Ray’s Story Revisited

On so many of the blogs I read, I’m such a stalker that I forget that some folks here don’t actually know the story of how Ray came to be ours.  As I alluded to previously, I have told the story before, but I left some parts out but I think that enough time has elapsed that I can tell it without hurting anyone.


So yes, this woman had contacted me about finding help to place her male pit bull, Kane, and his pregnant sister, Sparkles. I hadn’t actually met this woman but knew of her. You see, she and her mother and her children had been renting a house until the landlord moved himself in and them out. They were forced to move into an apartment and leave their two dogs with a friend who kept them chained up outside and this is how Sparkles ended up in “a family way.”


Mama Sparkles

So before we knew it, and before we were prepared, the puppies started coming. Outside in the 32 degree weather, the puppies started coming and some of them died from the exposure. I don’t know how long Sparkles was in labor but by the time I was called, left work and arrived on site there was Sparkles and her three live pups with more small, cold bodies nearby in a trash bag. 

As soon as Katie arrived we whisked the dogs and pups away to warmth. Although I’d been reading about and had met a few Pit Bulls recently, I still knew very little about them and Kevin was worried sick that something would go horribly wrong. It didn’t.

Not only did we find two loving and sweet adult dogs, but after bringing this little family to safety I got to witness the birth of my little boy and I’ve been in love with him since the moment I first saw him. 


And the part I’ve never written about? Our house was on the market  at the time and we had accepted an offer-from, it turns out,the woman who had originally owned these dogs. When she asked me for help I asked her if it was for a temporary foster and did she eventually want the dogs back once she closed on the house? No, she said. The house was too nice to have dogs in it. It always gave me a special, ironic pleasure to have Ray living there. 

Ultimately that sale fell through and we remained in that home for a couple more years. Earlier this month we celebrated Ray’s fourth birthday and I feel that enough time has elapsed to tell the rest of the story. Volunteering with Pet Promises has helped me see all of the layers involved in this story for what they are. Renting, eviction, a bit of ignorance and poor choices combined to create the layers upon which this tale rests. The bitter tears the woman shed when we took the dogs were as real as her love for them. She wasn’t evil or unfeeling, but rather a person with few options and the one she ultimately chose led to a very good life for those she gave up.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

For some reason, the day always creeps up on me faster than I realize and this year was no exception. I guess it’s because it was so close to Thanksgiving this year and yet so appropriate, because I am  thankful.




Three years ago today this little family entered my life.  To help a pregnant mama dog get shelter and be present while she gives birth was amazing.  That one of those puppies became mine is wonderous, and having two of the others still in our lives is incredible.

Ray has taught me so much about dog ownership and forced me to become a different person.  After having volunteered for this long, I can safely say he was one of the “worst” puppies I’ve ever met:  He was smart and challenging and high strung and high maintenance and loving and clingy but all mine.  Mama’s boy.

Life with Ray has been a crazy ride and the last year and a half or so has been so rewarding just to be able to see how far we’ve come as a team and to mark our progress with another passing year.  So to  my little heart dog, I say “Happy Birthday.”

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!



Fe Fi Fo Fum

Last week when Mommy said she had a three day weekend, I was really excited because I knew we would spend every single minute together.  Boy was I surprised when one of the first things she did was to take me to the place where they cut my entire leg apart removed my little lumpus.  I like being at that place but not so much when they have monsters scissors in their hands.  When we came home, I was a little angry at Mommy so I went to my quiet place and ignored her for six hours a few minutes so that she would know that I was serious. 

Once I was sure she had learned her lesson, then I went ahead and gave her kisses again.  I was still happy to have her home with me for a whole extra day. 

The next day, though, she left me at home for the entire day a few hours while she was at an adoption event.  I thought that when she said she was going there, she was mistaken because I’m already adopted, but when she put me in the truck to go to my favorite store, it all became crystal clear.  She had some girl in the car with her.  I could smell her presence.  Then I saw these pictures on Mommy’s phone.

