Ray’s Legs Redux

Or in this case, redux is a little bit of a stretch.  Originally when I made Ray’s appointment, he was to be brought in Tuesday the 5th but Kevin and I had some maneuvering to do with our vehicles and thus decided to reschedule for today which would make two trips in two days to the office.  Juli’s annual visit was yesterday and he completely rocked it.

As is customary the office called yesterday morning and left a voicemail reminder about Ray’s appointment and upon hearing it I began to shake.  They clearly didn’t “get” what I was trying to accomplish so after I calmed a bit I called the office.  Ray was not  coming in for an exam and a possible x-ray.  Ray’s anxiety at the Vet’s office was so high that I couldn’t subject him to that type of waiting and anticipation.  Fortunately, the office manager answered the phone and got me in touch with a staff member who knows Ray.  Knows him well.  She and I talked extensively about what has been going on with Ray and since he really has been walking better since the two incidents and is newly on some new arthritis supplements we decided to refill his Rimadyl and cancel the x-ray for now.


I obviously keep a very close eye on him and all manner of how he walks.  I don’t take his legs, his health or his pain levels lightly so with all of that in mind, we are in a holding pattern for now.  We will resume his walks and slowly build back up to where we were.  He is still dropping some extra weight so that should help to alleviate some joint stress and for now we will just continue to live and love as ever.


Thank you, everyone for all of your good wishes and for checking in.  I can’t express how touched we are for your friendship.

Ray’s Legs

The saga of Ray’s legs continues. As you may remember, last July after the Sugar family was adopted, Ray went in for his TTA surgery to help repair his ACL. Due to his high anxiety levels and my anxiety over his anxiety, I waited longer than I should have to schedule this surgery and going into it we knew that he had advanced levels of arthritis is both legs for a dog as young as he is. Fortunately the surgery was a success which was doubly confirmed in March when Ray went in for his annual vaccinations and exam.For a dog like Ray I’ve just learned to do a lot of this medical in one fell swoop. At annual exam time, Ray has a dental cleaning, is vaccinated, has his nails trimmed and this year had his leg x-rayed –all while he was anesthetized. This most certainly is not ideal. Who wants to have their dog anesthetized every year? Not this gal, but I also don’t want him thrashing around screaming and injuring himself or staff at all either.


After Ray got the all clear in March we loosened the reigns a bit and allowed him to romp more around the yard. He’s pretty reasonable when trying to chase squirrels or the world’s fastest dog Julius around the yard so we haven’t worried too much. Besides walking has really helped with not only strengthening his leg but with is overall mental happiness. A lot of what he does is he bounces about like a happy cow and pretends to chase Julius as Juli zips by only to stop and wait for the next pass.


Then about a week and a half ago, I let the boys out for their last potty break, and after a very short time heard the worst sound I could imagine coming from our back yard. For a split second my world stopped as it sounded like the boys were in an all out fight. Screaming and guttural growling filled the night air as I ran outside fearing the worst only to find that they had crossed either over or under the temporary fencing we had put up across the side (the whole yard has a privacy fence) where Kevin is trying to grow some grass-a temporary fence they had never before challenged-and were leaping at an opossum that was balanced atop the fence hissing at them. Julius and Ray were both leaping in the air with varying degrees of height (Juli can reach the top, so I’m thankful he didn’t this time) and screeching at this poor creature who finally departed to the neighbor’s yard. I got the boys back into the house and we all retired to bed after my heart finally stopped its frantic racing.


