The Difference Two Weeks Makes…

“When you woke up this morning were you still a big shot author with a new puppy?”

That was the text I got from my husband who was out of the country on business this week.

And it does feel like a ‘pinch-me’ kind of week. My memoir, Another Good Dog, sold to Pegasus Books for publication summer 2018, and after fostering 95 puppies and dogs, I’ve finally decided to ‘foster fail’ and adopt a puppy from our current litter.

Rewind two weeks.

Latest round of rejections reported from my agent regarding the ‘dog book.’

Me: “Maybe I’ll have to self-publish the dog book. No one wants it.”

Still no word about whether my fiction manuscript is ready for querying and I’m so anxious for word, I begin to stalk my agent’s social media sites for clues to whether she’s even had time to read it.

Current foster dog passes the five months with us mark. “No one is ever going to adopt her.”

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Meanwhile, it’s a million degrees outside, and I have the time but zero motivation to tackle the weeds, or to pick the tomatoes that need to be canned. I can’t bear to look at them; they make me anxious.

I’m deep in the packing and preparing for the departure of my second kiddo for college. The house is a jumble covered in dog-hair. The laundry piles waist deep. All of my money is being spent at Target (not by me).

Every conversation I have with my son who leaves to study in Cyprus in only a few weeks endswith, “Don’t worry about it….” But worry is all I do, so he avoids me.

If you asked me how things were going, I’d have said, “All right.” (which in my world means – ‘It sucks,’ but I’m always one to put a positive spin on things.)

And then…..the email came.

The one that said, “We’ve had an offer….”

And then….the latest foster puppies arrived.


One of them was a blue-eyed boy who stole my heart.

And suddenly it no longer mattered that the house was a mess and the laundry wasn’t done. I watched the tomatoes fall off the vine and land amongst the weeds, and thought, “The chickens will be happy to find that.” And the never-leaving foster dog? Still here. But she likes puppies. I boxed up all the things my daughter forgot to pack so I can mail them next week, and I decided that my son is almost 21-years-old and will handle whatever happens on the other side of the Atlantic. I even started a new manuscript about a woman and her dog.

Because my life is pinch-me good.

I’ve got a book deal and a new puppy.

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It’s amazing how much your worldview can change in two weeks’ time.

Here’s hoping you aren’t in the path of Hurricane Irma. If you are, I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my kids when they are headed out the door: “Be safe and be smart. I love you.”

Thanks for reading!



p.s. If you’d like to know more about my blogs, books, and foster dogs, visit

p.s.s. If you have a moment, please connect with me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram. And if you have more than a minute, I’d love to hear from you in the comments of this blog or by email at carasueachterberg @

One last thing – if you aren’t on my newsletter list – JOIN NOW – because the September issue comes out next week and I’m giving away THREE prize packages to THREE random subscribers!



Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at

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