Tag Archives: Updates

Operation Broken Chain: Updates

There have been a lot of updates on the Operation Broken Chain pups popping up on my newsfeed lately. I thought I’d share a few of them today, because who couldn’t use a little happy on your hump day?

Groucho has left his old life and name behind in Tennessee, and is now living the good life as Maverick in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Maverick is available for adoption through Sioux Empire Pit Rescue.

Norton has improved leaps and bounds, living with his new “Best Friends” in Kenab, Utah. Check out this beautifully written post about his improvement.

Photo by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Photo by Molly Wald/Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

And finally, Spirit…oh, my dear, sweet wonderful loving Spirit….Spirit is (drumroll please) currently in his foster-to-adopt home!


He’ll be living with his new potential family for 30 days while they have time to bond and get to know each other, sending daily updates to Big Bully Rescue in Phoenix, Arizona. Should everything go well, Spirit will have his Furever Home by the end of August!

And all that happy doesn’t even include those pups who are lucky enough to have already been adopted!  To name just a few…

Dorothy (now Tia) was a foster failure success, and is now living in her Furever Home with her mom and standard poodle brother, Sam – who she adores!

Princess Tia (formally Dorothy) with her big brother, Sam. Photo by Tia's furever family.

Princess Tia (formally Dorothy) with her big brother, Sam. Photo by Tia’s furever family.

Tia recently completed her STAR Puppy Class, and hopes to eventually be a Delta Pet Partners therapy dog like her big brother.

Dorothy (now Tia) was a foster fail, and is now living in her Furever Home with her mom and standard poodle brother, Sam.

Princess Tia (formally known as Dorothy). Photo by Amiee Stubbs Photography.

Winnie is becoming an ambassadog and Nashville PITTIE poster child, living with her dad and personal hero (and Animal Rescue Corps volunteer).

Winnie with her Dad

Winnie with her Dad

Jane, who is now “Pumpkin,” is loving life in her forever home.

Pumpkin (formally known as Jane). Photos by her Furever Family.

Pumpkin (formally known as Jane). Photos by her Furever Family.

“Her mom owns Minnesota Twisters trampoline and tumbling gym and Pumpkin is their team mascot! She goes to work (the gym) with her mom every day and is surrounded by love and affection. She is an amazing dog and will know only happiness for the rest of her days. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU ARC AND THANK YOU SNIFFING SNOUTS PITBULL RESCUE!”

It’s been ten months since these dogs were pulled out of the only life they ever knew, and started on their journey towards the rest of their lives. The time I spent volunteering with these precious babies in the emergency shelter last year was one of the most amazing experiences of my life – I fell in love with each one of them and I am so thrilled for them now! Huge thanks go out to Animal Rescue Corps and all of the wonderful volunteers and placement partners who’ve played a part in saving these dogs’ lives.

Fred - now Pork Chop - also adopted. :-)

Fred – now Pork Chop – also adopted. 🙂

In related news, a trial date has been set for the **bleepity bleep bleeps** responsible for the pain and suffering these dogs endured. They have been charged with animal cruelty and dog fighting.

Broken Chain 08

Many other OBC dogs have also found their happy ever after. If you have updates you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below!



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

How do you measure a year in the life of fostering?

In tongue licks? In vet trips? In good-byes and happy endings?

In lake swims? In bath times? In laughter and tears…

Pop a cork, today is our one-year blogiversary!  We can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since we started this journey, but at the same time we can’t believe it’s been a year already…it seems like just yesterday I was typing “how to start a blog” into the Google-machine (yes, I really did that).

I started this blog primarily as a way to chronicle our misadventures as we navigated this world that was new to us, this world of animal rescue and dog fostering.  It seemed so foreign, and like such a huge undertaking.  We were wicked intimidated, but somehow the idea of writing it all down made it less scary. 

The other main reason I wanted to blog about our foster dogs was to help potential adopters get to know them. I remembered that when we were searching for Oscar, I scanned through hundreds of online dog profiles.  While I skipped right over the ones that had bad photos little-to-no information beyond age, sex & breed, and I found myself drawn to the ones who had detailed profiles that told a story about the dogs’ personalities, good quality photos and sometimes even videos.  So I wanted to write a blog that would make our dogs irresistable to me as a potential adopter, if I came across a link on a dog’s online profile.