I just knew she was up to something.  I wasn’t actually upset, though, because like my mommy, I want to make sure all the other homeless doggies have a warm place to live with people who love them so I don’t mind sharing her sometimes if she can help.  If you are interested in Honor the little GSD mix (Mom’s current favorite) or Phineus the St Bernard-ish puppy contact the ACSPCA.  Or if you are not seeing your heart dog there, please check out Smiling K9’s where my heart Mommy found me.

Testing the Waters

I’m really excited about something and I hope it goes well. As you may know, I love volunteering with my local rescue, and my ultimate wish is to foster someday.  Until that time comes, I volunteer in any other way that I can whether that be through donations of time, transport, products for auctions, other goods or any financial support I can give.  Recently I have been given the opportunity to dig deep for some creativity and I hope it pans out.

I’ve been reading a lot about how in many cases, the sad histories are really good for fundraising, but not always so great for generating adoption interest. 


I am by no means an expert on this and have no links handy to back this data up, but would point you maybe to Animal Farm Foundation or a shelter in California who has some really awesome descriptions of their adoptables which really got me thinking.  Can  I lend a fresh take to some of these bios?  Surprisingly, it was much more difficult than I thought to stay away from the sadder side of the story and find some positives to focus on.  I hope to hone this craft as I get more practice at it, or it may turn out that my efforts will not be satisfactory.  Whatever the outcome, the bottom line is to get these babies home, so with that in mind, I have included a link to my new endeavors to the right and also at the bottom of the page. 


These may not stay up for too long, but I’m hoping they will at least generate some interest in the adoptable dogs.

Friday Fun(draiser) Day

I wish I could foster.  It is just not in the cards for me right now and it wouldn’t be fair to my family, Ray or to the foster.  Things are way too torn up in the yard and with all of the new changes coming up soon, it would be a negative experience, I believe.  In the meantime, I still try to do my part with our rescue hero, Smiling K9’s, as well as a few others out there.  As they say, adopt, foster, donate, volunteer. 

Along those lines, I recently had the honor of escorting this little muppet to her meet and greet where she went home with her happy new mom.

She was just a two pound bundle of tail wagging personality and I’m sure she was headed to a life of pampered happiness.  This was one of the “easy ones.”  Highly adoptable, no health issues, not a “scary” breed; just a cute baby needing a home.  It’s nice when these happen along but in the rescue world that I only dabble in from the sidelines and help when I can, the “easy ones” are few and far between.  Smiling K9’s is there when that puppy with the broken leg is “on the list” and awaiting his fate.  They are there when the 100 pound pit bull type dog gets tazed in the eye and left to sit in his own waste because people were afraid of him.  Turns out he was a big mush-pot of loving.  They are there for the little ones who have no one else to turn to for protection.  They are there for the “hard ones,” the ones who need an extra hand and a soft place to land until their forever home can be found.  All of that, of course, takes funds, so I’d like to encourage everyone to check out this great auction that starts today in honor of Baby Brain’s first birthday.  The auction starts at 5:00 pm EST, but I’m gonna sneak over there and try to slide a bid or two in.  If you like purchasing for a cause, head on over and check out the great items up for bid.

Have a great weekend, all!

Pit of my Heart

I love how things in the interwebs are so connected and how sometimes falling down a blog worm-hole leads to an entire blogroll of great reads.  I’ve grown to love the Pit Bull blog community and have learned so much though the writings and suggestions of all of the responsible, Pit-loving writers out there.  So as we read that our friends at Our Waldo Bungie were participating in Blogville Pittie Post Day, we decided to do the same.
I’ve written already about the day Ray, his mama Sparkles and the rest of his litter was rescued and born, which is the day we will celebrate, although celebrating the “gotcha day” might be a bonus.  So what should I write about on Blogville Pittie Post Day?  How about “my first Pit Bull,” whom I never actually lived with.
Ah, Little Draco of the sweet demeanor and quite ways. 
When Draco was rescued he had a broken leg and was in the room indicating that he was “on the list.”  The fact that he screamed every time he tinkled in the house gave some indication of what his first few months of life were like.  The great folks at Smiling K9s Rescue gave this sweet soul a new lease on life and that is how I met him.  I was transporting him and some of his foster brothers to an event and my heart just melted when I saw him.  He was so sweet, soft and loving and I loved him immediately but also knew he wasn’t meant to be mine.  Over the next few weeks as I transported him to events I would tell him, “Draco, I love you to pieces, but you are not meant to be my little boy.  Someone else is out there looking for you.”  And it was true.  I only knew him for a short time before his forever family found him, but he will always dwell in a special place in my heart as well as being instrumental in leading Ray to me.

