Get a dog for more holiday cheer

I’m looking for a photo of a highly fearful dog to accompany Dr. Jessica Heckman’s article “Canine Anxiety: The Neurochemistry of Dog Behavior.” The most frightening dog I’ve ever been around was a former dog I owned, an American Cattle Dog mix I called “Diamond.”I have hundreds Picture of that little lump of coal (a diamond in the rough) because I raised him for a few months – as did one of my good friends, trainer Sarah Richardson. We exchanged custody of this perennially scared wild dog for almost a year, but eventually, one of the shelter volunteers I had trained overheard a couple at the shelter saying they were looking for a cattle dog type dog, she thought of Diamond. She helped me when Diamond was first brought into the shelter by Animal Control, and she also fostered (and then adopted!) his less ferocious brother from the same mother. She put the couple in touch with me and somehow, undeterred by Diamond’s deep fear of the world, they gave him a loving home. Ah, the photo hunt that brings back happy endings!

This search took me through my digital folder of “foster dog” photos, and reminded me of several other foster dogs I’d been involved in finding homes for.It also made me realize that this year has actually been a productive year in terms of fostering dogs – which is a little weird because 2015 also It was a trial for me and my family. I lost a beloved brother to cancer. I lost another close relative to drugs, and while this relative didn’t die, his addiction left him out on the streets and out of touch. My husband and I are helping raise this man’s toddler son. It feels like one crisis after another.

However, this little thing, while looking for a picture of a dog I helped three years ago, led me to a folder where I saw pictures of other dogs I had helped this This year – a “terrible, terrible, bad, very bad” year.

Val is a greyhound mix I pulled out of the shelter on Valentine’s Day and placed with one of my son’s co-workers. She goes to work every day with her owner, my son, and my son’s dog (also pulled from this shelter a year ago!).

In May, I needed a photo of a puppy for an article. I messaged the vet tech at the local shelter and she confirmed that they had a mother dog and a puppy that I could photograph. I couldn’t bear to see this little mama so stressed out trying to raise her puppies in a cage at the shelter and then take them home. The girlfriend of one of my husband’s friends saw the puppy’s photo on my Facebook page, and now the puppy has a wonderful home – and I get to enjoy her photo on my new friend’s Facebook page!

It took my mom months to get the location right. Like Damon, she is also afraid of people. When I traveled to Nebraska in September to visit Nature’s Variety’s production facility (post about that coming soon), my sister acted as “mom” for me—and fell in love! Another dog was placed.

In an effort to find a suitable dog for another of my son’s co-workers, I adopted a beautiful retriever from a shelter. She wasn’t right for him, but I put her next door to my sister-in-law! And found out my son’s friend is a beautiful little Aussie!

Five needy dogs stayed with me for a while and found good homes – thinking about them made me realize how much they had helped me too.