Just us, but not for long

The house was quiet without Harry.  I’d gotten used to hearing him yipping at Wendy or Little in the kitchen, begging for their attention and now and then stepping in to give them a break from his exuberance. And since I no longer had to take him out for bathroom breaks repeatedly or clean up messes when I hadn’t taken him out soon enough, I suddenly had more spare time. It didn’t take me long to adjust. The beautiful weather allowed me to do one of my favorite things, work in the yard.  I thinned all our azaleas, rhododendrons and boxwoods in the front, cut back our hydrangeas and got rid of the old leaves around the Lenten roses (Hellebores) to reveal their flowers. Then I started tackling the backyard too.

Monday afternoon, Tracey emailed me about a pregnant beagle needing a foster but by the time I replied with some questions someone else had volunteered. I was actually relieved. The third week of April, I’m leaving for a two week cycling trip to Holland. When time came for me to leave, the puppies probably would have been to young to be adopted.

Then Thursday, Jenn emailed asking if I was open to a momma dog and nine, three day old puppies and included these pictures:



Here’s what one of the shelter workers had to say about her:

Hey Jenn!

This dog escaped from her foster’s home months ago. She was staying there while she was beginning HW treatment:( she escaped and we never found her:( then, she shows back up at the shelter after all this time. The ACO (Animal Control Officer) trapped her he said. She has 9 pups now…she is a shy dog but sweet natured. We haven’t retested her but are almost 100-% sure it’s her. Would you guys be able to help her and her pups even though she is HW +? She media in size…lab mix…around 2 years old.

Let me know what you think.

I pulled up a calendar, counted  forward from Monday, the day they were born, and discovered the puppies would be eight weeks old the day before I was scheduled to leave on my trip.

I emailed Jenn back and explained about the timing of the trip. It should just work if we aim to get the puppies placed by the date they turned eight weeks – which is usually our goal anyway.  The mom and any unadopted puppies will have to go to another foster before I leave.

So while Jenn got busy making all the travel arrangements, I set up the dog area for the new momma and pups, who were due to arrive Saturday.



News of Hera

It took a few weeks, but the very busy people at the Center finally passed Hera’s adopter’s name and contact information on to Miranda who then passed it on to me.  I emailed Victoria and on February 3, she sent me back this beautiful note with pictures of Hera:

Hello Allison,

Thank you for your email! I’ve actually been meaning to send you a note, as reading your blog helped me decide that Hera was meant to join my life.

I first met Hera on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Homeward Trails. I was introduced to a few beautiful creatures that day, including Hera – she was quiet, timid, and seemed quite sad.

(I’m a huge softy for all critters, but most especially those who seem lost).

Later that evening, I was reviewing the puppy profiles once more and discovered the link to your blog – you did such a wonderful job telling her story. After sleeping on it, I woke up the next morning and thought “that’s my girl!” I went back to HT and asked to see Hera; she was outside at the time, sitting very stoically by the fence and observing her surroundings with a serious expression. I walked over, calling softly, and she gave me a little growl 🙂 I’ve grown up with all types of animals my entire life, so this did not put me off – I knew she was distressed and confused with all that life had thrown at her.

Her handler brought her to a small enclosed area, and I fed her several “goodwill” treats. I knew we’d get on just fine, as I can also be won over by delicious snacks (and wine).

First 24 hrs: Snoozing in front of a space heater (which now is essentially hers…). She was very thin, all angles/ribs/hip bones


(Hera wasn’t this thin when she was with us; she must have lost weight at the Center)

Hera is a real joy. Initially she had some separation anxiety, as expected. A few house accidents (when i showered with door closed), and a couple bites out of the blinds on the front door window (we’ve both since agreed that I’ll raise the blinds when gone so she can keep watch for me/strangers).

We enjoy long walks and runs (shes a natural!), watching Netflix, playing tug-of-war, and cooking (shes a great “Supervisor”). We are working on socializing with other people and animals – she’s doing great!

Catching rays on the front step, people watching our neighbors:


(she’s gaining weight already)

Co-piloting is serious business: We do a weekly stop at Petsmart for socializing and exposure to new things.


