near men, I think she is ready.

Whatever happened to this dog to create such a deeply-rooted fear of men is not something she will simply get over. I don’t know if she ever will, but I do think she will make a wonderful best friend and awesome canine companion for some lucky woman.

As she has gained her confidence, her Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Weeks Eight and Nine: Separation Sometimes Makes You Stronger

I Want to Be Hopeful

The last time I set foot in the southern shelters, I was stunned.

We wandered through the kennels, head spinning and heart-aching, helpless to do anything except offer a few bags of dog food, a box of cat litter, and a promise to share what we saw. This time… Continue reading I Want to Be Hopeful

Diary of a Rescue Week Six: Change is Coming

The coming week will mean a big change for Daisy.

I am preparing to leave on the OPH Rescue Road Trip, a weeklong trip with seven other volunteers to visit six of our partner shelters in North and South Carolina to spend our days working in the shelters. Our hope is to not only offer physical help with the dogs and the work, but to learn more about the needs of our shelters and to raise awareness of those needs.

You can follow along on our Facebook group, OPH Rescue Road Trip, where we’ll be sharing pictures, stories, and live videos all week long.

This is an exciting adventure for me, but it means that Daisy will have to leave our home which has been her safe haven for nearly seven weeks. Nick and Ian cannot be left in charge of Daisy for an entire week.

It’s not their safety I’m worried about – Daisy has shown no aggression at all towards any people (although it’s more than clear that she has suffered at the aggressive hands of people). The problem is that she goes into a blind panic if Nick or Ian approach her and I worry for her safety and emotional health if we force the issue. We have made incremental progress, but sadly, there is still so far to go in convincing her to trust them.

She has three options. One would be Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Six: Change is Coming