The Components of Love:

Recently a friend of mine told me that she had decided to respond with “rescued mutt” whenever she was asked what breed her dogs are.  They both really are the epitome of mutts (just like mine) and I love that she has vowed to do this.  I often respond the same way when asked but I have been making a conscious effort to also respond with just “rescued mutt” and nothing more.

Regal Reagan did a wonderful job supervising the pack.

Beautiful, loyal, serious Reagan, one of my friend’s mutts, and her proclaimed “soul mate”.

After yesterday’s post about BSL it got me to thinking: What if instead of even saying “mutt” we responded with something like “50% love and 50% goofiness”?  After all, if you were going to be judged, wouldn’t you want it to be on your character rather than appearance?  I don’t go around describing myself as “German/Dutch/unknown origins”, I describe myself as “an animal lover, gym rat, outdoorsy, book worm”.  I don’t call Rich “half Puerto Rican, half motley mix”, instead I call him a “smartass, comic book loving nerd”.  So why do we do this to our dogs, who we know are so much more than their genetic makeup?

Buddy

Buddy: 30% Hard-Headed, 40% Goofball, 20% Loyal, 5% Cuddly, 5% Grouchy, and 100% my best friend.

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Tag:  30% Grouchy, 55% Loving, 10% Jealous, 5% Goofball, and 100% the easiest dog I have ever owned.

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Maggie: 10% Stubborn, 30% Cautious, 30% Silly, 5% Bossy, 25% Loving, and 100% my proudest accomplishment.

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So I’m curious, how would YOU describe your dog if you could only use adjectives like this?  And no, you don’t need to be detailed as I was…though I could have gone even more in depth 😉  Do you think that is would be a good idea if we could get everyone to participate?  Because I love the idea!

{Legal Issue} BSL Around the World

It’s been a hot minute since we did the last Legal Issue post so I figured it was time to get back to business!  This topic is one that likely hits home with at least a few of us: BSL.  A reader asked what International Laws look like and if BSL exists in other places.

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 You all remember the Lennox case, right?  In short, Lennox was removed from his home in Ireland after officials determined he was a “pit bull type dog”.  His family fought legal battles for two years, all while he was deteriorating in horrible conditions, along with support from people literally all across the world to save him–he had done nothing wrong.  You might remember seeing pictures of pit bull type dogs with the words “I Am Lennox” –this was done as a show of support.  Ultimately the family lost and Lennox was euthanized.  Up until this point, I can honestly say that I hadn’t really paid any attention to international BSL issues, but this case brought it jarringly to my attention.

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Obviously this is a huge topic that could literally fill books, so I asked Rich to kind of give us a condensed version of his research.  Without further ado, here are some “fun” facts about International Laws surrounding BSL:

You may think that our country’s unfair view on certain breeds is so far from the norm that it wouldn’t be duplicated in other countries. While this is a nice thought, the United States is far from being the only country that allows breed specific legislation to be passed by its constituent states. In fact some other countries have gone so far to enact federal BSL that touches every border of the country, and it’s not just pit bulls that are affected by these laws.

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For example, the United Kingdom has a law that prohibits four types of dogs entirely from the country. These are the Pit Bull, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasiliero breeds. The good news is that the area of Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, is not affected by this ban. But the bad news is that Northern Ireland has enacted its own ban that includes these dogs (this is where the Lennox situation occurred). In addition to outright banning these breeds the UK law encourages voluntary microchipping of dogs and imposes severe penalties on owners of dogs that attack people (including prison time up to two years).

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Australia is another country that has a ban on these breeds. Additionally they also include the Perro de Presa Canario. For those that don’t know about these breeds that are banned, for the most part they look like Pit Bulls and Mastiffs, large dogs with defined muscles. Although the Tosa does not look like either type, it is apparently nicknamed the Japanese Fighting Dog. In Australia the importation of these breeds is banned, and any dog that was “grandfathered” in by being there prior to enactment of the ban, is required to be neutered, thus Australia is attempting to let the breed die out (completely die out!) in the country.

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Finally, a little closer to home the island nation of Puerto Rico has enacted a similar ban on these types of dogs (although it doesn’t appear that Tosas are included), banning the importation, sale, and breeding of these dogs. When this law was enacted it gave owners eight months to register the dogs that they already owned to “grandfather” them in. Additionally it looks like the legislators there saw the trouble that Miami-Dade had in court defending their ban on “pit bulls” as being too vague, and the Puerto Rican law defines Pit Bulls to include specific breeds, and cross breeds between them and other breeds. Also it gives a physical description of what the banned dogs look like.

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Unfortunately this is just a sampling of the breed specific legislation throughout the world, and there’s no end in sight. Venezuela has passed a law that will outlaw American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bulls in 2014. This law was passed in 2010 and the delay in going into effect is probably due to the fact that it is an outright ban and there will be no “grandfathering” in.

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Rather depressing, isn’t it?  So what can we do?  First and foremost we can use our own dogs to show what great family members these “pit bulls” and other breeds really are; we can walk the walk.  We can also take the time to sign petitions against bans; we can ask our friends to sign these petitions as well.  We can write letters to legislators and intelligently and politely make a case for our family members.  We can get involved! 

