(almost) Wordless Wednesday

“When Buddy walks on by, girls be lookin’ like damn, he fly.”

Hound Mutt

“This is how Tag rolls, animal print pants outta control (yeah!)”

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“When Maggie’s at the beach, she’s in a Speedo tryin’ to tan her cheeks (what!)”

Mutts

“They’re sexy and they know it!  (Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle…yea!)”

Is it terrible that my naked dogs (you know, sans collars) cause me to spontaneously burst into song?  They get so silly, and then I get so silly….and then things just get weird.  And by weird, I mean I convert LMFAO lyrics to suit the situation.  Eh, whatever.  Happy Wednesday!

Labeling, For Lives.

For saving them.  And more often, for destroying them.

It’s no secret I am a pittie lover and advocate.  I am extremely proud of my Maggie and brag about her every chance I get.  When you look at Maggie, there is no getting around the fact that she is a “pit bull”; some combination of American Pit Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier most likely.  And I love it!  Maggie will never find herself anywhere other than living the good life in my home.  She will never, ever see the inside of a shelter.  But what about all the dogs out there that aren’t as lucky?

Puppies

These adorable brothers were so cute but with their long lanky legs and coats, and silly underbites, but I think “pit bull” is pretty far from an accurate descriptor for them.

Before I go any further, let me be clear about something: I am a firm believer in full disclosure and honesty in the rescue world.  You are helping no one by lying about a dog’s health, temperament, or breed, just for the sake of getting it adopted.  Why?  Because often times dogs that are adopted out under false pretenses find themselves returned to the rescue or shelter.  Now you have to do all that work again: securing a foster home, marketing the dog, helping it through what likely are new or amplified behavioral issues as a product of being bounced around, and if it goes back to a shelter, you’re probably looking at immediate euthanasia since owner surrenders rarely stand a chance.

Puppy

I agree that this fella looks to have some “pit bull” in him, but his looong, lanky legs and slim build definitely lead me to believe he is more Lab than anything.

 I recently spent some time at a small, rural shelter, just south of Jacksonville.  I was there with a wonderful friend, but the experience still wasn’t the best.  Why?  Because with one exception, every single dog I walked and played with (and I think all of the ones she did as well) were labeled as a “pit bull” and nothing else.  Some were so clearly not pit bulls that it would have been funny, if the label hadn’t meant their chances of making it out alive were significantly decreased.  I’m not saying these dogs couldn’t have some “pit bull” in them, they probably did!  But, and it’s a big but, by labeling them as just “pit bulls” most people going to the shelter interested in adopting wouldn’t even take the time to meet any of these dogs.  It’s sad, but especially in areas like where this shelter is located, people are still caught up in the bad media hype surrounding the breed, even though we know better.  There is no shame in a dog being a pit bull type, but my point is, by labeling them as just that and not even acknowledging other breeds that could be present, you significantly decrease their chances of meeting potential adopters that could be a perfect fit.

Puppy

This goofy bundle of love had “hound” written all over her if you ask me.

It’s scary that people with no training, and often times some misconceptions of their own about different breeds, are allowed to slap a label on a dog with no more than a glance in their direction.  This decision that they spend maybe 10 seconds making, frequently seals that dogs fate.  And I’m not just talking the breed they label them as, I’m also talking about the dreaded “aggressive” label.  These shelter workers usually don’t even interact with dogs any more than walking past their kennel before deciding if a dog may or may not be aggressive.  If you have any experience with dogs you know that they are sensitive creatures.  The feel fear, confusion, frustration, and much more.  And these feelings can manifest in very different ways in different dogs.  While one dog might cower at the back of his kennel another may run to the front and bark or growl.  To a person that doesn’t understand or care, they might view this as aggression and slap that label on the dog without giving it a second thought.  And that dog has probably just been given a death sentence.

Chocolate Lab

This gorgeous girl is a Chocolate Lab, through and through. She is stunningly beautiful in person. I was so shocked to read “pit bull” and NOTHING else on her kennel card!

This beast of an issue will take a long time to correct.  The point of this post is to hopefully open some eyes.  Please, don’t take a label at a shelter as fact.  If you are considering adopting, take the time to meet every dog, despite how they might be labeled.  You never know, that dog barking her head off might just be the sweetest, most mellow dog once she is out of her scary, loud, stressful kennel and in an open space.  You won’t know until you take the time to meet her yourself.  And anyone lucky enough to own a pit bull type dog, is lucky enough, period.

All of the dogs in this post are urgently looking for a forever home before their time runs out.  If you are interested in adopting any of them, please let me know!            

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

If you’ve been following this blog for long, you know how obsessively in love I am with my brother’s two dogs.  They are my all-time favorite rescue story and I get giddy every single time I see them and how perfect their lives are (which is a lot now that I live in the same city as them.)