Sometime during the night Ray left the bed to lie on his mat and when we all got up in the morning, he did not want to get up for his morning potty break. I let Juli out and encouraged Ray to come when I finally saw that he wasn’t putting any weight at all on his leg and didn’t want to walk, so I helped him back to his mat, gave him some Rimadyl with his breakfast and left to help man the Pit Bull Coalition booth at Pet Expo. Ray has extraordinary holding powers so I knew he’d be alright until I returned, and he was. I helped him go outside in the afternoon, and kept him mostly immobile for the remainder of the weekend. He’s been relegated again to sleeping on his mat on the floor and had seemed to be healing just as we hoped. Until the following Friday. Last Friday I was sitting on the patio with the boys when Ray heard Kevin pull into the drive. We went inside to greet him after having been gone the week and all was normal yet again until about an hour or two later when Ray again wouldn’t put any weight on his foot.


Kevin and I have agonized over this since Friday. We hate to put him under just for x-rays again but in reality we can’t not do it because we need to know the extend of any damage, but do we subject him to another TTA? Do we try TPLO? How acutely does the arthritis factor into the equation? Can his pain be managed medically? Lots of questions right now and no answers…but he knows we’re talking about him.

Twist of Fate

The sad truth about rescue-any rescue- is that as of now, try as we might, we still can’t “save them all.” The number of requests we receive on any given day far exceed the number of spaces we have available because we generally have zero availability. Generally the moment we have an adoption, we have some soul who is waiting to fill that foster spot. But fosters take breaks (as they should) and our intake might require a specific type of foster for the arriving dog or being a breed/type specific rescue we may not be able to take your Chihuahua or any other numerous reasons may prohibit us from a specific intake.  

That type of situation recently presented itself in that our feeds and messages began blowing up over a pair of dogs-(the owner says they are 100% full pit bull) who had been abandoned in a trailer due to an incarceration. Family members were aware so had been entering to feed the dogs but realized this couldn’t go on interminably.

 In such a small group as ours, we all help each other with our rolls but for the most part have our own “boxes” that we stay in and mine isn’t intake so when the “what can we do” messages began rolling in to my personal inbox, I gave the best advice I could. We first of all can’t break into the trailer to get them, so local law or animal enforcement would be a good start. Failing that, if someone could go to the jail and get the owner to sign over the dogs that would be helpful and even then a foster must be secured and then the dogs would need to be assessed behaviorally. Armed with that advice, things began rolling and the dogs were on their way to safety through another group and I all but forgot about them for a few hours as I went about my business.

Their living conditions


One of my “boxes” is that I facilitate the adoptions. I review and check applications, call applicants and set up meetings, so imagine my surprise when I called to let an applicant know she was approved and was told that she unexpectedly gained two foster dogs the previous evening. The trailer dogs had secured a foster with a potential adopter. She shared her worry about how to raise funds for the vetting that would be needed and how best to network these boys. In light of the new curve ball, the Pit Bull Coalition Board voted to help cover the cost of vetting and neutering, evaluate the dogs and if possible place them in our program. The only new snag is that these dogs are far from being very pit bull at all. They are sweet and friendly, good with kids and other dogs, but definitely your average mixed breed pit mutt.  

 Tanner is almost a year old, neutered, up to date on shots and housebroken. He’s sweet, gaining confidence and would thrive in a home with another dog. 

Rufus is approximately 3 years old, neutered, up to date on shots and housebroken but for an occasional oops. He too is sweet and seems to be the caretaker. His foster mom says he makes sure that her beagle and Tanner have food and are eating before he eats. 

 He and Tanner both take treats very gently though Tanner eats them Rufus generally drops them. In a perfect world, they would be adopted together but ultimately they need good homes and could be separated. 

If you think they may be a good fit for your home, please fill out an application at http://www.fwpbc.com or if not, please share their story.


I admit that I’ve been feeling overly emotional for the better part of the last few weeks and although Marley’s official adoption was impactful it was also almost anticlimactic since this was the goal we had been working toward and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone to have let it drag out. Also recently the Vicktory Dogs have been in the media feeds a lot.  It was recently the anniversary of their confiscation from the chains that bound them at the house on Moonlight Road and to commemorate that a private mass tree planting ceremony took place on those grounds.  The photos from that day evoke a sense of hurt and healing that I can’t even fathom feeling.



