Exciting Stuff

There are two very exciting things happening in the next few days.  One is a surpise but it involves Annie, the dog that I rescued from under a house out in the country.  If you don’t remember her story, read about it here.  Stay tuned for the exciting news!

The other piece of exciting news is that Maggie will be starting Obedience classes on Monday!  Over the weekend we were at another Pitte Party and while we were there I got a chance to speak a little with the owner of a great local doggie daycare and training facility, Doggie Dayz.  She very generously offered for Maggie to attend classes for free! I am so excited to start working with Maggie in a structured environment (hey, I do my best, but with three dogs it’s hard to spend one-on-one time training) so she can take her obedience to the next level.

I love Maggie but she can be quite hard-headed when she wants to.  Yes, this is probably part of why I love her so much; she can be the canine version of me at times.  The classes will give us a chance to have good one-on-one time, plus we will be one step closer to my goal of getting Maggie Canine Good Citizen certified.  It will also give her a chance to be around other dogs and new people.

Meeting new people and dogs is so important in helping Maggie overcome her shyness.  She has improved a thousand times over from when I got her in May but she still has a way to go.  New people can still be scary for her and I want to continue helping her learn that really, new people are a good thing.  The more positive experiences and interactions I can give her the better!  It is my job to set Maggie up to succeed in all situations and these classes will be a great way help me with that.

How do you set your dog up to succeed?  Do you too always make sure to put your dog’s needs first and foremost, regardless of the situation?  And remember, stay tuned for the exciting news about Annie!

7 Things about me, Maggie!

Hey there again everybodies!  It’s me, Maggie!  So, foster mom has a friend, Nikki (who adopted Dash!) who got some award thingy for blogging and had to write 7 things about herself.  Well, Nikki said that foster mom should write 7 things about herself too but foster mom was like “Whoa!  I’m not that interesting!” so she told me I could talk allll about myself instead.  And since everybody knows I am the most perfect dog ever, I just knew you all would wants to learn more about me!

Ok, so now I will tell you 7 of the most interesting things about me, even though there are like bajillions.  Ready?

1.  I likes to lay down to eat my foodies.  At first foster mommy thought I was food aggressive but  I said “that is just silly mom!”  I don’t minds if the other dogs are around when I eats and I also don’t care when she puts her hand in my foodie bowl while I’m eating.  I just like to relax and have a nice dinner, that’s all!

2.  I likes the taste of leather.  That’s right friends, it is scrumptious and you should tries it too!  Foster mommy says I am a weirdo but I says she is missing out.  I lick and lick and lick the couch until foster mommy makes me stop.  She really is bossy.

3.  I am the most cuddly dog foster mom says she has ever had.  Since we all knows she is very old and also a crazy dog lady, that must be a whole lot of dogs!  I just ruvs foster mommy and even foster dad isn’t so bad to cuddle with either these days.

4.  I gets so excited when the fosters get home that I run and bounce all arounds the house.  Sometimes I am so excited that I even jumps higher than Buddy!  He is the most biggest dog I know so if I can jump higher than him that must be special.  Foster mom says it must be because I has the super strong pittie muscles.

5.  I HATE those evil clicker things that people, especially foster mom, points at me.  It makes a bright light and I just knows that it is stealing a piece of my soul every time.  Foster mommy is always telling me how pretty I am (duh!) and she says she wants to lets other people see but I just can’t help myself, I has to glare at that thing!  I hates it.

6.  I gives little love nibbles.  I can’t help myself, I just am so happy sometimes that I nibbles  on Buddy and Tag and even sometimes the fosters.  Foster mommy thinks it is hilarious because it tickles but she makes me stop when I do it.  She says even though I am doing it because I am silly and happy, there are some people that are scared of pit bulls like me and they will say I am biting!  I thinks that is the most stupidest thing I have ever heard ever, but I guess foster mommy might know what she is talking about this one time, so now I am trying to remember to just gives kisses when I am happy.

7.  I am the most favorite dog ever.  Foster mommy says she loves us all but I knows I am her favorite.  It must be true, she gives me extra treats in my Kong, lets me sleep on her chest, and takes me to lots of new places.  And who could blame her?  I am perfect!