Full Circle

Dear Sparkles,
We met on December 1, 2011 when you were a cold, bony little gal scared and having babies in a bush for shelter.  My family warned me that trying to help a pit bull in labor might not turn out well for me.  You, however, were so soft and sweet.  You were worn out, tired and yet somehow seemed very grateful for the help.  You came into rescue that night and we promised you that you would never have another puppy after that night and it was true.  Your foster mama made sure that you’ll never be a mama again but that you’ll live out your life as someone’s baby girl. That night you weren’t “Sparkly” and we thought the name you brought with you might not fit, but as you healed and grew you became the Sparkly girl you were meant to be.

You needed a place to land to rest and recover and learn and dream of a life that you never dared expect but one that you always deserved.  You found your safe landing place with Smiling K9’s and your foster mama screened so many families before deciding on the one who would be your One. You gave me a beautiful little puppy who will grow to look just like you and already has so many of  your mannerisms. 

My darling little girl, your new family was so thrilled to come collect you.  They’ve been busy shopping and preparing for you.  Your new bed is waiting and your mama said that although there is a “no dog on the furniture” rule, she is sure your daddy will break it soon.  He will say that laying  on  his lap does not count as being on the funiture.  You are already loved and in no time at all will be firmly ensconced as daddy’s little girl.

I was there the night you came into rescue and I was honored to be there as you proudly left.  My life has changed since you touched it and I have my little living reminder of your sweetness and gentle soul.  Live well, little girl. 

Your “mama bear.”

Daddy’s Boy

“Are you looking for something?”  I was on the phone with Kevin and all I could hear was a banging like drawers being opened, rummaged through and closed.
“No, Ray is playing with his shoulder bone, throwing it up in the air and chasing it,” he said.  “I brought my laptop down here to the kitchen so I could work while he plays.”
This, people, is a huge breakthrough.  Usually I hear about how much attention Ray demanded while Kevin couldn’t get his work done, but after the fab weekend we just had, I think Kevin and Ray have really bonded.  They spent Friday together and had some quality dad and lad playtime, spent some nice time together Saturday while I volunteered with SmilingK9’s at the Pet Expo and on Sunday we had a little family retail therapy trip.
The Pet Expo was wildly busy and SK9s had some monster traffic.  Our gal Sparkles had several suitors vying for her affections and I’m told we had five-count ‘em- five applications on her this weekend.  Let’s keep everything possible crossed that one of these applicants turns out to be her One.  The talented Laura also made tutus and donated profits to the rescue and they were such a hit the people were flocking to the booth not only to smooch pooches but to purchase these beauties.
Sparkles in her adopt me vest.