Instead of summarizing the last year (which would probably take me another year to do), and after yesterday’s post that apparently left some of you in tears (sorry about that), let’s have some fun!  

I want to start with one of my favorite things to do when checking our blog stats – search term results.  WordPress keeps track of what people type into the Google-machine to get to our blog.  I’m pretty sure that even if our blog comes up in the search results, they have to actually click on the link and visit the blog for the search term to count.  So, even if these folks were looking for something completely different than a blog about foster dogs, perhaps they got a little chuckle out of a funny dog story before they continued on their way. Here are some of my favorite search terms that have led people to our blog over the past year:

himym dog pie (Not sure where the “dog pie” part comes in, but I’m pretty sure “himym” is from this post. Love that show! )

dogs running all over the world (Oh, if only the world was full of responsible dog owners, this wouldn’t happen!)

river of pee (Um, gross…but yep, I can see how that might have happened.)

why are dogs better than people (How much time have you got?)

i took all the dogs  (If you’re a Hyperbole and a Half fan, then this image is already in your head…)

can you take a dog who isn’t well behaved to the dog park (I hope that after reading this post, they learned that the answer to that question is NO!!!)

anal infection swag (I don’t know what they were searching for, but I hope this post helped answer their questions)

the importance of support from your friends (ain’t it the truth)

fostering through agape (Maybe one of you out there is considering joining the Agape family? Just maybe?)

dipping dogs for tricks in a hole (Huh??)

happy birthday donkey (Double huh???)

And my favorite search term result of all time….

why is fostering dogs important (We must be doing something right!)

OK, so now I have to know…have any of you stumbled on our blog “by accident,” and if so, what were you originally searching for?  Feel free to fess up down in the comments, and thanks for sticking around!

In looking through our search results, I deduced that the Google-machine must take comments into account as well as the text in our posts.  On that note, I thought it was interesting (thought not really at all surprising) that our top commenters all also happen to have blogs of their own (check them out over in our Blogroll).  Unfortunately WordPress only keeps track of comment statistics for the last six months instead of the whole year, but you get the idea…

Thanks to everyone who joined in the conversation by leaving comments.  I’ve learned a lot from your advice, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know some of you (and your fur-babies) quite well by reading what you have to say.  Also, you guys have absolutely cracked me up!   

And now for some “fun by numbers”!

Number of dogs fostered: six

Number of foster dogs we’ve wanted to keep furever: six

Number of happy endings (so far): five (Barney, Tucker, Kaylee, Roxie, & Molly Tamale)

Number of adoption/returns: one

Quickest adoption: two weeks

Longest tenant: eight months (…and counting)

Number of trips to the vet with a foster dog: six (never a dull moment at Foster House!)

Number of posts: 188

Total number of blog views: 33,199 (wow!)

Highest number of views on one post: 302 (The Return of the Tamale)

Least viewed post: Our second post ever, Officially Applied, and our first holiday post, Thankful, were tied at 27, followed by Tucker Sees a Ghost at 33 (Wait, seriously, only 33 of you saw Tucker Sees a Ghost?  Go check it out right now, that dog was hilarious!)

Most views in one day: 341 (A New Record – fitting, huh?)

Blog subscribers: 61

HBAMF Facebook followers: 390 (can we make it to 400 by Monday??)

Number of chewed-up pieces of furniture: three

Large-scale rescue efforts in our area: two (Operation Sweethearts and Operation Freedom)

Number of foster dog escapes: three (Tucker’s Big Adventure…never really mentioned the other two, have I?)

Number of successful recoveries: three (whew!)

Surprise fosters: one

Number of collars: nine

Training classes: three (Dogs & Kat, we are eternally grateful!)

Times I’ve doubted myself: more than I care to admit.

Times I’ve regretted becoming a foster mom: zero.

Would I do it all again?  In a heartbeat. 

