Hey there.






Hey Friends.  We have missed you here at THPL!  Well, we’ve been reading our favorite bloggies of course, but it’s been ages since we’ve filled you in on the happenings around here.  Really there isn’t much to report other than we’ve been particularly busy with that crazy little thing call ‘life’.  I’m making a big effort to improve my photog skillz.  Can you tell?  Moo is starting a refresher obedience course in a couple of weeks.  After that she will be going right into an agility course which I am beyond excited for!  Buddy and Tag are wonderful as usual.  The first ever Last Hope Rescue – Jacksonville foster puppy was adopted by a lovely family and is now being spoiled rotten.  The Jacksonville Humane Society recently had its 2,000 adoption of the year – quite exciting.  Aaand I think that’s about it.  Oh!  I finally sold a couple of things from my Etsy shop, which is great because as per usual there is an abundance of dogs that I’d like to help, so every little penny helps.  I’ve been trying to find the time to get some new stuff painted and listed so that I can hopefully sell even more.  Whelp, I think that’s all, folks.  Until next time, xoxooo!

Help a Sister Out?

Oh my.  Based on some of the comments on my last post, I’m afraid I may have made it sound like I don’t intend to stay involved in rescue!  That my friends is about as far from the truth as Miley Cyrus is from becoming a nun.  It’s true, I will not be taking in any fosters in the foreseeable future, but there is SO much more to rescue than just fostering.  (Obviously fostering is an integral component though…please consider fostering if you haven’t already!)  Don’t believe me?  Read what my friend wrote here.  I have done and/or still do all the things she talks about, and even some other things she didn’t mention.  Rescues are a seriously complicated business!  It’s a constantly moving target.  A target that is also a gigantic jigsaw puzzle that you’re usually waiting to find the last pieces to.


Plus, did you guys forget this announcement?!  Even though I’d love nothing more than to keep fostering, by branching out Last Hope I will potentially be able to help many, maaany more dogs than I would by fostering one at a time.  I’m excited!  But this leads me to the point of this post.  I need your help.  I know many of you that choose to take 5 minutes out of your day to read my little blog are also involved in dog rescue in one way or another.  I need your creative brains, experiences, and opinions!  I’m not having any luck in finding foster families here in Jacksonville, and until I do that, I can’t do anything else.


I sent out an email to basically everyone I know announcing the plans and asking that they please forward the email along to anyone that might be interested in fostering.  There was also a flyer attached that I asked them to print and post around the offices, favorite coffee shops, etc.  (I offered to hand deliver flyers if they didn’t want to use their own paper and ink.)  So far I’ve gotten no response.  I think because I did this right before the holidays a lot of people may have disregarded it just because they had a lot going on.  So I’m going to send out another similar email in a week or so.  And I’ve also ordered cute pamphlets that I plan to distribute to vets office, pet stores, etc. all about fostering.  But that’s all I’ve got.  “Sales” is not my strong point and that’s basically what I need to be doing.  I need to sell the idea of fostering and get people, in a city where I just moved and basically know no one, excited and wanting to foster.  SOS!  I need help.  Ideas.  Suggestions.  How do I get complete strangers on board with fostering?  Brilliant Readers Of This Blog, help a sister out!  I would oh-so greatly appreciate any and all ideas you might have and be willing to share.  Thank you in advance!


As if you haven’t seen enough of them lately, the pups in this post are some of the ones at the top of my priority list.  They are already part of Last Hope Rescue but for various reasons are living in a boarding facility, even though they are fabulous dogs.  I want to get them out but I need foster families to do that!  If one catches your eye or you would like more information about them, or becoming a foster, please email me at morganrivera518(at)gmail(dot)com.  Thanks!