Tutus were a huge hit!
Sunday we had an Open House since we are still pretending that the house is for sale still hoping to move.  Asia went to the mall which left me, Kevin and Ray to make plans.  I don’t worry about the cats because they hide during the entire time and even though Ray is not a barker and is great in his crate, I don’t want him home when strangers are traipsing through.  When I suggested to Kevin that we take Ray to PetSmart, I knew he was reluctant in his agreement.  This trip was actually the first time Ray and Kevin have been in a vehicle together and I could tell that Kevin was pleasantly surprised at what a good rider Ray is and when we got to PetSmart we spent a little time in the grass for bodily functions before shopping, 
We had chosen a newer and smaller PetSmart to visit and were rewarded with a wonderfully positive trip.  I’ve written before about his mad social skills and also that he is maturing, and getting better at interactions, which helps tremendously.  The other thing that I sometimes find hard to see is the self confidence issue, or lack thereof. Because he is such a happy little boy at home, I sometimes lose sight of what some of his other behaviors signify.  He is a “greeting wizzer” sometimes and it is not uncommon for him to tinkle a little whenever meeting someone new or seeing someone he hasn’t seen recently, like a few days ago.  He also tends to roll over for belly rubs immediately which of course is adorable, but we are trying to get him to not be so immediately submissive and stand like a big boy for greetings.  
So Sunday at PetSmart, we didn’t actually encounter any pooches face to face, but he was met and greeted by and loved on by at least four employees who were able to pet him and come away with nothing more than a hearty tail wag!  At only one point did Ray try the old belly roll but before getting on the ground we reminded him to stand like a big boy and the employee helped keep him standing so we had some major success.   I know Kevin was not only surprised but pleased with the ease and fun of the trip because little Ray-Ray scored a big bag of toys from his daddy. 

We hope everyone had a super weekend as well.

Are you Sirius?

You would think that living with Ray since he was a six pound baby in January that I would be able to anticipate how fast he grows, but alas, I am a slow learner in that department.  Maybe like all moms I lament that my baby is growing too fast although I’m very happy that his maturity level is also growing.    When we brought him home I had two collars for him because I didn’t actually measure his neck and kept guesstimating the size, both of which seemed enormous.  He has been wearing his purple click lock collar this whole time and we finally took it off a couple of weeks ago since it seemed to be getting tight. 
I thought I’d be able to switch easily to his purple buckle collar but of course that is too small already and has never been worn.  Time to donate, I guess.
What I’ve been waiting for is his growth rate to stabilize a little so that I could order his first Sirius Republic collar and naturally, I waited too long.  My big plan was to have his next collar already here on deck so that when he outgrew the purple one he’d have his new one all ready.  But, you may have noticed that he has been rather naked lately around the neck.  It took me forever to narrow down what fabric I wanted and after only changing my mind forty-two times or so careful deliberation, decided on Candy Dots with purple embroidery. 
I figured it was a little twist from his usual purple collar and a nice transition to his big boy collar, one of which will be more like this, especially for football season.  (Did you think we just named him Ray because we’re boring?)
In the meantime, I love this collar and so does Ray.  I feel like it is kind of understated but still fun and naturally the quality is tip top.  Kevin, however, thinks it is a girl’s collar.  What do you think?  Does it look “girly” to you?   Of course, Sirius Republic is seriously  awesome and a portion of this sale goes to the wonderful rescue who gave Ray-Ray such a great start in life, SmilingK9’s.  (code RPSK99)
Does your pooch have a collar wardrobe? 


I have a reputation among our friends for liking “wierd beer,” meaning I like trying different ones, although I do have my favorites.  I’m adventurous and enjoy trying new things.  I also can rock a margarita like nobody’s business, though don’t tend to during colder months, but that might just be beside the point.

As far as trying different things are concerned, I also like to provide Ray with a variety in his life as well.  Since he isn’t a beer drinker, his variety comes from toys – mostly chew toys.  “Dogs like body parts,” said Heather, one of our pet-wellness Gurus.  So far, Ray has enjoyed antlers, bully sticks (cow and bison), hearts (pig, duck and sheep), hooves, tail, trachea, pig ears, tripe, and snout (moozles).  These all have various amounts of lastability and I am always looking for healthy safe chew toys to keep him occupied for certain lenghths of time.


Our latest find is not acutally a body part-it’s a ChurpiChew which is made of Yak milk, salt and lime juice and is kind of a very hard cheese that softens as the dog chews it and supposedly lasts a long time.  One of our Puppy class teachers recommended it last night while I was stocking up on other treats.

I gave it to him this morning and it seemed to hold it’s shape for the hour our so he worked at it, so I’m eager to see how long this will actually hold up to Mr. Pit Bull Mouth.  See?  He is like Mama in liking a little salt, a little lime, only he prefers Yak milk to tequila. 

On an unrelated note, Dahey found his forever home yesterday!  This is a picture of the puppy fam from way back when.