Buddy, the Humor Edition. Plus a Contest?!

Lots of times I find myself talking here about rather serious topics, and owning a pet is serious business for sure, but let’s all take a moment and appreciate the sheer joy, not to mention humor, that our pets bring us:

That’s my Buddy–extremely offended that his dad went on a run and had the nerve to leave him here with all of us girls.  Obviously at the end of the clip, where I tell Buddy “your dad doesn’t love you” I’m just teasing him (have I ever mentioned that we joke around a lot here–because we do!)  Seriously, what a ham though, right?

Since everyone loves a good laugh, not to mention bragging about their pets, I have an idea: send me your best funny picture or video and I’ll post them to the Facebook page!  Wouldn’t it be fun for your pet to get his “15 minutes of fame”?  The picture or video with the most “likes” will win a goodie package with all of our favorite treats for your pup to sample and enjoy!  Fun, right?  So, send your picture/video to: morganrivera518(at)gmail(dot)com.  I’ll give you until Friday (November 1st) and then I’m going to start posting the entries on the Facebook page.  I’ll tally the votes on November 15th and announce the “Funniest Pet”!  I hope for lots and lots of entries, the more the merrier!  (If you have multiple pets, feel free to send entries for all of them!)

Lucky Enough.

I’ve been meaning to write a post for Pit Bull Awareness Month and today while cleaning out my inbox I found a picture that I’ve been searching for for months and I dare say, is quite fitting for the topic at hand.  Check it out:

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Recognize that face?  This is Maggie, about a week (and a week’s worth of meals) after she was found.  That thing hanging from around her neck is what she chewed through to free herself.  Look at her ribs.  Her sunken forehead.  Her posture.  The dark, sick rings around her eyes.  This picture makes me think of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

Pit BullAnd look at her now.  Meat on her bones, a twinkle in her eye, and a big ole goofy grin on her face.  Quite the transformation, right?  Well, I want to let you all in on a little secret:  this is normal.  That’s not to say it’s “normal” to find severely abused dogs, but what is normal, is to see these kinds of transformations in dogs once they find themselves in loving homes–and that’s particularly true for Pit Bull type dogs.  It’s been said time and again that Pit Bulls are a particularly forgiving and resilient type of dog, heck, I said it yesterday when I talked about Gracie, but I thought sharing a little visual could only help to further my point.

Pit Bull

Even more important than the physical transformation though, is the emotional.  After being found, Maggie was initially in boarding, then a different foster home, then she finally landed in my care.  The first foster was wonderful, and absolutely loved Maggie, but she was so terrified by the man of the house that she would lose complete control of her bowels and refused to come inside if he was home; she would hide out in their yard until he left for work.  Realizing that this was not the best environment for her, I was asked to take over her foster care.  Of course I agreed, and the rest is history.

Pit Bull

Now, Maggie leaps into Rich’s arms when he gets home, plays like a lady at the park and daycare, welcomes new dogs in to our home, is all around confident, silly, and very happy.  She can still be unsure of strangers, but she is getting better with every day!  Just last weekend Rich took her to Home Depot where she proudly walked around her with beloved dad and even stopped to let strangers give her a pat on the head.  If you met Maggie a year ago, you would never believe she was capable of this.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t even sure she would ever get to this point!  But true to Pit Bull form, Maggie has proved me wrong and blossomed into (dare I say it out loud?) our most well-behaved, well-adjusted dog family member.

Pit Bull I see that this has turned into a “Isn’t-Maggie-Awesome” post and that wasn’t my intention!  I honestly can’t even pick one specific thing to discuss for Pit Bull Awareness month though.  There is the obvious point of this post: Pit Bulls are amazingly resilient and have stunning transformations should them come for a bad start.  But then there are also all the myths that should debunked.  Our friend did that here though.  Or the fact that they make fantastic family dogs.  Or how smart they are.  Or how cuddly and loving they are.  The list goes on and on.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines:

“If you’re lucky enough to be owned by a Pit Bull, you’re lucky enough.”

Gracie Gets a Home.

Last weekend I got to do one of the most exciting adoptions I’ve done in a long time.  My in-laws had mentioned a while back that they would be interested in adopting a dog, if the right one came along.  She would need to be past the puppy phase, cat friendly, low maintenance, and their biggest request: cuddly!  I kept the idea in the back of my mind, but no dogs were really jumping out at me as a good fit for them.  Then I got the news about Gracie.

Pit Bull adoption Gracie was found over a year ago in a ditch with her 6 puppies, so weak she couldn’t even walk.  Her puppies were adopted but Gracie ended up in a boarding facility due to lack of foster homes.  Then Last Hope Rescue was able to get her moved over to Pet Paradise where she at least got more interaction with humans.  An employee fell in love with her and ended up adopting her.  We were all ecstatic because Gracie has always been a favorite due to her exceptionally sweet nature and we were so excited for her to finally be in a real home.  Sadly, the adopter experienced some personal problems and Gracie landed back at Pet Paradise.  As soon as I heard, I sent a picture to my mother-in-law and asked if they would want to meet Gracie.

