Finding Homes for Puppies


In Cara Sue Achterberg’s new book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting, she chronicles her experiences fostering dogs of all sizes and types, many of whom arrive in her home state of Pennsylvania from southern shelters. While there are occasionally some challenges, puppies count—hands down—as one of the big joys. After an emotionally taxing time with an adult dog, she and her husband, Nick, consider their options.

Excerpt: Puppies!

“Maybe I should stick to puppies for a while,” I told Nick.

And so we welcomed a string of new puppies that summer as I prepared for my book launch and tour.

Zander, a four-month-old Lab puppy from Tennessee, was a gentle soul who collapsed in an adoring heap whenever you touched him. He was one of the easiest foster puppies we’d ever had—housebroken and mild-mannered, his worst habit was chewing shoes left available to him.


Sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know.

On Sunday, I took Zander and met up with my former foster dog Edith for our first K9&Kds Event. K9&Kds was a program I’d helped create with a group of other Operation Paws for Homes volunteers. It was a program to educate kids on how to safely care for and interact with dogs,* but it also shone a light on dog rescue and the good dogs that we’d saved. Doing the research to write the program was somewhat self-serving in that I was desperate to know how to protect myself from being bitten. I was grappling with my newfound fear of dogs and working on this program was one way to whittle away at it.

Much of what I learned was new to me—dogs can be frightened by people wearing sunglasses or hoodies or baseball hats. Looking them in the eye was a threat, as was approaching them head-on. If I didn’t know these things after more than fifty years of living with dogs, how many other people didn’t know it either? It occurred to me that while K9&Kds was designed for children, we would likely be teaching a lot of adults at the same time.

After Zander, we welcomed another new puppy. Hops was ten pounds bigger and at least ten times more trouble than little Zander, who had been adopted by an excited young couple who named him Enzo.

Hops was a gangly, sweet, goofy boy who seemed to grow larger every day. He was forty pounds, but his feet were so big he looked like he was wearing galoshes, so even though he was six months old, he was far from finished growing.

Like a gangly kid in a growth spurt, he routinely ran into doorways and walls and coffee tables, unable to get his long legs out of his own way. He was labeled a lab mix but looked like he was put together with spare parts from a handful of breeds possibly including shepherd. He had a loose discombobulated swagger that made me smile and think of teenagers trying (and failing) to look cool.

Nothing on the counters was safe. In his first few days with us, he polished off a bar of cream cheese, sampled the newspaper, and [insert frustrated shriek and several curse words] broke my favorite tea mug.

While Zander had simply stockpiled shoes in his crate, Hops had the ability to do permanent damage if he could just stay focused long enough. Thankfully, some other treasure usually caught his eye and, like a severely ADHD youngster, he was on to the next adventure in moments. Everyone was learning to put their things away!

Hops was very people-oriented and followed me like my big loping sidekick. I quickly dispensed with the leash, as he never left my side and the leash only raised the possibility of him tripping me a hundredfold. He liked to keep one part of his body in contact with me when we were outside for a walk. Even the cat, while interesting, couldn’t pull him from my side.

We took Hops to our first adoption event held at Gunpowder Falls, the local brewery just over the hill from us in a small industrial park that also housed a cheerleading and gymnastics studio. Maybe it was time Gunpowder had its own brewery dog, I told Kristin, the taproom manager, as I introduced Hops. This one was meant for them. Conveniently, the owner was away for his daughter’s graduation.

As it turned out, Gunpowder was the perfect location for an adoption event. Not only were beer drinkers friendly and generous and not averse to considering adopting a dog, but the families coming in and out of the gymnastics studio had no choice but to follow the siren call of friendly dogs. Hops and the other dogs lapped up the attention.

*One of the most common reasons an adopted dog is returned is because it bit a child, and most of those bites could have been prevented.

Reprinted from One Hundred Dogs and Counting by Cara Sue Achterberg.  Published by Pegasus Books.  © Cara Sue Achterberg.  Reprinted with permission.


Source link

Our Articles you may love to Read...

Related Topics

English Mastiff

Mastiff Dog Breed Information

Characteristics Appearance History Health and care Keeping a Mastiff and Upbringing The English Mastiff has tremendous physical strength. Yet it is not the muscles, but

Read More »
Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Characteristics of the labrador retriever The Labrador Retriever loves children as much as he loves his job The look, labrador retriever The History of the

Read More »

Bullmastiff Puppies

Features of the Bullmastiff Appearance Breeding and health Bullmastiff nutrition Take care and keep The Bullmastiff is one of the youngest dog breeds in the

Read More »
boxer dog

The Amazing Boxer Dog

Characteristics Appearance History of the Boxer Breeding and health Nutrition for the boxer Keeping and educating Chunky and agile, stubborn and poised, friendly and defensive

Read More »
Boston terrier

Boston Terrier Puppies

Compact and elegant American with British ancestry Cheerful and confident A partner who adapts easily Robust health through good breeding Healthy food for the Boston

Read More »
Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise Puppies

The beautiful white curls of the Bichon Frise Dogs that have been loved for centuries Everybody’s Darling Robust health The right nutrition Hair care desired

Read More »
bernese mountain dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Characteristics of the Bernese Mountain Dog Appearance History Breeding and health Bernese mountain dog food Posture and care Bernese Mountain Dog, the former farm dog

Read More »
Berne doodle

Bernedoodle Puppies

Bernedoodle Characteristics Further characteristics of a mix are: Character Summary: The Bernedoodle is a lovable mishmash Bernedoodles are fluffy and eye-catching charmers. They are designer

Read More »
Dog Breeds

Belgian Shepherd (Malinois)

Characteristics Belgian energy bundle Appearance Belgian shepherd Laekenois Shepherd Tervueren Shepherd The Groenendael History Separation of the Dutch Shepherd Breeding and health Care How time-consuming

Read More »
No more posts to show
Star Pet Store