The Tears Are More Than Worth It

Without Oreo the house feels empty.

In fact, after he left on Saturday with his new family, Frankie spent the rest of the morning looking for his pal. He ran up and down the stairs and wanted to go out in the playyard to look and then back in the house to make the rounds again. It was a good thing we had Sip for a Cause on our calendar that night to distract all of us.

Some dogs are just special. Not that I haven’t loved every dog I’ve fostered, but some of them burrow a little deeper into your heart.

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I saw something on Facebook about the pain you endure as a foster mom yesterday. It said – Continue reading The Tears Are More Than Worth It

It’s Worth All the Poop (really)

“Ah. I can’t do this anymore!” I wailed at Nick after I cleaned up puppy diarrhea coated on every square inch of the puppy pen, every toy, every fence.

“You know,” Nick observed from where he sat with Oreo watching football with a beer in his hand, “You reach this point with every litter.”

He’s right.

I know I post all the fun and cuteness and make it look like puppies are the best thing ever, but here’s the God’s-honest truth: Continue reading It’s Worth All the Poop (really)

Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

It’s hard to write about the dogs when I’m not with the dogs, but I’ll try. I’m actually in a California hotel room recovering from my brief brush with Hollywood. If you’d like to read about that adventure, you can find it on my other blog, My Life In Paragraphs.

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The drama continues with Oreo. Continue reading Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

It Can Be Done (but it may require SuperWoman)

I’m home again now and only just beginning to process all that I saw and learned in the last ten days touring shelters in the south. Images of the dogs haunt me – their eyes full of sadness and confusion, their bodies tense and leaping with stress or shut down and still.

They scroll through my mind when I wake in the night and when I sit down at the computer now to write this. There is much to feel hopeless about in the world of southern shelters and rural dog rescue.

But there is also much to be hopeful about. There were two shelters we visited that made it clear that while there is still so far to go, Continue reading It Can Be Done (but it may require SuperWoman)

Home Alone (Canine Edition)

Vacations always seem like a good idea when I’m planning them. But when it’s time for the trip to actually happen, I always say (Nick can back me up on this) – What was I thinking? I’m never going away again.

We’re leaving on Thursday at 4am in the morning for our 10-day trip to California for my nephew’s wedding and a long-overdue celebration of my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. My two college age children will be in charge of the ranch while we’re gone. So nothing to worry about, right? Continue reading Home Alone (Canine Edition)

Testing My Assumptions About My Canine Good Citizens

Assuming anything about your dog is probably a mistake.

(Same goes for most people.)

When Gomer arrived, he was a manic, frenzied force, racing around my kitchen on his noisy toenails, tongue hanging out, pausing only to leap on any persons who happened by.

We took him for a walk with Frankie and he lunged at him over and over, snarling and yipping and frothing at the mouth. And when he was on his own, he attacked the leash itself.

I tried to contain him in the kitchen, and he leaped over the gate to follow me.

I thought, Continue reading Testing My Assumptions About My Canine Good Citizens

Puppy Play Yard

My husband Nick and I are a pretty good team. I’m the ‘idea’ person and he does all the work.

This weekend, though, Frankie and I were his helpers on a project that has been on my wishlist ever since we began fostering.

I’ve been angling for a ‘dog fence’ for quite some time. Our little hillside farm has six acres, plenty of room for a dog to run, but those acres are surrounded by farmer’s field, woods, one testy neighbor, and a road. It’s rare the foster dog (like Hops) that I can allow off-leash.

I worry too much about losing a dog in the woods, the endless cornstalks, the gun-owning neighbor’s property, or chasing the goats across the road. (The goats live in an invisible fence which makes them readily accessible to the dogs. I’m pretty certain it’s only a matter of time before the wolf or coyotes that have been spotted in our area nab them.)

Ever since Frankie discovered the vultures on the top fence line, Continue reading Puppy Play Yard