Happy Dogs

                                                        So tired, but soooo happy.

photo-27photo-29Seriously, they go running on these trails all the time, and to the beach almost every single night for a run.  Tell me that is not doggie heaven.  Maybe I should be researching a way to clone my brother…

photo-31And in other news, my dogs are thrilled with our new purchase.  Car rides are about their Most Favorite Thing Ever.

photo-32Happy Hump Day Y’all!

#winning

I know the whole Charlie Sheen “#winning” thing is like so two years ago, but it still cracks me up and it just feels appropriate right now.  So here’s the deal: remember how I kept pathetically begging asking for you guys to “like” Maggie’s picture and help her win a spot in a calendar?  Well, she didn’t win.  Dude, it’s cool though!  You know why?  Because her and I have both already #won!

Happy Pit Bull

I #won the day I agreed to foster her.  I never, ever wanted a third dog (that spot was meant to be permanently reserved for fosters!) but here came Maggie and she became one of the biggest, but hands down most rewarding, challenges I have encountered.  She has single pawdedly (get it, like “single handedly”?) changed my mom’s mind about pit bull type dogs as well as many others.  She turned Rich into a mushy-gushy dog lover and pit bull advocate.  And she makes my heart swell with pride on a daily basis.

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And Maggie #won the day she came to my house.  She was terrified and cowered behind corners at first, but quickly learned that I would never so much as raise my voice to her, let alone hurt her the way other people had before.  She almost instantly bonded with my two dogs and learned that being part of a pack is pretty much The Greatest Thing Ever.  She lives in a big house with an even bigger back yard that remains permanently full of lizards for her hunting pleasure.  She gets to sleep under the covers right between Rich and I every night.  She has food in her bowl every morning and evening, and Kongs full of peanut butter when she gets crated.  She is loved like no other.

Pit Bull awareness

And Maggie and I aren’t the only #winners from this contest.  Of course there are the 12 dogs that made it in to the calendar, but really every single dog whose owner took the time and cared enough to enter them in the contest has already #won.  How lucky are these dogs to have owners who not only love them but care so much about them that they seek out avenues for learning more about how to care for their dog and provide them with wonderful lives?  I’d say they are #winning all over the place!  And among the other #winners are my friends Rebecca and Oscar from Tails of a Foster Mom.  Oscar was even closer to winning than Maggie, but at the very end a couple of other dogs pulled ahead and he didn’t quite make it.  But if you’ve ever read Rebecca’s blog, you already know Oscar has #won!

Pit Bull

How have you and your dog(s) #won lately?  I’m trying super hard to see everything in a positive light these days, and I’d love to hear about how others are #winning so spill the beans, friends!

A New (to me) Toy!

Remember that time when I super duper creatively begged for an SUV again?  Well I guess my powers of persuasion are stronger than I thought because you’re lookin’ at, okay reading about, my (new to me) SUV!

Pit Bull

My mom came across a heck of deal and the timing was right so we jumped at the opportunity.  The Hubby and I picked it up on Sunday and The Moo has already given it her seal of approval.  I haven’t had time to load my whole crew up (yet!) but Maggie was thrilled with her ride to daycare.  At one point, I could swear she said, “I’m the queen of the worrrrrrrrld!”

Stop and smell the flowers

I can’t wait to haul some dogs around.  In fact, in celebration of my birthday (which lands on the coolest day of the year: Friday the 13th!) tomorrow, I think I might just take myself to the shelter and see if me and my SUV can do some good.  Does anyone else have cool Friday the 13th plans?  Or SUV plans?  Or doggie plans?  Do tell!

It’s a Ruff Life

So, this new job of mine is rrrruff.  To make a long story short, the person I replaced was making much larger mistakes than what anyone ever thought and there are, quite literally, millions of dollars in need of correcting.  And we have an audit starting next Monday.  Eek!

Dogs at a field

So what should be a 40 hour a week job is currently about an 80 hour a week job.  Lucky for me, Rich hasn’t started his new job, so he’s been home with the dogs and I haven’t had to feel guilty.  That changes tomorrow.  So now we will both be working very long hours.  Aaaand the guilt kicks in.  We have all sorts of plans in place to make sure the dogs are taken care of, but this guilt!  Man, this guilt.

Happy Dogs

Best buddies.

I’m hoping my wonderful readers can give me some advice!  Daycare, Kongs, walks after work, weekend excursions (if I can get a free weekend soon…) and anything else we can think of will be done, but I’m wondering: does anyone else work crazy long hours?  What do you do to make sure your dog(s) are enriched and happy?  Buddy and Tag are so lazy up there in age that I’m not too terribly worried about them, and Maggie will go to daycare most days, but still!  They’ve been livin’ the good life, never left alone for more than a couple of hours the last few months, and now I feel like they are going to feel incredibly slighted.  So, bring on the advice my friends!