Pictures of Lucas hang in the Dogtown lobby.

Also this week The Champions was released on Netflix and of course I had to watch it. While I expected to feel a sense of sadness and certainly renewed outrage over what these dogs had been through, I surprisingly felt much less of both than I expected.  While I hesitate to use the phrase because of all of the stalker-y connotations, I feel like a Superfan of these dogs.  I haven’t exactly followed their story from the beginning but after having read this article, I can honestly say my mission and the course of my life have been dramatically and irrevocably altered. I follow every known Facebook page of the former V dogs and can probably recount snippets of information that should have long sunk in the depths of memory.  I also have a small collection of pawtographed prints and other items from past auctions that I still haven’t found the proper place to display and toy often with the idea of donating them back.  But I digress.  Viewing The Champions with my own Ray-Ray snuggled at my side felt more like watching home movies of people and dogs that I’ve come to love and admire. “Oh, look Ray, that’s Georgia!  Oh look! Lucas’s picture!  Look there’s Meryl!  Oh that’s Donna Reynolds talking.  Aw, look, it’s Jewels!”  Yes, some of it was heartbreaking to watch but it really was so well done.


Ray the Vicktory Dog


It also came to my attention that today is the first anniversary of the passing of Ray the Vicktory dog. Ah, the little brown dog.  For several years I had had it in my mind to visit the Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah and hopefully meet a Vicktory dog.  It was they who inspired me and without their story I most likely wouldn’t be an adopter, foster, advocate, protector, defender, dog mama, volunteer, rescuer, or any other tag that might fit and because of that I wanted to just meet them, see them, pay tribute to the way in which the direction of my life changed because of them.  When Lucas passed away I snapped out of my want to-wish to-hope to phase and sprang into action planning our trip as 2007 was fast fading and these dogs weren’t getting any younger.


Remember those snippets? I knew that Ray and his mama went to get the mail everyday at Angel’s Café, so I made sure Kevin and I were parked outside as early as possible after our volunteer shift and we waited in our rental car for the pair to arrive. Arrive they did and I watched, petrified, as they disappeared into the building and sat fidgeting as they were inside and then sat again terrified as I said, “There they go.”  Kevin immediately told me to get out of the car and I sprang into action by flinging open the door, dropping my camera in the red dust and falling out of the car causing the pair to stop and stare at me in shocked silence departing the car in a calm manner and asking if that was, in fact, Ray.  Jacque was very nice and as we gently stroked Ray’s back and ears we chatted about Ray’s small size and the smallness in general of all of the V dogs.  I was struck by the normality of Ray.  He was a quiet little dog who leaned against me as I stroked his soft hair and absorbed the attention. He wasn’t standing there as One Of The Dogs Who Changed The Lives Of Many Former Fighting Dogs, he was just Ray in the sunshine. We were invited to come back to Parrots and pick Ray up for a car ride which was both thrilling and terrifying in the responsibility of transporting this dog but in the end, we didn’t wreck the car at the 5 miles per hour rate of speed, we didn’t get lost and returned him in one piece.


There’s no special point to this post exactly, just a bit of melancholy and a bit of reminiscing and a need to relive that day in my mind.

Marley Monday

It’s been quite a while since the last Marley Monday update and I’m sure you’re eager for one so I thought it would be nice to hear one in his own words.

My friend they call Deb came over the other day.  Even though I pretty much love absolutely everyone who meets me, she is my special friend.  She came to get me when I was sad and lonely and she brought me to this great home with my dad. When my Deb came in the door, she was a little different than usual.  She was crying a little bit, but then I ran to her and she hugged me and kissed me like she always does so I figured everything was good.  After all, who can look at all this hunky handsomeness and be sad?

This day was special because I used to always have to be still and not run around but this day we got to go outside and play! I showed my friend how I do zoomies around the yard and romp like a big piggie in the grass. 