Thanks for sticking with us during the first year of our foster adventure! 
Whaddaya say, shall we go another year?
Let’s do this…



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Former Foster Update: Molly Tamale

We’ve said it before, but getting updates from our former tenants is the absolute BEST part of fostering, hands down.  I was so excited to find this note from Molly Tamale’s new dad in my inbox this morning.  Sounds like she’s really hit the jackpot this time…enjoy! ~Laura

Just a note to let you know that Molly is doing great. She has traveled to Louisville 4 or 5 times now and south Alabama once. Basically you wake her up when you get there. She travels quite well.

She loves my sister’s backyard. They have moles. Rather, they HAD moles. Molly loves to play whack-a-mole. Score: Molly 3: Moles 0. She either punches them with her nose or smacks them with a paw, never bites them.

She has also learned to run (on leash) beside me on my bicycle. We don’t go for long rides because of her short legs but about a 1/2 mile in the neighborhood to give her a good work out.

Hope you are both doing well. We’re following the continuing saga of Cooper on your blog.

Molly Tamale has found her Furever, but Cooper is still looking for his!  If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Molly Tamale Update

Molly Tamale has been in her new home for two weeks now, and she has settled right in.  As her new mom, Marla, reports:

A quick update from Molly. She’s been with us 2 weeks today and she’s doing great. We’ve had a lot of family in for our son’s wedding and she has been great. She exceptionally good with our grandchildren, especially, Noah. He likes to lie down beside her and rub her head. She just soaks it up. She has also made a 3 hour trip to Louisville and slept nearly the entire way both ways. She’s a keeper!


On a personal note, I am proud to say that this is the first adoption in which I successfully completed  without totally breaking down in tears.  As I said good-bye to Miss Molly two weeks ago, I think I knew deep down that this was finally “it” for her.  That she would be happier with Mike and Marla then she could possibly be anywhere else…even with us.

Molly Tamale, you have meant so much to us.  You’re the first (hopefully only!) foster dog who’s carouseled through Foster House twice, and it was quite an emotional journey.  We fell in love with you instantly, and we celebrated when you got adopted even though we knew we’d miss you terribly.  When you came back to us, we were devastated that things didn’t work out for you, but we were secretly thrilled to have you back – even if it was only going to be for a little while. We swore we wouldn’t let you go again unless the absolute perfect family came along for you…

And wouldn’t you know it…they did.

Like I make sure all the dogs who pass through our home know, we will love you forever, and we’ll never forget you.  We’ll always be here if you need us, but I have a feeling you’re not going to.  You’re Home now.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Foster Update: Foxy Roxie

I was beyond excited to recieve this touching note from Roxie’s new mom, Stacy. It brings happy tears to my eyes to picture this sweet puppy, who entered our lives so unexpectadly, living the life she was meant to live, with the family she was meant to love.  We couldn’t be happier for her.  Enjoy! ~Laura

Picture Abby drew for Roxie on her first night in her new home, so she would never forget her Foster Family - the first people (and dogs) who ever loved her.

I have never had a big dog.  In fact, I think my largest pet was my beloved Boston Terrier, Brandi, who weighed in at a whopping 18 pounds. My husband, Dale and daughter, Abigail, have been talking about adopting a family pet for quite some time.  But, I had my special Brandi, my little lap dog of 12 years, that would not have approved of another dog in the house.  Let’s face it…she really didn’t approve of having Dale or Abby in the house either, but she learned to tolerate them over the years.  Sadly, my beloved pooch passed on a few months ago.  The word “devastation” seems like an understatement. 

Through my grief, I announced that I was never going to have another dog.  The pain of losing Brandi was too much to think about having to go through it again.  I cried, I sulked, I slept, I didn’t sleep, I ate too much and then I didn’t eat at all…I just missed her terribly. Then, I remembered something…a promise that I had made to a total stranger 3 years ago.

Abby and I had gone to the “Mutt Strut” in the summer of 2009.  I was proudly parading Brandi around Centennial Park, when we came upon an information table for Agape Animal Rescue.  I had a very nice conversation with a lady who was promoting the rescue. Abby was going crazy over the dogs that were being promoted that day.  I took her card, and told her that someday we would call her, when were ready to adopt a family pet.