Surround by the amputated limbs of toys shes shaken to death..


And now, as I type…it didn’t take long for her to sneak onto the couch/bed for cuddles 🙂


Hera is a lovely soul, and I’m so happy she’s joined my life – you can rest assured she’s well loved and cared for.

Thank you for being such a caring foster, and for all the work you continue to do!


P.S. I kept the name Hera – I always enjoyed Greek/Roman mythology, and i think its perfect for her.

Reading Victoria’s note again, my eyes are tearing up. Hera is so lucky Victoria was drawn to her despite her gruffness, her sadness at being in the Center and her poor physical condition. So lucky to have someone so loving and caring, so sensitive to her needs. These pictures clearly show she’s thriving; gaining weight, confidence and trust.  I wish i could see her. I’d love to put my arms around her big shoulders and lean my head on hers. Hera’s a dog I’ll never forget.


Harry gets adopted and other news

Just as we were beginning to wonder if Harry was ever going to get adopted,  a lovely young couple applied for him. Tracey emailed me about them last Friday morning, February 17, and they visited and adopted him that evening!  They brought along their two sweet gentle but large dogs who Harry was quite frightened of – he ran yelping away from them as they calmly entered the kitchen on leashes.  But neither they nor I were worried this would last. Harry had been nervous of Wendy at first. And later he’d became afraid when she growled as she played tug of war. But he soon got over his fears and ignored her play growls and would even jump on her to try to get her to wrestle with him. By the last few days he was with us, he and Wendy had become great buddies.

Before he left, I gave Harry one last snuggle and kiss on the nose. I told him to be good and that he was a very lucky boy. Then I watched as his new mommy and daddy walked him down the driveway. Despite all the puddles I’d cleaned up over the previous two weeks, I could feel the loss already. Saying goodbye is always hard but the last puppy to go, especially one like Harry who ends up being part of the family, is especially hard.

So just like a grandmother who feels an ache in her heart after the visit ends, I emailed all the families.  Asked how everything was going, if anyone had pictures to share.  Seeing the pups thriving in their new homes makes me feel so much better.

Look at all these contented happy pups!



















Lonely Harry

By Monday morning, all the puppies had been adopted except Harry.  Now I worry that people looking at his Petfinder page will wonder, out of ten puppies why is he the only one left?

Is he not cute enough?

P1060395.JPGDefinitely not the problem, Harry is super cute.

Is he not playful or fun?

He certainly is!

Does he have bad manners?

No way, look at how well he’s doing on his first walk!

This video gives a hint at the reason he’s still around:

Notice how much bigger Harry is than his brother Dylan. When I weighed them at eight weeks, Harry was 12 lbs to Dylan’s 6 lbs; twice as heavy.  And since we’d listed the puppies as medium sized when grown, potential adopters were concerned Harry would become a larger dog than they wanted and selected smaller puppies instead.

Harry’s Petfinder page now lists him as large when an adult.  Now I hope it will easier for people who want a dog that’s 50lbs + to find him.

Meanwhile we are doing our best to keep him entertained; like most puppies he does not like to be alone. And before bedtime or other times when we need to leave him alone, we try to get him good and tired with vigorous playing or a walk through the neighborhood.

Without his brothers and sisters, he has to get used to playing alone:

And try to keep up with the big dogs:

It’s hard having Harry without his brothers and sisters or his mother.  He really shouldn’t be left  for more than two straight hours at this age, which limits what we can do and really makes planning our days challenging.  So I hope an wonderful person or family comes along for him soon.

But still, I think I’ll miss the little guy once he’s gone.


Puppies going home

Six of the puppies – Apple, Bridget, Cecilia, Dylan, Edwina and Gonzo – were adopted in the last two days. Tomorrow, Frieda goes home and someone is coming to meet Harry and Jerry.  Inez goes home Monday.  Today’s been a whirlwind of visits and puppy picks and I’m too tired to write more.

So I’ll just post a video instead:

I’m not sure who’s going to miss the puppies more, Maddox or me.