I get to do that now because I got rid of all of the wormies that used to live in my big heart. Those wormies were pretty sneaky too because I went to my doctor’s office to take a test to make sure the wormies were all gone, and I went to sleep and when I woke up my bottom parts felt really different.  I think those wormies took something with them when they left me. My friend told me that I had a whole village who helped me get well, so…thank you Village! 

I had a really nice time playing and snuggling with my special friend.  She and I have a very special bond.  

When we were hugging she told me that she would always love and protect me and I believe her.  I love her very much and I know she loves me. After a while, though, I heard my daddy say something funny.  He asked when I could be officially his little boy (I thought I already was??) and my special friend said, “Right now.”  I wasn’t really sure what that meant, but my daddy got really happy and that made me happy too.  I found out that was my ‘doption day.

My friend and my Daddy talked and wrote scribblies on paper then Daddy said, ” I never knew what I was missing until this guy came into my life.”

And we lived happily ever after…



It isn’t often that we get to read posts from our Juli-Bean, but he’s more all about the fun than about the writing but he asked to send you all an update on how he is and how things are going with his big brother, Ray.

Hello to all my lovely ladies out in Juli-land!  Even thoughs it’s my mommy who usually writes and sometimes it’s other dogs I have lots of deep thoughts too that I’d like to shares with you.IMG_5187

A lots of the posties around heres are about other doggies who needs homes and those are the times when mommy leaves us and then comes home looking all happy and smelling like other doggies. My brother Ray-Ray and I always like to give her the sniffies all over so we can figure out who gots new homes. She said that pushy girl Lucy gots a new home with a good dude who is her new daddy and he loves her for all of her quirks. Goods for her, we said to mommy as we sniffled all over her. We used to be unhappies when she left to do other doggie stuff, but she told us that she does its because that’s how we gives back from when we were rescue doggies.  Now we are happy too when she helps other doggies find homes.

The other good news is that my big brother, who is much mores of a baby than I am, went to the doctor recently and when he got home he said his legs are all better now so sometimes we get to play outside together like we used to.   

Sometimes we play tuggs and sometimes I run around really fast and he bounces after me.  No one is fast as the Juli-bean.  Mama says so, so it must be true.

Have a happy day, everyone!

I Love Lucy. (and YOU)

As I arrived here on my little stats page, I realized that this entry constitutes my 500th post on The Peace-a-Bull Assembly.  When I originally began blogging I intended for this space (which was actually started on the Blogger platform) to be a place to document my journey with my boy Ray.  Oh, I had such grandiose ideas about the direction this blog would take and the tone it would set.  Then life interfered and I believe I may write more about other dogs and other experiences than those of Ray and Julius. And I think that’s ok.

While I love, love, love my two characters, I feel that they understand what I’m doing.  Every time I come home smelling like another dog, they give me a thorough sniffing and I explain who it is they are smelling and how they are so sweet to give up time with their Mommy so that I can help other dogs like them find families.  And so it’s fitting that my intention to write today was yet again not about my Peaceabull boys but about Miss Lucille Ball-Ball-Ball!


Apart from Marley who has been in foster since December, Lucille is not only the longest current adoptable dog in the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition, she has had very little interest.  Actually, that’s not fair because I’ve had lengthy conversations by phone, messenger, email and text about her but the result is that several people have shared that they love her…but none of them have applied for her.  Help me figure this out here.  The “black dog syndrome” really doesn’t apply around here as we’ve had plenty black dogs adopted within a very short period of time.  She’s not an elderbelle by any means, having just turned two earlier this year (by our estimates) and she’s quite attractive and very smart.

