Sometimes it Don’t Come Easy…

Sometimes rescue is hard. Sometimes it doesn’t come easy.

As I put the final touches on my next book, due to the publisher December 1 (and if all goes well, released July 2020), I’ve spent a lot of time remembering one particular dog who changed my life. Gala was with us for over eleven months, but truly she has never left my heart.

Gala-7
photo by Nancy Slattery

The new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (and yes, that is a mouthful and no, it wasn’t up to me), begins with Gala. Up until Gala, fostering had been mostly fun, occasionally stressful, but ultimately a win-win for all parties involved.

Gala challenged me, not just in terms of exposing how much I don’t know about dogs, but emotionally as I wrestled Continue reading Sometimes it Don’t Come Easy…

Fifteen Dogs in My House

We survived our record-setting weekend.

Now we just have fourteen dogs. Which we’ve had before.

Gosh, this makes me sound like a dog-raving lunatic. Which maybe I am. Or at least I feel like one after this weekend.

Saying we fostered fifteen dogs this weekend is somewhat misleading since Continue reading Fifteen Dogs in My House

A Designer Dog Looking for his Designer Family

There was a time when we had two, even three new fosters each month, but for the last few years, it’s been one long-term foster after another (Gala, Flannery, Daisy…) and a few puppy litters. This weekend we had planned to welcome a much anticipated foster dog from Alabama – Houdini, whom I met while visiting Walker County Animal Shelter where OPH partners with RUFF to support the shelter and rescue dogs.

That reunion has been postponed because transport for Houdini and the other RUFF dogs fell through at the last moment. Hopefully, he will catch his freedom ride at the end of this month and we’ll welcome him then.

Meanwhile, Fanny was in need of a playmate as Flannery and Gracie easily tire of her endless puppy-like energy, so I Continue reading A Designer Dog Looking for his Designer Family

Home Again with a Stowaway

It has been a long time since I brought in a new foster dog. April to be exact.

(Which makes me wonder what I’ve been writing on this blog for all these months!)

There is a very special dog in my kitchen. She arrives with a story that began back in June. A story that inspired me to return to Tennessee and go on to Alabama and to now explore more ways I can change the situation.

You may recognize her face… Continue reading Home Again with a Stowaway

Diary of a Rescue Week Five:  It’s a Big Wide World

Every evening when I sit down to post in this diary, I think—nothing really happened. (except on Wednesday – that was a little too exciting) And yet, when I look through the day’s pictures and start to write, there’s always something to tell.

That’s probably true of all of our lives, not just one rescue dog. So much happens every day that we take for granted and should instead be awed by in gratefulness, but I suppose it’s human nature to think it has to be exciting/tragic/titillating for it to be worthy of writing or reading about. Daisy is teaching me to slow down and appreciate the moments.

This week was made up of a lot of little moments, but her world stretched and she gave me lots of clues to her history and maybe a few that will help to unlock her heart.

I appreciate any help you can give in sharing her story. I really believe it simply she needs to reach the right heart—someone who will recognize her as family and choose to adopt her. Daisy has so much love to give and every day I see more of her huge loving, funny personality.

If you’d like to read her story in real time, you can follow along on Facebook at Cara Sue Achterberg, writer.

Here are this week’s entries: Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Five:  It’s a Big Wide World

Diary of a Rescue Week Four: Progress is an Eight-Letter Word

I have to forewarn you that this past week hasn’t been terribly exciting. The progress with Daisy is only incremental and likely will stay that way. Again and again, I shake my head at the depth of pain this dog has endured. Her scars are deeper than any dog I’ve encountered.

It has been a month now since I picked up Daisy on a cold night at the bowling alley where she arrived on a transport from South Carolina.

And yet despite the fact, that during that first week of fevers, labor, delivery, and surgery, literally carrying her 60+ pound body in and out of cars, hospitals, and vet offices, she Continue reading Diary of a Rescue Week Four: Progress is an Eight-Letter Word