Abby loves training Roxie! She got Roxie to "down" for her on the very first try - even before Dad!

It was a Saturday morning when I remembered that story, and I immediately decided to Google Agape’s website.  Of course, I had no intentions of even looking at “adoptable dogs” once I got to the webpage, because I was never going to have another dog…right??  I scrolled down and saw a picture of Roxie.  My heart just leaped out of my chest. She was beautiful black and white pittie mix.   I watched her video and felt my heart strings pull.  I called Dale and Abby in to watch the video, and they loved her goofy little personality. We met Roxie the very next day and knew that she was a special girl, and that she would be a perfect addition to our family. 

I must admit that I was a little reluctant at first, because I still missed my Brandi so much and I still am grieving over her loss…but, I know that Brandi would have wanted me to give another stray the same love that I had given to her, and it was just selfish for me to think that I could keep that love to myself.  As for Dale and Abby?  Well, they never hesitated.  They knew she was the “one.”

She has fit right in…she goes with Dale to work in the garage,  she rides in the car every morning to drop Abby off at school, and then she spends every evening curled up on my lap.

We love our big ole lap dog!

Roxie with her Dad and new BFF, Diamond. Diamond, a pittie puppy just about Roxie's age, lives next door and comes over to play every day!

Congratulations on scoring an amazing Furever Home, Roxie – you really hit the jackpot!  We love you forever, and we’ll never forget you!
Love, Foster Mom & Dad



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Jake & Kate

Remember this guy?

This is Jake.  He’s one of the seventeen dogs that Agape Animal Rescue has taken in from Operation Sweethearts, the cruelty case busted by Animal Rescue Corps on Valentine’s Day.  He was kept outside 24 hours a day, living in filth, hungry, cold and scared.  Guess where Jake is now?

Recognize his snuggle buddy?  That’s right!  That’s former foster Kaylee (now Kate) – Jake was taken in by her amazing furever family to help nurse him back to health and get him ready to find People of his very own!   Kate’s superstar dog trainer mom, Kandice, reports of Jake’s first night in his new pad:

“You can see by the picture Jake is loving his new place. He will come to me on first day but very cautious…Will keep you posted as to his progress. I think Kate and Jake are going to be best friends.”

I look at these two together, warm and safe and happy, and I can’t help but think that the beginning part of Kate’s life has an eerie similarity to Jake’s…she’s going to be such a good foster-sister to Jake, because she can relate to the pain and uncertainty he’s been through.  And thanks to Agape and ARC, neither of them have to worry about going back to that kind of life ever again!

For information on adopting Jake, please contact
Agape Animal Rescue.
A lot of the Sweethearts that Agape took in from this rescue operation continue to need extensive medical care.  Please consider donating towards their needs.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

How Molly’s People Found Her

I always love hearing the background events that lead up to how our wonderful adopters end up finding our amazing dogs.  Caitlin sent me this beautiful story about how she, Dale & Ziggy came to add Molly Tamale to their family.  Enjoy!

Some three and a half years ago, I was a single woman about to take the giant leap of buying my first house. Having endured a seemingly endless procession of ill-matched roommates, I was determined to live alone once and for all. Well, almost alone. I needed a trusty sidekick, someone who had my back at all times and who would perk his ears to the predators of the night who might be stalking me. Yes, I needed a dog. And so I googled and googled until I came across Agape pet rescue and found the man of my dreams, Ziggy.

Together we lived for the next two years, when the economy tanked and so did my income. Sadly, we gave up the house and packed our bags and loaded up in the Prius across country, moving back to my home town of Sonoma. Ziggy had west coast adventures, including playing in the San Francisco bay on a dog beach full of kindred souls, hiking off leash with my friend’s dog in the mountains of Oregon, and being the hero of the local dog park when he stole the frou-frou poodle’s ball and teased that doggie’s mother with it until she huffed out of the park. But our west coast days left us feeling lonely, and we decided to take the sojourn back to Nashville to try our luck here once again. We were happy together, but as the years wore on, we yearned for a more complete family.

