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Thankful For...Puppy Breath! (By Catherine Mann)

My youngest son says that puppy breath is the most special, innocent scent in the world – and the one scent that cannot be replicated. I completely agree. In this month of Thanksgiving, I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of puppy breath in my life! (Photo: Banjo)

For those of you who don’t know, I’m active in animal rescue. I foster puppies and special needs dogs for my local Humane Society (PAWS ) and also just started my first term on their board of directors. Currently, I have three bulldog mix puppies. (Photo: Finn/tan puppy and Buster/black & white pup)

Puppies cannot be legally adopted out in Florida until they are at least 8 weeks old, but a shelter environment can be particularly dangerous with their immature immune systems. That’s where fostering kicks in. While in my care, the puppies will have had two rounds of puppy vaccinations - provided by the shelter vet clinic. And lots of socialization - provided by my family! (Photo: Me with Buster)

All three of my current fosters are ready to be adopted into their forever homes. The awesome staff at PAWS will be handling the adoption process.

Their sister was adopted last week! Soon, they will all have loving homes of their own as well. (Photo: Roxy, on her way to her new home!)

So this November, I’m treasuring up my last days with the remaining three foster pups, grateful for these precious little faces and their puppy breath. They remind me of my favorite quote: "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." ~Mother Teresa

What are some of the everyday or little things in life that you’re thankful for? One commenter will be chosen at random to receive a copy of my December book HOT ZONE!

Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving! I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to celebrate the December launch of my next “Elite Force” novel - HOT ZONE! FMI on HOT ZONE and my other books check my website: and if you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter, you can do so with the link at the bottom of any page on my website. I have a packed 2012, with 7 books coming out! And believe me, I’m VERY thankful for that!


  1. Catherine, I don't know how you give up those precious bundles at the end of 8 weeks. So adorable!

    I have a rescued Doberman. There's nothing like coming home to such an enthusiastic greeting. Makes all the workday's nonsense sift away.

  2. How sweet! We're condo-dwellers, so puppy fostering is probably not a good idea for us. (Making it down the elevator without an accident would be hard for those little guys.) But bless you for doing it!
    Our two dogs are both rescues. Nothing against purebreds, but I've always thought "found" pets are the best.

  3. wow lovely and cuties puppies, i adored puppies ;)

    i love this quote : "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." ~Mother Teresa

  4. I heat with wood, which is an effort. You must stack the wood--thank goodness I don't have to go out in the woods and procure it first. You must feed that wood stove enough but not too much, which means trips to the wood pile at all hours in all kinds of weather. You must keep the wood stove clean, but leave yourself a bed of ashes to bank the coals each night. You must have the chimney cleaned, and you must know how to start a fire in a cold stove.

    But I am grateful for that wood stove, for the money it saves me, the radiant heat that's easy on the lungs, the knowledge that when the power goes out (which it does) I won't freeze.

    It's simple, but I need it: I'm grateful for warmth in winter.

    And yeah, I'm grateful for my bull mastiff and my hound cross, too.

  5. Ahhhhh.....

    I'm with Tracey. I couldn't give them up after I'd loved on them for a while! I took in an abandoned kitten that was being cared for by the Kitty Welfare Society in NJ, who nurtured kittens and cats until they could find a home for them. She was my pride and joy for fifteen years.

  6. Aww! I have always wanted a puppy/dog to care and maybe one day when the time and place is right I will. It's very admirable you're active in animal rescue and giving these pups such a wonderful start to life. On another note, wow seven books upcoming. That's great news!

    I'm thankful for my family and that they are so loving and healthy. We laugh, we tease and support one another.


  7. Hi Catherine. Those are the cutest puppies. I am thankful for my family and my good health. Some of the thing I love are: hearing my baby nephew laugh, for my cat to curl op on my lap and purr, and Saturday morning when I get to sleep past 6 am.


  8. ::melt::

    I've often said that when maternal instincts were being handed out, I was standing in the puppy and kitty line. I just want to pinch their cheeks, kiss their snouts and rub their chubby little bellies. ADORABLE.

  9. Good morning! Happy to know the puppy photos started everyone's day out with a smile. :)

    Without a doubt, saying goodbye to the puppies is tough every time (I've fostered over 60 puppies and special needs dogs over the years.) But I loooove getting the photos of them with their new families. Seeing how happy they are and all the joy they bring is simply awesome!

    And, sadly, I know there will always be more puppies at the shelter who need my help. Our shelter has well over a dozen puppies out with foster families right now.

    Annnyhow, I'm also so very thankful for each of you who've stopped by here to say hello today!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Hey Cathy, I'm with Tracey on that do you give them up? I would cry like a big baby or keep them all. I would be called the puppy lady, instead of the cat lady.