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

I’m happy to report we are making progress with the newest foster here at THPL.  Daisie is still quite the scaredy cat (pun intended) but she is warming up more and more each day.  I think slow and steady is going to win this race!  Check out her sweet face:


And here is a video of her with Rich:

Pardon the poor quality.  As soon as she warms up more I will try and get better pictures of her.  I wanted you all to be able to see how stinkin’ cute she is though!  I have yet to attempt an introduction with her and the dogs as I want to make sure she is completely comfortable with me first, but I will certainly be filling you all in on how it goes.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

Balancing Acts

I know I refer to And Foster Makes Five like, all the time, but we just always seem to be on similar pages so I can’t help it!  They recently wrote a post about balance and…here’s a shocker, I’m in a position of playing a balancing act myself.  It’s fantastic news but basically the job that I recently started is turning into kind-of-a-big-deal and I basically have to revamp an entire department that has been screwing things up royally making mistakes for the last year.  And what does this mean for me?  Long, very stressful hours.  With Rich embarking on his law career at the same time, well, it leaves little time for extra curricular actives, like volunteering (no matter how much I wish that could be my actual job.)


It hurts my heart but there is just no way we could take in a foster with the unpredictably (and potentially very long) hours we will both be working for the next few months (years?!)  I know the mutts will be a little sad to see less of us but Maggie will get to go to camp (which is extremely conveniently located about a quarter of a mile from my office!) and the other two will sleep lounge around the house all day, just enjoying being their old lazy selves.

I am proud of the friends that I’ve gotten involved in rescue (go check out UnsaidYetUnderstood who I quite literally had to nag to start fostering….and has now had 10 dogs pass through her doors!) and like to think that even though I’m not actively fostering right now, at least I have inspired others to do so.  This is quite literally the reason I started the blog, so I guess that makes it a success?  There are also friends that have gotten involved in other aspects of volunteering, and also blogging, which I love.  The way I see it, every new person that helps “spread the word” will reach a new person that I couldn’t have.  And those people might become inspired as well, and then they might inspire someone new, and then…..you see what I mean?  It’s awesome!

Cute Pit Bull

Vote for Maggie to make it into an adorable calendar and possibly become the most perfect ever Miss July by “liking” her picture here!

All of this to say, I have a feeling this space that I’ve so enjoyed filling with stories of my adventures, my overly opinionated opinions, and of course, dogs in need, will probably continue to dwindle as it has been recently.  It makes me sad, but I can also step back and look to the future, and realize that by settling into a prosperous career now, it will ultimately benefit so many more dogs in the long run because I will ultimately be in an even better position to help and give more than just my time.  Don’t get my wrong, if there are things I can do, I will, it’s just I really don’t foresee my blog about fostering really having anything to do with fostering for quite some time.  (This is where I wipe away a tear.)

Balance:  A necessary evil that I will put up with for now.  In the mean time: Foster.  Transport.  Donate.  ADOPT!  Saves lives.


Maggie has been ADOPTED:

FUR 006 edit-(ZF-1860-91697-1-001)Our more astute readers probably picked  up on my oooh-sooo subtle clues that the family was in fact mine: the experience with pitties, the willingness to continue working on obedience training, the two dogs, and as of two days ago when we moved into our new house, the big backyard.

FUR 007-(ZF-1860-91697-1-002)To be completely honest, I never ever wanted a third dog.  My two are so easy and wonderful that I wanted the third-dog-slot to be permanently reserved for foster dogs.  And if I was going to pick a third dog, it most certainly would not be a little 40 lb. one.  But what Maggie lacks in size, she certainly makes up for in personality.

FUR 035-(ZF-1860-91697-1-007) With us moving from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, and no other foster home available, Maggie would have been placed in boarding until she was either adopted or another foster home became available.  My long term readers know that Maggie went almost an entire year before the first person expressed interest in adopting her–and they weren’t even approved.  How could I, in good conscience, allow her to be sent to a boarding facility for what likely would be a very long time, when she had a perfectly good home already, right here with us?  After all, my responsibility as a foster mom is first and foremost to do what is best for my foster dog; my personal wants are secondary.  Don’t misunderstand me, we all love Maggie dearly and she really is part of our family, I am just a little sad because with this adoption I think my fostering efforts will be halted, at least for now.

FUR 039 edit-(ZF-1860-91697-1-008)

So, we made the decision that Maggie would stay with us forever.  We moved the day we got back from the honeymoon from a little apartment into a home that is nearly triple the size and, to all of our relief, a nice big fenced in back yard.  I’d say Maggie is a true rags to riches story.  She is home, permanently.