Well friends, aren’t you happy that Nikki suggested I do this?  Foster mom says she needs the computer back so I guess that is all for now.  Bye for now everybodies!

Names, however do you pick?

Just this morning I was giggling at the silly nicknames that I have for my dogs.  Then I happened to read one of my all-time favorite blogs Love and Six Foot Leash and they had just done a post about names so I was inspired.

Buddy’s shelter name was just that, Buddy.  I wasn’t a fan but I felt bad changing it so I let it be.  Over the years I have realized more and more that Buddy really is perfect for him.  He is the most happy-go-lucky dog you will ever meet and has yet to meet a person that isn’t his new best friend.  Buddy just fits.  Behind closed doors he often goes by “B”, “Buddy B”, “Buddy Boy”, “Budro”, and “My Boy”.

Tag’s name was actually picked by my dad.  Even though Buddy was technically the first one to find Tag, my dad was the first human to find her so he got to name her.  She was Buddy’s shadow from day one, quite the little tag-a-long, so Tag just stuck.  She also has a variety of nicknames including “Taggy Waggy”, “Wags”, “Number 1” (that’s what Rich calls her–so mean, you aren’t suppose to have favorites!), “Waggers”, “Princess” and “Taggy T”.

And then there’s Maggie.  Again, she came to me as Maggie and I didn’t have the heart to change her name, even though personally I’m not a fan of “people” names for dogs.  Fortunately, Maggie works for her so I don’t plan to change it (though if she gets adopted, her new people are welcome to.)  Maggie most often goes by “Maggie Moo” or just “Moo” but sometimes “Moogers” or “Brat Dog”.  We also refer to the girls as the “Aggies” (short for Taggy and Maggie) or just “The girls”.

So I’m curious, what is your dog’s name and is there a reason?  Has it morphed over the years or did you pick it and leave it?  I’d love to know!

Maggie’s Musings

Hi Everybodies!  Maggie here.  Foster mom has been really busy lately and I’ve overheard her say a few times that she really needs to do a post-thingy so I thought, since I loves her so much and all, I should help.  Buddy and Tag are too stupid and lazy busy to help.  Now I really will be the most favorite dog of all!

So, the other day something strange happened.  Foster mommy was out “running errands” but we all know what that means–she is cheating on us.  She always comes back smelling like other dogs and we don’t like it.  This time though foster dad was acting funny.  He seemed all nervous and he never acts like that.  Well, foster mom got home and the next thing I know foster dad was down on his knee and then foster mom was all excited.  She told me that they were getting married–whatever that means.  All I know is, now she has this shiny thing on her finger and I am trying really really hard to nibble on it.

But that’s enough about the foster peoples.  Let’s talk about me!  Well, first of all, I already told you that I am the most favorite dog.  And also that I really don’t like when foster mom comes home smelling like other dogs.  I should be getting all the attention.  And that I am the most prettiest pitbull ever.  Foster mom calls me “pint sized” but I know I’m perfect in her eyes.  What else? Oh, I know.  Foster mom keeps telling me what a good girl I am when we are outside.  She says she is really proud of me.  I guess it’s because I’m not really scared of things anymore.  Or maybe because she is just weird.  That’s probably it.

I do like it at the foster house but I sure am hoping to find somewhere permanent.  If they don’t have other dogs though, no way!  I will stay with the fosters forever!  But I know foster mom really wants to help more dogs like she has helped me, and I really love her, so I wants to make her happy.  I guess if people wanted to come meet me, it would be ok.  I’m going to try really really hard not to be shy if that happens.  We will see though.

Buddy and Tag are giving me funny looks.  Probably because they are jealous that I am not only the most favorite dog but also using the computer.  I guess I should go entertain them since they are so lazy bored.  All you friends out there should tell your friends to tell their friends and their friends’ friends about me so I can find my permanent home!  I really am super sweet so just do it.  Please.  Ok, bye friends!