Pit Bull tricks

Look at this impulse control. Such a smarty pants!

Pit Bull tricks

Pit Bull tricks

  They said, “Yes!” and I got to work coordinating getting Gracie from Tallahassee to Jacksonville for the meet-and-greet.  Lucky for me, the woman that originally fostered Gracie, who knows the most about her, and undoubtedly has the most love for this sweet girl, now lives in Jacksonville too and was able to come with me to get Gracie and bring her to the meet-and-greet.  Our only concern was with Gracie and the cat.  We knew that she had lived with cats without incident in the past, but because Gracie can be picky with the dogs she does and does not like, the possibility that she might not like their cat was in the back of our mind.  We got Gracie to their house on Friday evening and it was pretty much love at first sight for everyone involved.  We made the decision to keep the cat separate the first night to let Gracie relax and get comfortable.  On Saturday I went back over and did the introduction.  And wouldn’t you know it, everything went better than planned!  Seeing Gracie and the cat at ease with each other (okay, so their cat is still trying to figure out exactly what Gracie is, but she will be comfortable soon) was all it took for the adoption to be finalized!

Pit Bull and cat

Gracie with her new human and feline sisters. Cat? What cat?

Gracie has had one of the roughest lives of any dog I have encountered, yet she is truly the sweetest, happiest dogs on Earth.  All this girl wants or needs is someone to love her…and to cuddle!  She is the epitome of a pit bull: smart, resilient, forgiving, and loving.  I am thrilled to now have her in my family where I know she will experience nothing but love and happiness from here on out.  Welcome home, Gracie!  We love you!

Gracie came from a terrible background but now she lives every dog's dream.

{Legal Issue} Restraining Dogs in Cars

I am going to NY this weekend and currently suffering from some yucky cold that I can’t kick, so when my hubby called and woke me up at almost 10 o’clock last night to tell me he had lost his cars keys I was less than thrilled, to say the least.  He was at an NBA game downtown and needed me to bring him the spare set.  I decided that if I had to drag my butt out of bed, I might as well bring the dogs along and make it an adventure.  So I folded down the seats, rolled the windows down (but not too far because Buddy has been known to jump out so he can go introduce himself to strangers) and off we went.

Getting downtown was no problem, nor was finding Rich….but getting back?  For whatever reason I took the wrong exit and we ended up going waaay out of the way.  And then a police officer pulled up behind me…and stayed there.  I suffer from the delusion that      I’m always going to get caught when there is a police officer around.  For what?  Who knows.  But my mind was racing.  Was he running my plates?  Was he looking at my “My Pit Bull is Family” bumper sticker and getting ready to pull me over and shoot Maggie?  (I have read one too many sad storied about pit bulls being shot and yes, I’m a “worst-caser”, plus I was sick and tired!)  Could he see the dogs in the back and was getting ready to pull me over for that?  It seems like I remember hearing that they are going to start requiring dogs to be restrained, but I can’t quite remember….then the officer turned and I was safe.  But my mind kept going.  Had I in fact been breaking a law by having the three of them loose in the back of my SUV?  Turns out, Rich had already researched this and I completely forgot to read (and obviously post) what he had learned!  Let’s all find out together:

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There is currently a push for legislation in states to prohibit driving a car with a dog unrestrained in it. The push stems from a fear of dogs causing accidents by interfering with the driver’s use of the steering wheel or pedals, or distracting the driver or from the added damage that can occur when in an accident, that the dog can become a “missile” further injuring itself and/or the occupants of the car. I know in our household traveling with the dogs in the car has lead to more than one red light being run to avoid having to slam on the brakes and making them go flying.

There are seven states that restrict letting dogs or other animals ride in the back of a pick up truck or otherwise open air vehicles. Though many of these statutes can be complied with by putting the dog in a crate in the bed of the truck, or by cross tethering the animal to the truck.

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There are only a few states that currently have any law on the books that can be used to ticket someone that drives with an unrestrained dog inside the car. New Jersey is one such state and a fine of up to $1,000 for someone improperly transporting an animal.  At this time, Florida does not have a specific law on the books for this.

Other states prohibit driving with a pet in your lap. Hawaii has an explicit law prohibiting this conduct and Arizona, Maine and Connecticut can use their distracted driving laws to ticket drivers for this conduct.

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“What do you think? Tell mom! She loves to hear your input!”

What do you think? Is driving with a dog unrestrained in the passenger compartment of the car inherently dangerous, should there be a law against it, or would this just be more needless regulation? Don’t just tell us! In a previous post we linked to this Library of Congress website that allows you to contact your local state legislator. Write them and tell them what you think about potential legislation and then share your thoughts here with us.

Good Deeds

Hey Friends! My BBF (best blogging friend!) had an awesome rescue over the weekend. Check it out above and if you are able, please, please, pleeeease donate to his very necessary surgery (I know I will be!) I love starting my Monday off with a heartwarming story like this. Hope you enjoy it as well!

