Trick Time Thursday

My number one trick? “Paw”. It wasn’t something I learned, I was just born with it in my arsenal of impressive things.

(Please don’t make fun of my Easter outfit, I’m already ashamed enough as it is. In fact, I even used my Paw skills to eliminate that problem right away. . .)

I’m one sneaky pup to use Paw so much to my advantage. Humans think I’m just being cute, but I really use it as a resource for many things. I am always ready with the Paw in order to get my way because humans find it pretty eeriezisstable, similar to “the look” and puppy eyes. See, you never know when your own pooch might outsmart you! Ha!

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his adopt me page or email

Snuggler Extraordinaire

Otis told you last week about how bummed he was that it wasn’t going to be sunny, warm weekend – but it turns out he had a plenty good weekend anyway.

Former foster Baxter was a unique dog in that he really liked his space, which I wrote about once when I explained that I don’t need a dog to be snuggly in order to fully appreciate them. Otis, however, is quite the opposite and loves invading your space – which means being on and around you at all times.

We don’t normally allow our foster dogs on the furniture, but after a week of enforcing this rule it was clear that while Otis was obediently staying on his dog bed, he would be much happier spending the time he was alone in the house on the couch (pushovers, we know – but you have to choose your battles!). After equipping the couch with some protective linens, we let him on up.

It turns out it was a great decision for both him and me, because he is the snuggliest dog I have ever met and our evenings together on couch while I blog are so nice.  He is even snuggly with people he’s just met, like my best friend Sarah who came over to enjoy a rainy Sunday with us.

So while the whole cuddling thing was new to me after growing up with cranky Barley and then four months of independent Baxter, I can certainly say I’m now totally obsessed with it getting pretty used to it. There’s nothing like ending a long day with a big lug of a dog sprawled across your lap, am I right? :)

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, check out his adopt me page or email

Warm Weather Preparations

So this is the last day of me taking over the blog, I promise. I wanted to leave you with my plans for the weekend! See, we were having a crazy hot streak this week, so I got all my warm weather gear ready. . .

In addition to the shades, I pulled out my slobbery dusty visor. For some reason I think I was wearing it wrong?

Anyway, none of that mattered because it turns out it’s going to RAIN all weekend – yuck! So I’m stuck with this outfit:

As you can tell, I am extremely pleased about this get-up. Can’t wait to go run around in the wet rain!

. . . NOT. I’ll be inside all weekend, snuggling. I’m a fantastic snuggler, but more about that later. Have a great weekend staying dry everybuddy!

For more information about adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his adopt me page or email

Pittie Trails: Otis & Other Dogs

We had a Pittie Trails walk on Saturday, and it was a great turn out. We had six dogs come, most of whom were working on something or another. While we did run into a few horses along the trail, the hike was very nice and rather uneventful.

I was curious to see how Otis would do around other dogs because he has been in so many different situations in his life, all resulting in different reactions.

It’s hard to describe the way Otis feels about other dogs. To put it simply: he does not do well with other dogs. The more correct answer? He is fine with them in most situations, but cannot actually live with another dog. But it’s probably not what you think from either of these explanations.

There are all sorts of implications with both of those short answers – either of which I am forced to use in the short period of time I have to introduce him to potential adopters through writing or conversation. The first statement always immediately raises red flags – whether intentional or not – sparking “HE MUST BE DOG REACTIVE. DOG AGGRESSIVE. CAN NEVER BRING HIM AROUND OTHER DOGS” thoughts. Extreme, I know – but I think most of us are quick to judge what “does not do well with other dogs” means.  But Honey Bunches could not be farther from these assumptions.

On the street, at the shelter, in the park, on hiking trips; basically anything outside of the house – Otis is great with other dogs. He even often solicits play. Other times he is shy and doesn’t feel like saying hi, but he really isn’t life-alteringly timid around other canines.

Inside the house, though, is somewhat of a different story. Inside his home, Otis is so meek with other dogs – no matter their demeanor – that he immediately begins showing submissive behavior. No aggression or reactivity – just sulking, whining, and peeing. Yes, peeing. Otis suffers from submissive urination, which explains why his last home thought he wasn’t housebroken. Unfortunately this behavior was only reinforced when his doggy sister was particularly nasty towards him all the time (for the record – he is 100% housebroken in my house).

It’s a bummer that he’s regressed to this behavior, because over the summer he lived in the same house as my cranky old Wheaten for two weeks, and would put up with everything Barley did (which included snapping in his face and being a total you-know-what). I’m hoping there is something we can do to help Otie feel a little more secure around other dogs, so I’m going to do my research (I’m looking at you, Aleks…) and see what projects I can come up with.

While it means he needs to be in a specific home (one without dogs) – this reaction to other dogs reveals something more about Otis’ personality; something more positive. Dogs do this type of behavior – along with cowering, raising front paws (Otie’s signature move), lip licking, yawning etc. – to show that they are not a threat. Otis is so easy going, and he won’t try to bully anyone for anything. He isn’t pushy, he looks to you for how to act, and I don’t think he could hurt a fly if he tried. These traits combined with how well he does with dogs on the street make him ideal for someone looking for an only pet that they still want to be sociable outside the home.

So, that’s how Otis felt about our first adventure to the Potomac this weekend. Told you it was complicated!

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, check out his adoption page or email

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!

Otis the Rock Climber

It’s certainly no secret that we love to take our fosters hiking. It’s a great way to get us exercise, and it’s usually in a pretty neat location. Some of my favorite locations around here include the C&O Canal, Sugarloaf Mtn., and the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls. Last weekend we went and explored somewhere new! Mark, Otis, and I headed out to Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick. Neither of us had been there before, but I’d heard great things so we headed out for an adventure!

I already know Honey Bunches is an active dog who can keep up on a long walk. I was interested to see how he would do on a more challenging hike. Turns out, he was a rock star – no surprise there! He impressed us with his ability to scale some pretty tricky parts of the trail.

The trail was only about three miles round trip, but the inclines made it a nice workout for everyone. It felt like we went up hill on the entire trip to the falls, but when we got there we realized it was totally worth it – what a view!

It was a great afternoon. Otie was so good! He is such a polite walking partner, even on a busy trail where we passed many other dogs and people (a walk where my arms weren’t exhausted at the end?? What a concept!).

And, even with all the new surroundings, things, and people, Honey Bunches was one brave pup. He took the new experience with ease. He even demonstrated his new badass outlook on life:

I think he is ready for a Pittie Trails hike this weekend – so stay tuned for the time & location!

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