Catching Up With An Old Friend

I never realized how much I would appreciate adopting one of my fosters out to someone who lives locally and who ended up becoming a friend to me. The day Johnnie went home I was so bummed that I’d just given away my best friend. That afternoon I got a text from Otis’ dad saying he got stuck at work for longer than expected and if I wanted a canine pick-me-up could I swing by and take Otis for a walk. Um, yes please!!!

It’s no surprise that Otie’s goofy grin and complete bat sh*t crazy hurricane greeting immediately put a smile on my face. You never realize how much you miss ‘em until they’re back! We went for a relaxing walk along the Potomac River, soaking up the evening air. It felt so good to just be hanging out with my buddy again.


Then this past weekend I learned that R had gone on a day trip so I asked if he wanted me to walk Otie again. He told me his neighbors were feeding Otis and letting him out but he’d probably love to go for a walk! It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon so I scooped him up and headed to Virginia to meet Mark. We recently discovered another great path along the Virginia side of the Potomac and we quickly escaped weekend rush hour traffic to find our secluded spot. It was perfect. Otis and Mark actually seemed to enjoy each other’s company since Otis was able to relax, run around a little bit and warm up to Mark.  As you can see we also enjoyed cooling off in the river!

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04 07 06 05I am happy whenever my fosters get adopted to the perfect home, but it’s just so great when they go somewhere that lets me see them this often!

Otis the Water Dog

Betcha never would have thought a big oafy scaredy dog like Otis would love something like a big puddle of water so much, would ya? Well, it’s true. When we’re running through the woods, Otis makes a B line straight for the creek.

It didn’t come easy though. Over the summer we went down to the water and he simply stood from afar and stared at it. “No way am I getting close to that big wet thing that keeps showing me an image of myself.” He followed me to the edge, watched me wade in, and finally decided to carefully follow. All of a sudden he found himself ankle deep and still safe. Knee deep. Tummy deep. He was in the water and it felt great against his hot skin – who would have thought!

After that day we went to a new place with water. I knew Otis liked water, but he wasn’t having as easy of a time remembering. I nudged and nudged (okay and maybe pulled and poked and prodded a little) but Otie stood strong. “No water for me. No way.” Finally, after much convincing, Honey dipped a toe on, followed by a paw, followed by two front legs. From then on, Otie was a water dog.

I can make a pretty good guess that he won’t actually swim, but if there’s water you can count Otis in (or in then out then in again).

Otis the water buffalo? Otis the duck? Otis the fish? Otis the dog who simply likes a nice pool of H2O.

If you are interested in adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, click here or email


Only five days of voting left in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. This is my reminder for you to perhaps vote again today for MCHS? Thank you so, so much.

Scrub a Dub Dub: Bath Time for Otie

Otis had a ton of fun on our weekend adventures. There is a weird thing about having fun: it often leads to a not-so-good smelling dog. Otis made it clear that he was no exception to this phenomenon, and he spent all of Saturday night and Sunday morning spreading his lovely mud, creek, and plant perfumes all over the house. The last straw was when we went to take Easter pictures and couldn’t even get within two feet of him.

It was time for a bath.

You can imagine that Honey B’Otis, the king of making sad faces, portrayed his bath time a little worse than it actually was. Don’t let him fool you – he was a champ in the tub, and by the time rinsing came around he was even wagging a little bit.

The best part, as always, was the towel drying. I think everyone is a little relieved when you make it through bath time with close to zero traumatizing events.

At the end of it all, Otis did celebratory zoomies and then even received the fosterdad seal of approval (there are few things that Mark dislikes more in this world than snuggling with a smelly dog). With how much Otis loves running through the woods, rolling in the grass, and swimming in the creek, it sure is good he tolerates bath time so well.

If you are interested in adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, click here or email


Hey friends, I have a favor to ask. My shelter, the Montgomery County Humane Society, is in the running to compete for some significant grant money through the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. Right now it’s a voting competition, and it ends Monday, April 16th (soon!). There are only 108 shelters competing, and we’re in the top 25. Would you mind helping us out by heading over there and voting? We just need to get in the top 50 to move on to the next round, and all you need to give is your email. It’s easy and fast and can help make all the difference!  You can vote here. Thank you so so much!

More About Otie

It’s officially been a week since Honey Bunches came back to me, and he has settled in rather flawlessly. It feels like we have literally picked up right where we left off last summer with long walks in the woods, excited home comings, and snuggles on the couch.

Otis is reminding me every day what a great dog he is. He is fine for me to leave home alone, he is housebroken and crate trained, he is literally perfect on the leash, he is super laid back – and the list goes on. He becomes very attached to his “person” and follows them all over the house, so he will be perfect for someone looking for a close companion. I am hoping to work with him to try and build his confidence so he doesn’t feel like he needs to rely so heavily on his guardian, but for now it’s clear he is most happy when he is by his human’s side.

But, despite being one incredible pooch, Otie has been rehomed twice at no fault of his own. Like I mentioned on Thursday, he does have two buttons that push him too far out of his comfort zone: kids and living with other dogs. I want to stop here for a moment and clarify that Otis’ fears do not manifest themselves in any aggressive behavior. Animals have two instincts when it comes to fear: fight or flight. The “fight” instinct is shown through what is called “dog reactive” behavior because they feel like they need to stand up to whatever is upsetting them through barking, growling, lunging, etc. In dogs like Otis, the “flight” method is preferred – hide and run for cover or cower and hope the scary thing goes away. In these situations it is clear he is miserably unhappy.

In my house, free of dogs and kids, Otis is a bubbly, outgoing, and happy-go-lucky dog.  He finds so much joy in just being with you – whether it is on the couch or on a walk. His tail seems to never stop wagging in this adorably odd circular motion, and grass rolls are his favorite thing. He is playful and energetic and all the things a well-behaved two year old dog should be. Like I’ve said before: whoever ends up adopting this dog will be one lucky duck.

I know I mentioned last week that Otis has got a lot of learning to do about being a happy dog again, but he’s already worlds past where I expected him to be so a lot of my work is done. While he is with me we are just going to enjoy the time we have together by further perfecting his manners and finding him the best family we possibly can. It’s going to be hard to give this one up!

If you are interested in adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, email