Maggie’s Musings: Numbers

Oh haiii there everybodies!  Have you, my most loyal fans, missed me?  Foster mom has been so stingy and has not lets me talk to you alls in what I am pretty sure must be at least one million and five years.  At least.


We are getting ready to leave this morning for camp, which foster mom says I cans tells you all more about later when we has a little more time, but I wanted to makes sure you all knew about some very important numbers.  The first one is 350.  That is the number of dollars that I hear the “average” dog costs the rescue that saved me.  Foster mom says really, because my rescue is so special, that most of the dogs they take actually cost more than that because they has some sort of sickies or another which costs them lots of those dollar thingies.

The next number is 125.  That is the number of dollars that my rescue charges for someone to adopt a dog from them.  This includes a spay (what I has!) or neuter, all of their shots, and a microchip so theys can never be lost.  Foster mom tells me these things cost a lots more then $125.  She also tells me that if we use something called math, we will learn that this means the rescues charges abouts $225 less per dog than what they spend, and that is if it is an average one without any sickies!  This is part of why donations is so very important to my rescue.


My next number to share is 200.  Foster mom says that really, that number should be higher, but that is the number of dogs lasted time they checked that the rescue has saved in less than two years!  Some other numbers include $30 which is the average cost per month for heartworm preventative per dog.  There is also $30 per month, per dog for food.  And of course, there is more monies for the treats and toys and crates, and things.

I asked foster mom to lets me tell you about some of these numbers because you see, if it was not for these numbers, I would not be here.  These numbers, spented by my rescue, are the reason I gets to lives in a foster home with my foster mom and dad instead of a shelter somewhere…or worse.


And there is one last number that is the most important number of all: one.  There is only one of you, and you can makes a difference!  You can adopt a dog instead of buying it.  You can foster a dog (like me!), you can volunteer to drive a dog on transport, you can volunteer to walk dogs that are not lucky enough to be in a foster home and has to live in a boarding facility.  You can hit the share button (foster mom tells me a lot of dogs has been saved this way), you can hang fliers around your office and town, you can tell your friends about rescue dogs.  And you can not turn and look the other way when you see something bad happening.  You can be like the good person that saw me running down the street with a rope hanging behind me and, instead of saying, “That dog isn’t my problem, someone else will deal with it” YOU can be our voice.  Please be a voice for the dogs that is not as lucky as I am.

Ok, we must leaves for camp now and I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  Foster mom says to lets you all know that she wills start answering your questions very soon!  Until next time friends.


Today is the last day to leave your dog-related legal issue in the comments.  For each comment, I will donate 1 lb. of food to Last Hope Rescue.  Thanks!

Baby Bea

Ok, so I had completely forgotten how much work it is to have a puppy in the house!  Don’t get me wrong, this little snuggle bunny is about as sweet as they come, but puppies had a whole new dimension of work to dog ownership (or in this case fostering.)  But did I mention the snuggles and puppy breath are worth it though?  Because they totally are!


I am happy to report we are making great progress with potty training!  The rain storm, and Bea’s dislike of The Wet Stuff Falling From The Sky, led to an accident in the evening but I can’t be too mad at her about it.  She seems to be starting to understand that it’s really exciting when she does her “business” outside.  My neighbors on the other hand probably think I am bat-shit crazy because everytime she does her business outside, I praise her like crazy.  By the way, I should probably go into this in more detail later, but I am a firm believer in POSITIVE reinforcement.  Praise the behavior you want people!  If I catch her in the middle of having an accident I give a quick “No” and take her immediately outside.  If  I don’t catch her in the act, it just gets cleaned up (with a cleaner that masks the odor of urine so she doesn’t think it’s her “spot”) with her in another room so she can’t see me doing it.  She has been sleeping from about 10pm til 5:30am (this is due to our alarms going off, otherwise I think she would sleep longer!) and not waking up or having accidents in the night.  When she is awake we go out every couple of hours–it is our job to set her up for success afterall and frequent potty trips is one of the ways we do that.  When she does do her business outside it is all, “Good girl, good girl!” in verrrry excited voices with lots of cuddling.  *As I am typing this, I just got a text from Rich (who went home on his lunch break) saying she did her business outside despite the rain!  Go Bea!