Then we met Dale. Dale had puppy-dog eyes with an obvious crush on me he didn’t bother to hide. He followed me around with such sweetness, I couldn’t resist asking him after a night of cocktails, “Hey, you wanna be my boyfriend?” “Yes.” It didn’t take long until he was ready to meet Ziggy, and from that moment on, I was no longer Ziggy’s favorite, but a close second to the Daddy he always wanted and finally found. I understood, no offense, Ziggs; you needed a man in your life. Turns out, so did I. So the three of us spent the next year getting used to each other and becoming a family.

In December of 2011, Dale and I got it together and bought a house with a big back yard, fenced in. Ziggy needs his freedom, you see. As we prepared for the move, the question wasn’t whether we should get another dog, but what kind would make the most sense in our little family. Dale loves Ziggy, but wanted a dog that is a bit bigger and tougher looking. Ziggy is a bit new-wave with his crazy Mom-cut-my-hair again looks. We hit the internet in search of a baby, and when we found Molly Tamale, we knew we found the right dog for us. This was cemented upon meeting her in Centennial Park, where she pulled on the leash and won our hearts.

Watching Molly in the park revealed how alert yet calm she is. She seemed to be on the constant look out, protecting her foster parents from any evil that might lurk in the shadows of the Parthenon. She also wants to chase squirrels, which is a very important trait. Ziggy was ecstatic to play with her, although she wasn’t really in the mood with so much protecting to do. So she came to our house a few nights later, and after sniffing every inch and making sure there weren’t any bombs hidden in the corners, she was able to relax and play with Ziggy. There wasn’t a single growl or jealous whine. Then both dogs sat on Dale’s lap and declared him captain of the family. I could have felt jealous, but when you know those two little doggie souls were both abandoned to rescue care, you can only feel joy at seeing them bond to a human so intimately. I can accept my role as close second with no hard feelings. I kind of like Dale, too, so I understand.

Now we’re waiting ONE MORE DAY before Molly Tamale comes home to us. Actually, we’re waiting 11 hours and 11 minutes as of this moment. Not that anyone’s counting!

We’re so appreciative of all that Agape, Laura, Dave, and Pam have done to help us complete our family. Many pictures to come!



Filed under Our Foster Journey

How Tucker’s People Found Him

Tucker and his new People seem so very meant-to-be, that I just had to ask them what the process was like from there end, and how exactly they found Tucker, and decided that he was the one for them.  I was so excited to get this note from Tucker’s mom, written the day he joined their family forever.  Enjoy!

I had wanted a dog since Daniel and I were married last October. However, I was still in grad school and barely had time for myself much less a new addition to our family. I promised Daniel we wouldn’t start looking for a dog until I finished school. During that time I researched breeds and decided a Boston Terrier dog would work best for us. I also didn’t think we’d be ready for the responsibility of a puppy, so I decided that we should try to adopt a young dog who had already been house trained. Now all I had to do was finish school…

We started looking at dogs on petfinder.com in October. I put in our search criteria and Tucker showed up on the first page. We read his profile and decided he was too high energy for us – I specifically remember Daniel saying “Nope!” after he read his profile.  We moved on, but I couldn’t help thinking how adorable Tucker was.

We kept looking for suitable Boston Terriers but there were few in Nashville. We decided that our best option would be to just go to some shelters to see what was in our area. We were getting ready to go to a shelter on a Saturday when Daniel found out about the zoo adoption event happening that day. We felt like it was meant to be that the first day we decided to go out there was this huge adoption fair just waiting for us!

The second we walked into the event, I spotted this adorable little Boston Terrier mix who was just chilling out on his leash. When I heard his name was Tucker, I knew immediately who he was.  But he wasn’t this crazy excited doggie I’d envisioned in my mind. He was perfect. We started asking his foster parents tons of questions to see if he was right for us. We took Tucker on a walk and I knew it was over…we wanted Tucker!

A week later and here we are… Tucker is coming home tonight! I can’t help but feel that it must have been fate in how everything fell together for us to find Tucker. We feel so lucky to have him become part of our family. Thank you guys so much!


Filed under Our Foster Journey