The Rules of Engagement

Most of our foster puppies promise to remember us always and then quickly forget when they find their forever homes. How do I know? Many come back for class or reunions. I may get a passing hello, but they are much more interested in playtime with the dogs than visiting with me.

An exception: Baby Sara – now named Jessie. You may recall from a past post, Jessie is the offspring of a Golden mom and a dad of many colors.

She was born and reared feral in a field until a woman living nearby could win mom’s trust. Since Jessie would not leave mom’s side, she had to choice but to be caught too – but unhappily so.

Our volunteers worked hard to socialize her enough for her to come home with us where my Yogi and Jackson completed the job.

She was adopted by a wonderful family and their Lab, Harper. Jessie helped to fill an empty spot in all of their hearts after the loss of their other dog.

Harper is very protective of her new sister. So much so, that if they are in class together, Harper spends all of her time keeping the other dogs away from Jessie. It was not a good example for Jessie, and was not providing the socialization she needed, so Jessie takes her classes solo now. When she spots me…she comes running into my arms and will not settle into class until our greeting is completed with belly rubs and kisses.

She is a little dog who thinks she is a big dog – until she gets rolled a couple of times in play and then she retreats to a corner. So she was delighted to make a new friend this weekend at school: Gracie.

Gracie is a four-month old Golden who—despite towering over Jessie—is also a little leery of the bigger dogs.

They are well matched: Even with those little legs, Jessie can outrun Gracie – but Gracie uses her height…

and weight…to her advantage when she catches up.

Still, Jessie was clearly laying down the rules of engagement.

Dogs are excellent teachers.

Jessie: That’s too ruff…I’m not playing with you until you calm down.

Gracie: Ah come on….

Gracie: You can’t resist me…

Jessie: Nope. Not working.

Gracie: What if I say I’m sorry?

Gracie: What if I am adorable???

Jessie: OK, we can be friends again. Just watch yourself!

It’s so wonderful to watch her grow and blossom.

Her mama would be really proud. I sure am.

The Divine Miss Bea

When Beatrix needed a few days of fostering before her new family could take her, it was easy duty to sign up for. Who could resist this face?


It was really less fostering than babysitting. This little one-kidney girl needed a watchful eye as she healed from her spay surgery, and a little big-dog socialization wouldn’t hurt considering she would be sharing her new home with an adult Homeward Bound alum.


Jackson is our mellow boy; he has never met a dog he doesn’t like so I had no worries at all about him. Despite his serious face, he is a lover, and took to her immediately, acting as her protector –


an ever-present, watchful knight.


Bella is our princess girl. And while she loves and shares with her brother freely, she was unimpressed with this cute little bundle of joy,


and not exactly overjoyed about sharing her house,


her Daddy,


and definitely not her toys with little the brave little Miss Bea.


While Bella generally behaved herself, she was clear that there is room for only one princess in this house!


All of this was good preparation for her introduction to her new big brother, Charlie. Apparently he is as tolerant as Jackson. A good thing for this rascally girl! Puppy got your tail?


It was a gift to have her for a few days. She left behind a mountain of laundry, two exhausted doggies, and took with her a tiny piece of my heart.


Wonderful life, little Beatrix girl.

Puppy Touchdowns

Sundays are great in the fall, because with football on, no one even notices if I am gone for hours to the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden!

I arrived just in time this weekend for puppy socialization class.

Who needs football on TV when you have live action on the field?? Kickoff!



Defense! Defense!

Time out!!

Bench warmer?

The Referee.

Huddle up!

Hey, unnecessary “ruff-ness!”

Water break.

Hut! Hut!

Hut! Hut! Hut!

OK, that’s just piling on!

Game over. Let’s hit the showers!

Playtime in a controlled situation is a great way to socialize your pup to other people and dogs. This Homeward Bound romp was designed for that purpose. Not to mention bringing a smile to our faces, too.