I am also happy to report that she does not seem to have any separation issues.  I was worried I would have a crying puppy on my hands when it was Crate Time but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Please cross your fingers this doesn’t change!  My neighbors are not what you would call “pet friendly” so having me live there with (now) four dogs doesn’t exactly make for a pleasant experience for any of us.  While I had Dash it was a living hell.  The guy below me complained daily.  Seriously, can May get here any sooner so I can move into a nice big house with a yard and no one living below or on either side of me please?  Sigh, I digress.  Bea doesn’t seem to have figured out that Kong’s are The Greatest Treat Invention In The Whole History Of Everness just yet, but I think she will sooner than later.  She doesn’t object at all to the crate and, from what we can tell, doesn’t make much of a peep while she is in there.  On Sunday we set up Rich’s phone to record her while we went to the grocery store and aside from a couple of tiny whimpers in the beginning she was quite.  That, combined with the fact that it’s silent when we get home (I sneak in the door to see if I hear anything), and the fact that I haven’t had my landlord call me yet, leads me to believe she is in fact quiet while in her crate.  Happy dance!


Bea has a funny quirk and I’d like to get some opinions on what to do.  Normally I would just start googling and figure out the answer myself but I figured, “Hey, I have super smart bloggy friends, let’s see what they say!”  So here’s the quirk: Bea doesn’t care about food.  Like, at all.  I’ve been feeding her in a room alone so the big dogs don’t eat all her food but every time I check on her she is just kind of hanging out.  Inevitably I sit down and she hops in my lap and I proceed to grab a handful of food which she will then nibble on.  Obviously this is not a habit I want to teach her.  But, also obvious, is the fact that proper nutrition for a growing baby is really important.  My gut instinct is to leave her alone with the food for a set amount of time and then remove the food.  I would think that she would quickly realize she is hungry and begin to eat her food by herself without me hand feeding it to her.  Thoughts?


I iz nots being dif-i-cults foster mommy. I iz just beings a baby. I loves youz!

Let me know what you think about the food situation.  I’m very interested to hear the different opinions out there!

Drum Roll Please….

We have a new foster!  Meet Bea:


Those eyes are something else, aren’t they?

My friend and fellow volunteer was at the shelter on the day that she was left in the drop box. When she walked up to her kennel Bea gave a tough little puppy growl but as soon as my friend sat down she crawled right in her lap and snuggled.



We weren’t exactly planning to take in another foster right now, we kind of have a lot going to between getting ready for our wedding, house hunting, Rich finishing his last semester of Law School, and me job hunting in another city, but come on.  How could we not get her out of the shelter?


The dogs checking out Bea.

We are going to continue looking for a better foster family (by better, I mean someone that doesn’t work all day and has more time to dedicate than we do) or possibly even a rescue to take her, but until that happens (or she is adopted) we have ourselves a second foster dog, bringing the total in the house to FOUR.  Please, don’t judge us.


My two foster girls. As you can see, both are viscous pit bulls!

 At first everyone thought Bea was a pit bull.  I definitely think she is at least part pit bull but I actually think she has some Weimaraner in her too.  She is very lanky and her face is too long to not have something else in her.  Whatever her genetic makeup, Bea is 100% sweet, cuddly, and snuggly!




She is so funny too.  Bea already loves to cuddle with the other dogs and she is learning how to play with them too.  She is so vocal, it’s hilarious!  Check out a video of the her playing with Maggie here.  Bea is full of cute little grunts and sighs too.  Basically, she is adorable, any way you slice it.



I am beyond proud of how well Maggie is handling having her in the house.  She tends to play rough and I was concerned she would be too rough for such a little puppy but she has totally proven me wrong.  She is SO gentle, even when Bea is biting and chewing on her.  I am extremely proud of my Moo!

I apologize for the iPhone photos but I will get much better ones soon to share with everyone.  As always, get in touch with me if you are interested in this smart, sweet little puppy!  And please share as much as you can.  I’d love to get her into her forever home while she still has that sweet puppy breath.