And Foster Makes Five

Some of you may have been following our eventful weekend via social media, but for those of you who did not, I will try to start from the beginning.

Friday afternoon I received a facebook message from an acquaintance from high school. She told me that she had a pit bull that had been given to her because the owner was going to kill it for having pulled down the curtains. She said that it had been badly abused, and believed that it was suffering from a broken leg. She wanted to help him, but did not have the means to do so. She saw me posting about dogs all of the time, and wondered if I might be able to help. She said that he was less than one year old and endlessly sweet. I felt so much compassion of course for the dog, but also for someone who…

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Good Enough For You.

So recently I was taking The Moo for a little training walk and stopped to chat with a gentleman that was doing construction on a neighbor’s house.  (This was a training opportunity for Maggie and she did great!)  He kept complimenting Maggie on how beautiful she was and told me how much he loves pit bulls.  In fact, he likes to breed them!  Ugh.  I just didn’t have it in me to go in to preacher-mode at that moment so I kind of just talked about how awesome it is to rescue dogs and we continued on our walk.  After that I decided to take The Moo to the pet store because I was running low on treats (second training opportunity, nailed it again!)  While there, a woman stopped to pet Maggie and told me how her daughter and son-in-law breed pit bulls.  Double UGH!  Twice in like an hour I run into proud back-yard breeds.

I got home and there happened to be an old episode on “Flipping Out” on tv and the main guy was talking about his rescued dogs and how he plans his days around them, etc.  It got me thinking: what other celebrities out there are proud rescued dog owners?  Let’s take a look:

Charlize Theron

Amanda Seyfried

Miley Cyrus

Ryan Reynolds

Hillary Swank ii

Miranda Lambert

George Clooney

Jake Gyllenhaal

In order we have: Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Miley Cyrus, Ryan Reynolds, Hilary Swank, Miranda Lambert, George Clooney, and Jake Gyllenhaal.  A simple google search will show you these are just a few of the celebrities out there that adopt from shelters and rescues, promote adoption rather than buying, and even spend free time volunteering.  These are people that have all the money in the world, yet they choose to adopt.  They may buy a $5,000 designer handbag, but you won’t catch them buying a designer dog.  So if rescued mutts are good enough for them….why aren’t they good enough for everyone?!  Dog are not status symbols.  Let me repeat that: Dogs are not status symbols!  They are family.  They are friends.  And their lives depend on us.  If someone that can afford to hop on a private jet can see that, why can’t everyone see that?

Rescued: The preferred breed of housewives, college students, athletes, and celebrities everywhere.  Good enough for them; good enough for you.  

All images are from Google Images.

Six-fer

You’ve heard of twofers, right?  Like when you get two for the price of one?  Well I’m pleased to report that my friend and I managed to pull off a six-fer!  Yup, you guessed it: six success stories for the price of about one days work!

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My friend saw a post on Craigslist giving away puppies and asked me to help her find them homes or a rescue.  Craigslist is a sick, scary, dangerous place for animals and we knew we had to at least try to get these guys to safety.  I was able to get the Humane Society of Jacksonville, who had available foster homes, to take them in to their program.  We got in touch with the family, coordinated all of the details that go into these things, and within about 48 hours the pups were safe.

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The wonderful ladies that helped out tremendously by keeping the puppies one night AND driving them half way to meet me. Thank you!

Four puppies were saved and we couldn’t be happier.  But wait, you say!  I claimed this was a “six-fer” so what gives if we only saved four puppies?  Well let me just tell you my friends.  My super-smooth-talking-brilliant friend that saw the ad was able to convince the family to let her help them get their dogs altered!  Oddly, the father of the puppies apparently passed away (she didn’t push the issue, because she wanted to make sure they took her help) BUT they had two unaltered females whom they agreed to get fixed with her help!  So, 4 puppies saved + 2 adults dogs altered = Sixfer!  But let’s be honest here: how many future lives were saved by my friend’s assistance?  Even if each of those females only had one litter with 5 puppies (which is a small litter) that’s TEN more dogs we kept off Craigslist, out of shelters, and away from harm.

puppy and pit bull

This tough little fella thought he could take on Maggie. She was a doll – just stood there and went along with it. Such a good girl!

To me, getting the females altered is even more exciting than saving the puppies.  Sure, it’s not as glamorous, and there aren’t any adorable pictures to share, but it’s this kind of proactive work that will ultimately begin to ease the burden of the pet overpopulation issue.  It may seem small, but every small step adds up, and that’s how we make a difference.  This family very well could have said “No” to the offer to alter their dogs and we probably would have been trying to help them with another litter in about 6 months–but my friend took a chance and it turns out they wanted the help!  I guess my point is, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, take the extra minute or two and at least attempt to take your rescue efforts to the next level.  The worst that can happen is you are told “no” and you’re in the same boat as you were before.  I know if you are at all involved in rescue work you must have some level of ballsiness (that’s a word, right?) to you, so don’t let it be wasted on just the immediate issue, look to also see how you can prevent it from happening again!  You know, “be the change you want to see”, and all that 🙂