No Such Thing as a Perfect Puppy

Just about the time I get tired of so much poop so many kisses, the puppies take off for their forever homes. All eight have forever families waiting to adopt them this weekend. If all goes as planned, I’ll be scrubbing out an empty puppy pen by Sunday afternoon.

The puppies had quite a few final adventures this week. They were visited and loved upon by a group of girl scouts on Sunday afternoon. It was a win-win. The pups were helping the girls fulfill some badge requirements, and the girls were helping to wear out the pups in preparation for their microchipping.

The microchip needle is VERY big and puppies are small, add a bit of squirmy to that equation and Continue reading No Such Thing as a Perfect Puppy

He Deserves Better

So, I’ve made a decision. And the puppies have been very helpful in my decision-making process.

All kinds of people have been visiting, trooping into our house, sitting on a couch or floor with a puppy in their lap. For me, a solitary writer, this is a welcome break. The puppies also love it and need the socialization.

But the dogs in this house find visitors stressful. I had hoped that Oreo’s calm happy state would rub off on Frankie and Gracie, but it seems to be the reverse. As more people come to visit, Oreo is more stressed. He’s been a perfect gentleman, but it’s clear he would prefer a quieter home.

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photo credit: Ian Achterberg

I think if the other two didn’t react to a new car in the driveway as a potential terrorist attack, he wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Unlike my other two, I’m pretty sure Oreo would adjust to this if I asked him too, but I don’t want to ask him to.

It’s not fair to Oreo. Which has led me to this conclusion: Continue reading He Deserves Better

Houseful of Hounds

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say these puppies are serious hounddogs.

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With the introduction of real food, my wee little pups have morphed into butterballs. Pretty much everyone, including Ramblin’ Man gained at least a pound or more this week.

And beyond the obvious hound appetite, there’s Continue reading Houseful of Hounds

My Heart and House is Full

My heart is so full this morning that tears seem to turn up on my face without warning.

Sunday night was the official ‘end’ of my tour, although there are still a bunch of events this month and I’m hoping to get more opportunities to talk about the book, its purpose, shelter dogs and how we can all make a difference. (So feel free to toss my name/contact in any direction you want!)

My last event was sponsored by an awesome person, Karen Johnson and Paws Go. She designs and sells fabulous t-shirts and gives away much of what she makes to dog-related causes. During August and September that cause was OPH.

Sunday night, Karen hosted a book signing for me at Nectar Wine & Coffee Bar in Alexandria, an adorable little spot with great VA wine selections and amazing food. Rooney came to sign along with me (thanks Lauren!).

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The generosity and kindness of so many overwhelmed me as I drove home from Nectar through the growing darkness.  Not only Continue reading My Heart and House is Full

Am I Becoming a Broken Record?

I’ve been kicking around ideas for this post—lots to say, not enough space (the usual for me).

My thoughts are scattered because part of me is in North Carolina worrying about the dogs at the three shelters we visited who were all evacuated. I know they’re confused and frightened, but so far, at least, I know they are safe.

In a news story about the Anson shelter, I saw footage of several of the dogs I met – Oreo (who is coming to my home at the end of the month), the Great Dane that Lisa and I flirted with (whose destiny is uncertain), Sparky (the shy, adorable pit mix with bandit eyes that Lisa coaxed out to say hello to us), and a large gray pitbull whose sad face I’ve been carrying around with me ever since I met him. Of all the dogs we met, his eyes seemed to sear my soul – the depth of sadness and the resignation broke my heart.

Seeing those friends crammed in crates and stacked in a van, while the people around them talked in panicked voices and the flood water closed in on them was unbearable. I want to be down there, doing something, and yet again, Continue reading Am I Becoming a Broken Record?

Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!

There are so many dogs in my house, it’s hard to keep them straight. After everything I saw on my shelter/book tour, I just can’t say no.

I feel an urgency I didn’t have before that trip. There are simply too many good dogs dying in our shelters; foster homes can buy them time.

If you’re waiting for someone to ask you to foster dogs – I’m asking. More foster homes can make a difference. YOU can make a difference.

Here’s our current roster:

Flannery O’Connor is a quirky little southern sprite.

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We picked her up as scheduled on our last stop of the tour at Scott County Animal Shelter in Gate City, Virginia. In fact, we picked up six dogs there, but Flannery was the only one without a committed foster home, so Continue reading Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!

A Pup You Don’t Want to Miss

The excitement level in this house is working its way off the charts, so having four puppies and three dogs in our midst just seems appropriate.

Dear friends stopped by Sunday night for an impromptu supper and as we talked, we had to raise our voices over the excited yipping of the breakfast pups (Grits was hiding under the raised bed again – which makes his sisters go nuts. I think maybe they believe he really is gone when he does this.).

When Snoopy jumped up on one friend to assist him with his plate, he laughed and gently nudged him away. And when Frankie’s excitement veered towards the out-of-my-control level, they waited while we crated him.

I love that I have the kind of friends who don’t bat an eye at the dog chaos that has become my life.

The Breakfast pups are sweet, goofy, houndish pups who I am truly enjoying. They are affectionate (with tongues instead of teeth!) and happy and as puppies go, pretty easy to manage. Barkalona (aka Snoopy) is still a dreamboat (although he did figure out how to wiggle under the fence yesterday and had a happy runaround, cautiously checking out the horses, but thankfully, coming when I called!)

They are finding their adopters, and as soon as we get their tummies right, they will begin leaving. (Grits is still available if you’re looking for a super-sweet pup with houndish habits!)  Amongst all the puppy-ness, Continue reading A Pup You Don’t Want to Miss