Hartwood Pet Lodge

Where dogs hang out
and find forever families

and a Children's Dog Book Publisher.

Just a few of the recent Hartwood Pet Lodge Clients




Hartwood Pet Lodge has donated $8,460.00 since June 2017.


Hartwood Pet Lodge Manager writes children books


Children's Book, Marla Wears A Halo, was nominated in December 2018 for its illustrations by The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA), 2018 Writing Competition. (  Congratulations to the winners!

Books are available for purchase by emailing Marla Beagle or calling (see last section). 

Author Biography

Marla Beagle

Carol McElhaney Shelton likes other dog breeds as evidenced by her pen name, Marla Beagle but she sure is partial to poodles. Carol’s parents knew she was a child that loved dogs.  When they learned of a dog who was searching for a forever family, her parents surprised her with Pierre, a white standard poodle, the day before her first day of  seventh grade.  For 30 years, Carol and her husband have shared their home with 17 poodles and an English setter many needing a helping hand from animal rescue groups.

Her first book, The Adventures of Hot Cocoa and Salt Water Taffy  tells the true story of two miniature poodles traveling by train, plane, and poodle taxi from Texas to Virginia to find their forever families. Her second book, Marla Wears A Halo shares the true story of Marla, a standard poodle, who loses her eye sight but finds a wonderful purpose in life. 

Carol is commited to helping animal rescue organizations monetarily through book sales and managing Hartwood Pet Lodge where dogs stay while they search for their forever families.  


July 1976 - Carol and Pierre


Marla, Rita, Asa, and Carol at City of Alexandria Fun Dog Show,         Dress Like Your Dog Contest, March 2019.


Hartwood Pet Lodge LLC announces the publication of a new children’s book,

Marla Wears A Halo 

Fredericksburg, Virginia, June 9, 2018.  Hartwood Pet Lodge LLC has published its second book, Marla Wears A Halo, written by Marla Beagle, Hartwood Pet Lodge Manager. Like her first book, The Adventures of Hot Cocoa and Salt Water Taffy, Marla Beagle teamed up with local Fredericksburg artist, Joan Critz Limbrick to bring children’s book’s alive through expressive watercolor.  

In Marla Wears A Halo, Marla Beagle tells the tale of her dog’s life – A standard poodle, named Marla, rescued from a farm by a compassionate trio – a local enforcement official, a veterinarian, and boxer rescue group volunteers. Although Marla ultimately loses her sight, she perseveres and finds a wonderful purpose in life.  Marla shares her time and story with children and adults of all walks-of-life. You will find Marla at a children’s summer program listening as they practice reading skills, visiting 250 second-graders, or spending an evening with vacation Bible school attendees.  No matter the disability, Marla wants everyone to know that people and animals can adjust, and life will still be fun! (The last sentence of the book is in braille).

Ms. Holly Frisch, President, Fredericksburg Chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Virginia and Volunteers for the Blind (VFB), Fredericksburg, Virginia, and VFB interns were instrumental in printing braille for the book. Holly’s mother always felt strongly about the calming influence animals have on children.  “Marla Wears A Halo is a charmingly endearing book.  I’m glad that children will be exposed to braille.  It plays an essential, critical role in literacy for everyone who is either totally blind or has significantly limited vision,” said Holly. 


Meet Hot Cocoa and Salt Water Taffy, miniature poodles

Cocoa and Taffy lived in College Station Texas and traveled to North Carolina where they were placed in an animal shelter.  A rescue group arranged an airplace ride with four other small doggies to Stafford Airport  on July 3, 2015. Waiting and watching as the small Bonanza plane landed were excited foster families.  

The Adventures of Hot Cocoa and Salt Water Taffy book takes the reader on their trip from Texas to North Carolina to Virginia.  Once at their foster home, Cocoa and Taffy meet Marla, Rita, and Asa, the three big poodle poodles.  Cocoa announces to Taffy that a poodle named Teddy wants a him to be his brother so Cocoa must say goodbye to his buddy...but they stay friends forever!  

Enjoy this true story with your children, grandchildren, and neighborhood kids.

Half of purchase price is donated.

Hartwood Pet Lodge donates half of each book's sale price to a non-profit animal organization(s) as well as donating other needs funds to help  their ends meet. 

Meet Marla, The Standard Poodle

Marla, the Standard Poodle, and her best friend, Betty the Boxer, were freed from years of neglect and loneliness on a farm. Marla a nd Betty travel to Fredericksburg and visit Ferry Farm Animal Clinic, a beauty parlor, and storytime.  Even though Marla loses her eyesight,  her halo to protect her head, and with the help of Betty, she finds happiness and a life full of purpose.  

Find out how Marla and her special friend Faith realize they are just alike.  The last sentence of the book is in braille.  

Before our adoptions...


Check out both books at these libraries:

1.  Central Rappahannock Regional Library, serving Fredericksburg,  Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, Virginia 

2.  Boothbay Harbor Region Library, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

3.  Randolph County Public Library,  Asheboro, NC

4.  Heritage Library, Lakeville MN

5.  Fairfax County Library System, Fairfax County, Virginia

6.  Southport Memorial Library, Southport, Maine


Cocoa and Taffy arrive at Stafford Airport

July 3, 2015


Marla on the farm

November 2011

Contact Marla to purchase books

Drop Marla a line!

Hartwood Pet Lodge LLC

Hartwood, VA 22406

(540) 841-4260