Play!

One of the things that rocks my world is getting to help with play groups.  What does that mean?  Have a looksie:

Pit Bulls Playing

Those are the faces of two very happy girls.  Every morning we take multiple dogs out and put them in play groups.  We rotate through the dogs that we know enjoy playing with friends and give them a seriously needed outlet for their pent up energy and kennel stress.

Pit Bulls Playing

Pit Bulls Playing

Not only does it tire the pups out in record time, and give them a mental breather, it also gives us valuable information about the dogs.

Crazy Eyes

Play Group

Play Group

For example, the crazy-eyed little pooch above seems rather anti-social when in her kennel, but the second you get her out she is a total social butterfly, bouncing from friend to friend, both canine and human.  Other dogs, like Armand (the black, tan, and white boy below) are painfully shy but quickly gain confidence when surrounded by canine friends.

Friends

FriendsAnd how do we figure out who likes play groups?  Well we test them of course!  Everyone gets a chance to see how they like it.  This lets us know if the dogs love canine friends, only prefer human friends, or fall somewhere in the middle.  Talk about valuable knowledge when speaking with potential adopters!  For example, if I know a certain dog really likes other dogs of the opposite sex, but not of the same, and a family is interested in her that happens to have a resident canine of the same sex, then I can warn them that it’s likely not a good match and work with them to find a different dog that would love their current canine and therefore be a success match.  By utilizing this knowledge on the front end I can prevent a dog from going home, things not going well, and getting returned to the shelter where she potentially may have developed behavioral problems.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Adoptable DogsA happy dog is a more adoptable dog; just another reason I am loving my job at the Jacksonville Humane Society.  Have you heard of play groups at shelters before?  What do you think about it?  Have you ever gotten to be part of this magical time?

All of the happy pooches seen here today are still looking for their forever homes!  If you are in the Jacksonville, FL area and in need of a playful friend email me or contact JHS!

“S” is for…

Summer, sand, and SUN:

IMG_2924The elements necessary for a happy Morgan, and happy dogs.

IMG_2929Yesterday Maggie and I spent the day at a lake soaking up as much sun, and as you can tell by the pictures, sand, with some of our best friends; human and non human alike.

IMG_2912IMG_2922IMG_2928Tomorrow Rich and I are packing a backpack with water, snacks, and my camera and heading out with our three mutts for a day of hiking.  And the next day?  Probably the beach.  Gotta spoils the pups as much as we can before we leave for a week on the honeymoon!  What elements bring you and your dog the most joy?

For the Love of Dog

If you’ve been following my blog for long you might remember the The Butterfly Effect post from back in December.  I talked about how one person’s actions can touch so, so many people.  Today was the last day at my job of the past five years.  Aside from Buddy, this job was the most consistent thing in my life since I was about 16, and I spent the day thinking about what a “butterfly effect” the job has had on my life.

IMG_2389

  Sure, I have learned a whole heck of a lot about real estate and managing large properties, but it’s the people that this job has allowed me to meet that has made the biggest impact on my life.  I met Rich, my very soon-to-be husband, through this job.  Of almost equal importance, I met my friend Kayla, “The Catalyst.”  In addition to being a great person and hilarious friend, she is the one that told me about Last Hope Rescue, which I started fostering through, and then became a board member of.

Kayla and Mariah

Kayla on the far left and Mariah on the far right.

Through Last Hope Rescue, I have met countless (seriously, I don’t even want to try to list them for fear that I would forget someone) people that, without a doubt, are some of the best people I have ever been lucky enough to know and call friends.  These are the types of people you read stories about and go, “Whoa, I’d like to be friends with them!”  Yea, I get to actually call them my friends.  They have bigger hearts, and more giving souls, than anyone I have ever met in a church.  The president, Angela, has taught me more than I would like to know about running a rescue all while becoming a great friend.  And I can honestly say that I have learned something from each and every person I have met through Last Hope Rescue.

IMG_1670

Ohhhhh, Mariah.

Through work I also met two other girls that have become a couple of my very best friends.  Mariah started working here and after quickly realizing that her love of animals (and scary movies/books and health food) rivaled even mine, I started pestering her to foster.  It took some convincing but after she committed, she never looked back, and her home has seen a lot of dogs pass through it on their way from hell (aka the shelter) to their forever homes.  We all joke that she is the “magical foster” because she has a knack for getting dogs not only adopted quickly but, more importantly, into perfect homes.  I also pestered her to start a blog, which if you haven’t already, you should totally check out here.  (Apparently sentimental was the theme of the day…)  I don’t really believe in soul mates, but if I did, Mariah would probably be mine.  I love her dearly and know that we will always stay close regardless of the miles between us.

Mariah and Chelsea

Me, Mariah, and Chelsea “modeling” for the Pin Ups For Pound Pups calendar.

And then there is my friend Chelsea.  She is a resident of one of the properties that I managed and when she moved in she listed her dog as a “Doberman” mix.  I ran out the door after her and told her to change the breed “because those are considered dangerous.”  (There’s that damn BSL!  Don’t even get me started on this–it’s probably the thing I disliked the most about my job.)  We started chatting and I told her about Last Hope Rescue.  Not long after that she started volunteering at the Wakulla County Animal Control after seeing repeated posts from Last Hope on FB begging for help for them.  Then we got together and started a FB page just for WCAC.  You might remember posts like this, or this, or this where I shared stories about some amazing successes.  Chelsea is probably the most impressive person I have ever met.  It’s hard to find words to describe her but let’s just say her inner beauty is even greater than her outer, which is really hard to fathom because she should probably be modeling rather than going to Law School (yea, brains and beauty–it’s just not fair!)  Her dream job is going to take her away from Florida but it’s ok because just like Mariah I love her dearly and know we will always stay close, no matter the miles between us.

Group

This is what animal rescue looks like: Friends, tied together for the love of dog.

Each of these girls have gone on to get other people involved and it really has been a butterfly effect in our little community.  We may not be changing the whole world, but for one dog at a time, we are changing their world.  Every single one of them (again, waaay too many to list) have touched my heart and changed me in some way forever.  I will take them with me everywhere I go.  And I know this isn’t the end because we will all continue working together to save lives.  Now it’s time for me to tackle a new city.

Unexcused Absence

I generally try to make sure that I post at least every couple of days and I just realized that it has been close to a week since I posted last.  And my excuse for this absence?

8896_10151498553173184_319201725_n

I ran a muddy, obstacle filled race.

486160_4541309526299_383438223_n

And I hung out with friends.

And I found the perfect dress for my best friend to wear to my wedding.  And wedding shoes!  And I got my dress altered.  And I just generally acted like a kid for a weekend in Jacksonville (where we will be moving very soon!)  But the best part was coming home to this:

photo(4)

Smooooch!

So I apologize for my unexcused absence…but not too much because sometimes, a girl’s just gotta have fun!  I will resume my regular posting tomorrow.  And be on the look-out for a follow up post by Rich to Requiring Insurance? Solving Problems!  And I hope everyone else had themselves some fun this weekend!