 

My Top 10 Reasons to Adopt, Not Shop

So yesterday was my birthday and someone asked me, if I could have anything in the world, what would it be?  So I thought and thought and decided: Ice cream.  No, donuts. Wait, I had that for breakfast.  Ok, a Lamborghini!?  Silliness.  What I really, really want, in all seriousness, is for people to view shelter dogs as the amazing gems that they really are and to adopt, not shop.

As not only the proud parent of a shelter dog (and a stray-turned-pet, and a foster), but also someone that spends the vast majority of her time attempting to help homeless dogs, I have loads and loads of first-hand knowledge about just how wonderful these dogs are.  So, in an attempt to violently shove ease people into seeing things through my eyes, here is a list of my top 10 reasons why I think you should adopt, not shop.  Ready?

1.  YOU ARE SAVING A LIFE.  (Do I even need to elaborate on this?)

2.  They know they owe their life to you and will love you harder than any store bought puppy ever could.  You will be their savior.  You, quite literally, are saving them and I promise you they do know it.  This is a bond that until you have experienced, you just can’t fully grasp.

3.  You are not supporting a puppy mill or back-yard breeder.  These people view dogs as a source of income and usually force the dogs to live in conditions that would shock you.  Puppies are rarely given proper medical care and the parents are treated worse.  They are usually left in cages with barely any time outside to stetch their legs (often leading to severe joint pain among a variety of other health problems) and rarely any human contact.  Once they are no longer of use to the breeder they are usually killed or dropped at a shelter.  How can anyone support this?  It’s pure cruelty.

4.  You save money!  Most shelters or rescues charge around $100 which generally includes spay/neuter, current vaccines, and microchipping.  Breeders rarely even have the puppies up to date on shots so you will be paying out of pocket for everything.  Plus, they will charge you anywhere from $200-$2,000 (and sometimes more) for their pure-bred puppy.  Now add to that the fact that I swear mutts are healthier (pure-breds are often inbred which can lead to major health issues) and over the long run you will save significantly in vet bills.  Add that all up and you are looking at a huge savings over the life of your dog.

5.  But you have to have a pure-bred such-and-such.  Ok, well guess what?  They too end up at shelters and rescues all the time!  A simple Google search and I guarantee you can find a rescue group for your breed of choice.  Even if they aren’t in the same city you are, they can arrange transport.  These people are passionate and they will go to lengths you can’t believe to get a dog to a good home whether it’s across town or across the country.  And check out your local shelter.  I promise you, they’re there too.

6.  Adopt an older dog.  Avoid potty-training.  Avoid teething.  Know the size and personality you are getting.  Enjoy a more relaxed and mellow dog.  Be the happy ending to a dogs rough life. The list is endless but I think you get the picture.

7.  You are opening up a space in the shelter so another dog can live.  Many shelters, whether or not you realize it, are kill shelters which means that once they hit capacity they just start euthanizing dogs.  First in line are usually the “bully” breeds (I think we all know how I feel about them by now), older dogs, or dogs that have any sort of health issue.  Why are these dogs any less deserving of life?  If you ask me, and I’m sure this will ruffle some feathers, if anything I think these types of dogs are more deserving of life.  They have seen the bad.  Shouldn’t they get to see good before they leave this earth?

8.  You are breaking the cycle.  This definitely relates back to #3 and not supporting a breeder or puppy-mill but let’s examine this from an economic stance.  We all understand supply and demand at the basic level, yes?  Well, by removing the demand (buying that puppy from the breeder) you hit them where it hurts the most, their pocket book.  Eventually there is less reason for them to create a supply.  They aren’t breeding for their love of dogs, they are doing it for the money and if the puppies aren’t selling, they aren’t making money.  Makes sense, right?  Now, I know this isn’t something that will change overnight but we have to start somewhere and what better time than now?

9.  It makes you cool.  Yea, I said it, you will be much cooler if you adopt a dog.  You  now get to tell everyone you meet about how you saved this dogs life and I’m tellin you, it’s much more impressive than telling them you bought it from a breeder.  You get to be a hero!

10.  Rescues are beautiful, inside and out.  Just look at the pictures of dogs throughout this post.  Not a single one is pure-bred but you would be crazy to say they aren’t beautiful.  I might be biased but I also have heard it from enough other people that I know I’m right.  And these are just a few.  There are literally entire books dedicated to beautiful rescue dogs.