Everything You Need To Know About Fostering:

Saying Goodbye to our Foster Dog

You will step in poop.  You’re also probably going to get some on your hands, because eventually you will use a bag with a tiny tear at the bottom that you won’t notice until it’s too late.

You will be a hero.

You will spend many sleepless nights as your foster dog learns to adjust to his new home.  You will have bags under your eyes, you’ll skip the gym, and you’ll gain 10 lbs.

Your foster dog will adore you despite what the scale says.

Your favorite shoes will be destroyed.  Your couch will be shredded.  Your clothes perpetually covered in dog hair.

People will look at you in awe as you tell them how you saved this dog’s life.

This adorable foster puppy is just waiting for his forever family to find him.

Your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will convert from pictures of you at clubs and parties, to pictures of your foster dog.  Your friends will call you “the crazy dog lady”.

You will feel the most fulfilled you ever have in your life. 

Your Saturdays will go from football tailgates to adoption events.  You will skip trips to the beach to take your foster dog for a meet and greet with a potential adopter instead.

You will become addicted to saving lives.

You will get frustrated, you will cry, you will want to give up.

You won’t because this life depends on you.

This adorable foster puppy is just hangin' out until she finds her forever family!

You will get angry when you can’t understand how someone could do this to such an innocent creature.  You will get angry when a friend chooses to buy a puppy instead of adopting one.  You will begin to view humans as lesser beings for the cruelty you see them inflict.

You will speak up and begin to be the voice of change.

Most of all, your heart will break as you say goodbye to your foster dog when he finds his forever family. You will have fallen helplessly in love with him.  You held him when he hurt.  You taught him to trust.  You invested your heart and soul into this dog and, under your careful care, he blossomed.

You will repeat the cycle and save another. 

A puppy right after being adopted by his new family.

Dash’s first photo with his forever family.

Every dog, and therefore every fostering experience, will be different.  It likely will be easier than this.  It might be harder.  I promise you though, the amount of joy and love you will experience is indescribable.  Mere words cannot express the feeling you will get when you see your former foster dog, full of life and happiness, bringing joy to his new family.  If not for you, that life wouldn’t even exist.  And that family, who is now whole, would have been forever missing a piece of themselves. 

Patrick the Parvo Puppy

Patrick does not know it, but he was moments away from death on the day his old “owner” dropped him at the shelter.  If not for the enormous heart of a friend and fellow WCAC volunteer that took pity on this poor pup and rushed him to the vet, he would have been put down.  Parvo is highly contagious, often deadly, and the shelter is just no place for a puppy with this illness–for his sake and the protection of all other dogs that are there.

IMG_0965Patrick was only at the vet for a day when they realized he was going to bounce back and be just fine.  Because of the nature of Parvo, even after the dog is healthy, it is still highly contagious.  It would take a very special person with just the right circumstances to be able to foster this little guy.  My mom, once again, stepped up to save the day.  In fact, this time, she asked me about fostering him.

IMG_0978Fast forward less than two weeks to today, and Patrick is not only healthy and happy, but he is now ready for adoption!  Patrick went to the vet yesterday where he received his first round of vaccines and confirmation that he is no longer contagious–and there ready for adoption.

IMG_0970Patrick is extremely smart.  He follows my mom everywhere she goes, comes when called, and is already learning other commands like “sit”.  He also sleeps through the entire night (impressive for such a young pup), doesn’t mind his crate one bit, and has not had one single accident in the time she has been fostering him.  See?  I told you he was smart!

IMG_0968Patrick plays wonderfully with his two fur sisters.  Hollie, who is also from WCAC and also available for adoption (click here to read about her incredible story), as well as my mom’s permanent dog, Tess.

IMG_0964Patrick would make a wonderful addition to virtually any family.  He truly is an easy pup that just wants to please.  If you have any interest in adding this adorable little guy to your family, please get it touch with me!  If not, please do my poor mom a favor and hit the “share” button so we can help get her back down to a more manageable two dog household.  Remember, “Sharing is Caring” 🙂