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

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

A Dog’s Eye View

Flannery is such an interesting dog.

The puppies are cute and Hula Hoop is a sweetheart, but Flannery is complicated and funny and just so not-your-average-dog. I adore her. Even though she is nothing like any dog I’ve ever wanted.

She’s little. Only 30 pounds.

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photo: Nancy Slattery

She’s a busy-body – always in the middle of whatever is happening and worming her way onto the couch or dog bed, even if there is clearly no room for her.

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She is the first dog up at the slightest noise. And weirdly, Continue reading A Dog’s Eye View