11.  YOU ARE SAVING A LIFE.  Oh, I already mentioned that?  Well it’s a big deal.  It’s a big deal to the dog.  It’s big deal to the rescue worker you are getting the dog from.  It’s a big deal to the people you will inspire.  And it should be a very big deal to you.

Any minds changed yet?  I sure hope so.  And if you want to do something for my birthday, share this with your friends.  The more people that see it the better chance it has of changing someone’s mind.  Thanks!

Repeat?

Remember a couple of months ago when I talked about the “mystery” illness that my dogs had?  Well, I’m not positive but it seems that it may have reared it’s ugly little head again at my house.

“On no, not again mom!”

Let me start at the beginning.  Yesterday, I came home from work to discover that Buddy and Tag had helped themselves to some delicious trash (contents included but not limited to: salmon skin, coffee grinds, and egg shells) with the remains of what they didn’t deem fit for consumption strewn about the kitchen.

Now, you might be asking yourself “Why did she say it was only Buddy and Tag?  How does she know Maggie wasn’t part of the food-tasting party?”  Well friends, because Maggie is a perfect angel dog that would never, ever partake in such a naughty adventure.  Ok, that might not be exactly why.  Maggie was in her crate (with her Kong) while my two heathens had at the trash so I know that even though she probably would have loved to be part of the action she wasn’t able to be.

Buddy, pretending to be ashamed of himself.

What does this have to do with that illness though?  Well, I was fully expecting some upset tummies from my two dogs but instead it was Maggie, the innocent bystander, that ended up with an upset tummy.

This morning while headed to the front door to let the dogs out I noticed that someone had an accident in front of the door.  Then I noticed it was not what you would call “solid.”  After cleaning up I took the dogs out and since everything came out normal for Buddy and Tag I was able to safely deduce that it was Maggie with the upset tummy.

“Aren’t I cute? Surely you can’t stay mad at this face.”

I took a sample in to the vet this morning so that they could do a test on it and I have my fingers (the dogs have their paws) crossed that it was a fluke and not a repeat of our previous run-in with the mystery illness.

Well that was fun to hear about, wasn’t it?  Anything exciting happening with your pups?  Or (heaven forbid) anyone else experiencing this mystery illness at their house?

Gunner gets “got”.

Gunner, who looks eerily similar to Ace, is another pit that was down to his last couple of days at the shelter.  They knew that we (Last Hope Rescue) were working hard to find someone to foster him, so the shelter workers kept pushing his last day back, but even with their help we were seriously running out of time.  Last week we were contacted by a wonderful girl that said she would be willing to foster him for us.  This was what we had been praying for!

Today I went out to meet Gunner, check out his new home, and bring his foster mom some food, flea and heart worm medicine.  She was such a sweet girl.  She has three other dogs (all that she rescued!) and two cats.  Gunner fit in wonderfully with her “pack” and was clearly the happiest he had ever been in his short life.

Before he landed at the shelter Gunner lived his life at the end of a very short rope, out in the yard with no shelter at all, and seriously starved for attention.  As you can see in the picture below, he obviously endured abuse in addition to his neglect.  We suspect that the scars you see are acid burns.  In spite of this, Gunner is quick to give kisses and really is unbelievable happy-go-lucky.

If Gunner hadn’t gotten “got” by his foster mom, there is no way of knowing how much more time the shelter would have given him, though it undoubtedly was not much.  If I haven’t mentioned this before, fosters save lives.  As a foster all that is required of you is your love and attention.  Whatever rescue you help, whether it be Last Hope Rescue, or some other organization, really will provide you with all you will need to care for the dog.  There are always dogs in need, but rarely people willing to foster.  It’s a matter of supply and demand.  Sadly, there is much much more demand than supply.

Please, think about opening your home to a dog in need.  There are so many wonderful dogs out there, like Gunner, that just need someone to give them a chance.  And some love.  You can be the difference between life and death.  I promise you, it will be the most rewarding thing you have ever experienced.