Maybe that’s it:  She is a strong, smart, motivated, independent woman and that can be daunting.  Lucille is a quick learner and although she lives in a home with three other dogs, she may want too much to be the Queen of All Things Ball Related.  She can play fetch with a ball until your arm falls off so a Chuck-It may be in order for her adopter and although we don’t require a fence, she may be better suited to a home with a tall privacy fence. She behaves quite well on Pack Walks and is really a very good girl who deserves a loving home of her own (who doesn’t deserve that?) so I’m going to implore you to share her story and network this beautiful girl.  Talk her up at the gym and in your running club as well as at the Fly Ball Arena (is there such a thing?)  and even your local camping group.  This girl needs a home and an active family or person would be just the ticket.

Thanks for sharing and thanks for hanging with us through Five. Hundred. Posts.

I Love A Parade

Saturday my friend Laura and I loaded up the Pittie van with totes of supplies and the Juli-bean and headed down to Carmel to attend the Parade-a-Bulls. We had decided to attend as representatives of The Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition while hoping to solicit vendors for our own event in September. 


We also had the opportunity to meet up with our little alumni, Sookie and most of her sweet family.  I love getting updates and seeing our pups in happy homes. 


While networking we also had the opportunity to meet up with some other “virtual” friends like some of the team from the shelter that Marley came from as well as Facebook friend, Wilber Pitt Bull.


The downside is that Julius isn’t the best traveller and vomited twice on the way there and on the way back we encountered torrential winds as well as sideways flowing snow.  

What did you do this weekend? 


I’m sure this won’t surprise anybody, but I talk to my dogs. A lot.  (You know you do it too).  But what about unspoken communication?  How in tune are you to your dog’s emotions and dare I say, thoughts?  We can usually tell if our dog is sick or tired or happy by the way they are acting or by how they are holding certain parts of their body, right?  We also hear a lot about the intuitiveness of dogs and how they can tell if we are feeling blue or out of sorts but is there more?  Is it just that we spend so much time together that we know what each other wants or thinks?

  There’s a softness that comes over Ray’s face as he lifts it to me when I come home for the day and his eyes go limpid and wide like a pool of warm, melted milk chocolate. I know he’s hoping I’ll suggest a walk but he isn’t rude or bouncy about it which almost makes it harder to refuse.  He’s a smarty, that Ray-Ray.  This hopeful look is different from his woo-wooo which means “I want it,” and can refer to an out of reach toy or an already offered walk.


 But along with this type of unspoken communication is the connection he and I have which sometimes gives me pause and makes me wonder just how connected we are.  Naturally I’m sure I have some “tells” which he picks up on, but there are times when we are chilling on the bed watching TV, he is snoring so the thought enters my head, “Maybe I should try to trim his nails?” The next glance at his face reveals that he has awoken from his sleep and is peering at me from one opened eye.  I swear I haven’t moved or even motioned toward the nail clippers.  He just knows.


Then there was the dream. Recently I had a horrible dream in which Ray and Julius were going to both have to be euthanized.  I naturally was distressed and as I worried and stressed, in my dream, I was talking to Kevin and accusing him of not being upset about this.  I woke to the alarm and Ray was lying beside me but looking at me.  Just looking at my face and I hugged him around the neck and reassured him it was only a bad dream.  The irony?  Ray wouldn’t look at Kevin for about an hour that morning as if he knew.

 He just knows.


Have you had occasion to believe you and your dog (or other animal) have shared thoughts or emotions? We’d love to know more. Tell us about it in the comments.


Feeling Fonder?

Wow, I knew it had been awhile since we posted, but two months?  We hope that absence makes the heart grow fonder because we do miss being here but we have to say, the activities that have kept us away have been worth it.  Our little rescue, The Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition, has been so busy and with all hands on deck have placed 52 dogs in homes year to date!  In addition to knowing that these great dogs have found wonderful families with which to share their love, it’s been great receiving messages and images reaffirming the bond that has been forged through adoption.


Caesar was adopted by an awesome family!

Seeing these dogs go to good homes is great, but not without some frustrations along the way but luckily so far, the good has outweighed the bad tenfold.