Foster Dog Overwhelm: Saving Dogs Even When Your House (and heart) are Full

Sitting down to write this morning, I’m debating with myself how much I should tell you. There are times during this fostering experience when the difficulties stretch my commitment thin as tinsel and I am certain it will snap.

I don’t blame the dogs or OPH or even the wrongness of the necessity of the work we do. I occasionally blame my husband, because Continue reading Foster Dog Overwhelm: Saving Dogs Even When Your House (and heart) are Full

A Week in the Life of this Foster Mom

One week later and Bugs is a part of the family.

Ian calls him Continue reading A Week in the Life of this Foster Mom

Diary of a Rescue Week Three: Together We Rescue

This past week taught me the truth of ‘Together We Rescue’.

Sometimes we forget the fact that none of us has to go through this life alone. It’s our choice.

Like most people, asking for help doesn’t always come naturally for me. I want to be that strong, independent, I-can-handle-it person, and more than that, I just don’t want to bother anyone. We’re all more than busy, right?

Thankfully, when a crisis rose up this week for Daisy, friends stepped in an offered help and for once, I was smart enough to take it. It was that help that got us through the week and helped Daisy to expand her own circle of trust, proving that she is more resilient than I thought.

Yes, she is still terrified of men and has yet to let my husband or son pet her or put on a leash, but as she watches Nick’s outstretched hand or creeps towards him and then scurries away, I know her mind is weighing it all. Risk versus reward. It likely took some time to inflict the emotional wounds she carries and it will take even longer to heal them, but this week proved that we are making progress.

If you’d like to follow this Diary of a Rescue in real time, you can do that on Facebook at Cara Sue Achterberg, writer. Here are this week’s entries: Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Three: Together We Rescue

Diary of a Rescue Week Two

All along this journey, I have been buoyed by an outpouring of support online and by friends who have come by and brought food and company or emailed to ask what they can do. I even got a lovely gift from Arkansas!

As we lost the puppies last week, people kept saying, “I could never do that,” but somehow, I think you could and more than that, I could never do it without the support of family and friends.

If last week taught me anything, it’s that I am stronger than I know. All during that long, long night when Daisy’s labor began and it became clear that it was too soon for puppies to be born Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Two

You Can’t Tell the Players without a Program

Meet our current (about to change) roster:

Hula, who you will remember arrived deathly thin, riddled with worms and nursing three puppies, is a new dog. She has gained weight, her coat has a nice gloss, and there are no traces of her mommy-life. She is full-on puppy and always ready to play. She is also always ready to steal socks. She pilfers them out of dirty laundry baskets and from where they hide, abandoned in a ball under the couch. Once in her possession, she challenges Frankie or Flannery to a game of tug of war.

They stretch the sock into unimaginable proportions, and then, Continue reading You Can’t Tell the Players without a Program

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