The photos from this post are from the Pittie Party.  It was a wonderful event and if you are in the Tallahassee area and looking for helping throwing a charitable event you should seriously consider checking out my friends at Hire Wire Charitable Even Planning.  They rock; more pictures to come!  And a couple of the dogs featured in this post are available for adoption, so if you are in the market and one catches your eye, please get in touch with me!

 

Jump for Joy:

Because it’s Friday and that means two whole days, dedicated to the dogs (and buying a new washer and dryer–bleh), the outdoors, and most importantly, fun!  Buddy seems pleased with the news:

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IMG_2464We shall return Monday with our next Legal Issue as well as pictures from the Pittie Party. In the mean time, we wish you all a wonderful weekend!

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You may or may not remember, but back in March I oh-so subtly begged my friend to throw another Pittie Party and guess what?  She’s doing it!  And doing it big.

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Maggie went to her first event not long after I got her and I’m not sure who was more terrified, her or me.  I literally had two leashes on her because I was certain she was going to be scared by something, flip out, and get away from me.  Of course that didn’t happen and she was a very well-behaved, though admittedly shy, little lady.  Fast forward to today and I cannot wait to take her!

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                                                            I spy two leashes on Moo. Do you?

This event is going to be HUGE compared to events in the past, too.  There will be adoptable dogs from various rescues there, a doggie kissing booth, agility courses, food trucks, face painting, and the list goes on and on.  There really will be something for everyone!

557401_252411158213450_2142631810_nEvents like this are so important, for so many reasons.  First, in my opinion, is the socialization.  All dogs can benefit from it, whether they are seasoned pros at huge events, or shy little girls like Maggie used to be.  Obviously it’s key that the owner/foster parent/handler of the dog stay tuned in to their needs and give them as much space as necessary (Maggie and I just hung around the outskirts the first time) but just being out and about and seeing other dogs and how they interact is so great.  The fundraising and awareness raising are also so important.  It’s a great way to show off not only pit bull type dogs, but rescue dogs in general, in a positive light all while not being too “in-your-face” or “preachy” which we all know can cause some people to shut down.  I always feel like walking the walk is the best way to get my point across.  Plus, it’s just good clean fun!

IMG_1554So if you’re in the Tallahassee area and interested in joining in on the fun, you should!  Maggie, Rich and I will be there.  Maybe even with bells on?

How Do I Put This?

How about, “Maggie is still available for adoption!”  Like many of you said, I would know right away if the family was right for Maggie or not.  Sadly, they were not.

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While a small part of me is relieved that for now Maggie is still mine, an even larger part of me is disappointed because I truly had myself excited about the prospect of Maggie getting adopted.  I had come to peace with the idea of saying goodbye and moved on to being excited about all of the new dogs I would be able to help.  (There were a few sleepless nights–something that is completely foreign to me–while I got myself to this place, but that is really here nor there…)  Hell, I had even gotten Rich excited about it, which I now realize I never have really talked about Rich’s love for Maggie, but let’s just say it rivals even mine.

So what went wrong?  The family really was every bit as nice and knowledgable as they seemed when we chatted Friday night, and if I could base my decision on the amount of love they had to offer a dog, Maggie would already be there–but I can’t.

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Actually, I’m getting a little ahead of myself, because I still haven’t even heard back from them, so maybe they aren’t interested after all and the point is moot?  Personally, and I know I’m not alone because bumpyroadtobubba shared the story of adopting her dog with me (check it out here, it is absolutely perfect), if I were serious about a dog, I would sit outside the home or facility where the dog was until I had the green light to take it home.  Maybe that’s extreme, but Maggie (and truly all dogs) deserve this amount of love, excitement, and devotion.

Regardless, there were things about their house that I envisioned being real problems for Maggie, given her propensity for getting into things and what not.  When I committed to foster her, I committed to keep her safe forever.  If/when she gets adopted, my responsibilities do not just end there.  Until the day Maggie goes to join my other dogs in Heaven, I hold myself responsible for her precious life.  Really, what good would I be doing if I just let dogs pass through my doors and never thought about them after that?  Didn’t care enough to ensure nothing bad would ever happen to them again?  No good at all is what I say.

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So we will continue searching for the perfect home for Maggie.  And if it comes time for us to move and that perfect family has yet to appear, maybe it really does mean she’s been home all along.  I don’t think I’d be too upset about that 🙂

Doggie Wash!

I know, I know, everyone is dying to know how things went on Saturday with Maggie, and I promise, I’ll let you all know as soon as I hear back from the family (who was supposed to call me yesterday but didn’t…)

So in the mean time, I thought I would share some incredibly cute pictures from what I spent the rest of the day Saturday doing: helping at a dog wash fundraiser!

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Super, duper cute Joey was there with his new forever family! He is an alumni of WCAC.

Adorable (and still adoptable!) Nala was there…and she met a Great Dane!

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Sophie, another WCAC alumni, was there lounging about with her momma.

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Cute Oscar was showing off his tricks and hoping someone would want to adopt him.

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“Aaaaattack! attackattackattackattack the water!”

And, to up the cuteness ante, Last Hope Rescue got three new puppies that day.  We had the foster families meet at the carwash to all pick up their new puppies.  Check out this adorableness:

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If any of these cute dogs caught your eye, please let me know.  Oh, and feel free to hit that “share” button and help us get these babies adopted fast!