    In my everyday life, I am grateful for the people who take the time to check in with me, never giving up until they get a response. They are a source of strength for me and a reminder that this too shall pass, whatever "this" may be. I am also grateful for each day I open my eyes.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  11. Hey there, Paula! Great to hear from you!! And an extra howdy from my cat Cooper. :)

  12. Wow! Puppies are always cute and I recall that "puppy breath" comment from Woody on Cheers? Very sweet. I got my lab-mix from our rural kill shelter. I don't have the money to do more or I could, as we have the property for it.

  13. I'm thankful for Facebook. For without it, I would not have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and caring people !

  14. Those puppies are adorable! They started my day right. I'm grateful for good loving family, and trade winds at the moment.

  15. Ahhh, puppies! I'm grateful for Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw and Chester Simon Little Boy, my two cats who keep me company while I work. They each have four names and earned every one of them, especially poor Chester who has a limb and one eye that doesn't focus so well!
    Such a great service you are doing, would be so hard to give them up, though!

  16. They're so cute! How can you give them away? :)
    I'm grateful for my family and that it hasn't snowed yet (although I know it will soon)
    I'm very much looking forward to your next book!

    claudigc at msn dot com

  17. As a former employee of the local SPCA, I have a soft spot in my heart for foster moms (and dads) like you. It makes such a difference to those dogs. I'm thankful today for beautiful weather. I have the door next to my desk open to the sun and cool breeze.

  18. Thanks so much for this post Cathy! I'm getting serious pressure from my goddaughters for a puppy this Christmas -- I don't think "we'll see" cuts it anymore. :)
    There is so much to be thankful for but two things I appreciate greatly are: being alive & getting up every morning relatively pain free; and I am blessed enormously to live in a beautiful city and country -- despite all our trials and tribulations I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Looking forward to Hot Zone!!

  19. Aaaaww! Ok, that's just plain cute! I'd like to adopt a sweet little puppy - but I have two fiendish cats who think otherwise...

  20. Hey there! Glad to hear from so many pet people!! It's obvious your pets are well loved. :) I have three dogs and a cat - all rescues - a lab, a puggle mutt, a tabby cat and a senior beagle we adopted a few months ago (he was microchipped but his owners refused to return the shelter's calls.)

    And yep, I do cry buckets every time I have to say goodbye to the foster pups. The three puppies in my blog go up for adoption tomorrow - definitely a sad moment for me, but happy for them to be settled with a forever family!!

    BTW, Peggy, I agree that Facebook is an awesome invention - Twitter too. I'm so glad to have the chance to visit online!

  21. Stephanie - Thank you for keeping an eye out for HOT ZONE!! Looking forward to hearing what folks thing of Hugh and Amelia!!

  22. They're so adorable, Catherine. I'm thankful for being able to enjoy a home cooked meal with family and friends and our health.

  23. You are a very special person, Catherine. I have to admit I'm not an animal person, but I have great apprecaitoin for people who do their best to make the lives of dogs, cats, horses, etc better.

    Was that 7 books coming out next year? Oh, my! What a wonderful and busy year you will have!

  24. We've had two wonderful rescue dogs but now I work with feral kittens. Although I have found homes, I have to find them quickly because I get totally attached lol. Luckily once I fixed most of the females, there are very few who need homes.

  25. I love looking at the pictures you post of the pups....they are so cute. I'm thankful for my little rescue Lil-e ....thankful that I can look into her little face and see happiness there, when there was nothing but giant fear there when we got her 6 years ago. And I'm thankful for her fursisters that keep her busy...and Maisie who cleanes her face and ears like she was her pup....oh....and I'm grateful for my wonderful grandsons too....I really don't think of my dogs more...really....
    Wow...I could go on and on with the thankfuls....I'm just very thankful for everyone!

  26. Aww, the puppies are so cute! What a wonderful post :)
    I'm thankful for having the people that I do around me including family and friends.

    Winnie L

  27. This has been such a fun day reading about the everyday things in life we're thankful for! Thanks for oohing and ahhhing over the puppies with me too. I do adore my foster pups. :)

    I'll be checking in tomorrow to announce the winner of the contest... but until then, folks are still welcome to enter!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  28. Congrats to Winnie L on winning a copy of HOT ZONE! Winnie L, you should see an e-mail from me with instructions on how to collect your prize. Cheers!!

  29. I'm thankful that if I'm having a rough day or just feeling down my kitty, who usually couldn't be bothered with anyone, will somehow know and curl up next to me and won't leave until I cheer up.

    cwilliams127 at gmail dot com


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