Vicktory Ride

Over the weekend the world lost a little brown dog. If you had ever happened to see him out and about, you may not have realized that he was a game changer or a trail blazer. You might have mistaken him for just another little brown dog.


To the thousands of people who followed him, Ray the Vicktory Dog was an inspiration and a true hero. A little dog who survived Bad Newz Kennels, was rescued and along with roughly 50 others helped change the way we see former fight dogs and pit bulls in general. He overcame numerous hurdles and became a beloved family dog. As we mourn the physical loss, we will celebrate the life and legacy of Ray the Vicktory Dog.

As it happened, we had been in contact with the shelter from which Bentley was pulled and had planned for another pull on Saturday. Allen County SPCA was gearing up for a large Tent Event and we knew from experience that by the end of the day Saturday many dogs would be resting in the comfort of their very own new homes so I was planning to collect five dogs that we had “earmarked” for the SPCA. When I arrived, we had to do some readjusting due to adoptions (Yay!) but quickly set about filling the crates I had loaded into the Pittie Van.


While the transport was previously scheduled, I couldn’t help but feel that this was a good tribute to Ray. What better way to honor the memory of a rescued and adopted dog who loved car rides than with a transport.*

In the back of my mind I was hoping there would be an opportunity to name one of these dogs in Ray’s honor, but it turns out that fate already had that taken care of. The little pittie girl who made the transport had recently been named Mya.**

I thought that was very fitting.

*While the sending shelter is doing really good things, they are less visible than the Allen County SPCA which enjoys a very robust adoption rate.

**The name of one of the Vicktory Dogs still living at Best Friends.

Indy Mutt Strut 2015

Although I’ve lived the majority of my life in Indiana, I’ve never attended nor visited the famous raceway in Indianapolis, home of the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard 400. In fact, although I do go to Indianapolis fairly often, I didn’t really even know on what side of town the track could be found. That changed when fellow dog mom, Lisa, suggested we attend the Indy Mutt Strut which is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 


Billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Dog Walking, it promised to be a pretty cool event (over 7000 humans and 6000 pets attended in 2014 in support of the Indianapolis Humane Society)but the dilemma was that Ray is my usual “event” dog but I was pretty sure that walking on the 2.5 mile track would not be a go for him and if Lisa decided to bring Clyde, we would probably have to drive separately as Ray and Clyde haven’t yet met and that wouldn’t be any fun. I could bring Julius, since he and Clyde are besties, but I just felt that a 2 hour car ride might not be the greatest idea for Julius who sometimes gets car sick. We then talked about going dog-less, but that idea just made me feel sad. In the end, I decided to bring Titan, who is adoptable through the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition and Lisa brought Clyde.


Lisa and Clyde met me at my house and we headed down to Titan’s foster. The plan was to walk them a bit and gauge reactions and if it was a no-go then Titan would stay home but fortunately they clicked well enough and off we went.


Titan is just a year old and all puppy. He takes a significant amount of time to settle, so a very short distance into the trip Lisa decided to sit in the jump seat directly behind me in the Pittie Van and kept the two adolescent boys in check. Whenever he was told to lie down, Titan happily obliged by flopping down and offering an invitation to rub his belly and after only 80 miles on the road, he (and everyone else) settled in for a power nap.

Since we had had Titan out at Pet Expo, we knew he was solid with other dogs and Saturday proved to be no different. The venue looked very inviting and we were offered complimentary poop bags before going to the registration tables. (Who else but dog moms get excited over free poop bags?)

After registration we wandered around the booths collecting freebies and occasionally getting wet from the persistent rain before deciding to try walking around the famous track. We ended up walking an embarrassingly short distance before deciding that 2.5 miles in the rain was not a lot of fun so we did a bit more shopping before heading back home.

Back at the Pittie van, Clyde claimed the spot in the very back and hid behind the jump seat in an effort to proclaim that he didn’t appreciate being trapped in a moving box with a toddler, tortured by walking in the rain, then hustled (wet) back into the box with a (wet) toddler.

Fortunately the drive home was uneventful and we dropped Titan and off at his Foster home and left him with a new leash and all of the doggie treats we had collected to share with his foster sister.

If you would like more information about Titan, please visit the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition’s website or Facebook page.

Ray’s Rebuttal

So, my little brother thinks he’s sooo smart, eh? Here are some examples of why I disagree. He’s always goofing off when Mama tries to take pictures of our my handsomeness.

Derp Face

Derp Face

And he gets these looks on his face that just seem so…simple.



And he has no dignity.



But I guess even though he’s silly, he IS my little brother and I love him a lot I guess we might as well keep him.



20130819_204740Because like Mama says, we are yin and yang.  He puts himself out there and meets people like a good ambassador so that I don’t have to.  I prefer to take my time and hide behind my Mama for a while, so we suit each other just fine.

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang


The Bully Collective-Clyde’s Story

As we’ve progressed through our Sunday Pack Walks, I’ve been trying to keep you up to date on our successes as well as our learnings because both are so important to not only our development as a pack, but as dog owners in general.  In honor of not only Adopt a Shelter Pet month, but Pit Bull Awareness month, I’ve asked the founders of our Pack Walks to share a story about their dogs.  This week, Lisa Reyes, has agreed to talk a bit about her dog Clyde (click and go LIKE him on Facebook…we’ll wait)  and how he came to be hers. 

I wasn’t looking to adopt.  As a matter of fact, it is my job to find homes for adoptable animals. I work part-time, for my city’s Animal Care and Control, as the off- site adoption Coordinator. When I had an event at our local Petco, I chose a Pit Bull mix named Loki to take along with 2 other dogs.  He was cute, had green eyes and about 8 months old. I like to take our Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes so the public can see that the shelter has them in our adoption program.

Everyone loved Loki. He was pretty calm for a puppy and was gorgeous. Unfortunately, he did not get any applications at our event. I decided to take him to the next event to see if we had any luck, again he went without any serious interest. Pit Bulls tend to spend a longer amount of time at the shelter, because we have stricter rules for adopting.  Loki was going on a good month or longer in the kennels.

Photo: Lisa Reyes

Photo: Lisa Reyes

I couldn’t stop thinking about this well-behaved little guy that had such a rough start to life. It seemed that his previous family was evicted from their home and did not take him with them. He was rescued by one of our Officers and came into the shelter with a good case of mange.

I knew I was serious about adopting him after I realized I was constantly thinking about him, but I hesitated. I already have an 11-year-old Boxer /Lab mix named Adeshka.  In her aging process, she has become less tolerant of other dogs and I didn’t want to stress her out. I wasn’t sure she would even like having another dog in the house after being the only one for the last 6 years.

My reason for hesitation was the fact that Loki was a Pit Bull mix.  I wasn’t concerned about the breed and all the nonsense you hear about them being inherently aggressive.  I had worked with and around enough of them through the years to know that they are good dogs.  My concerns were more practical. I am a renter.  I live with a friend that owns his home now, but I will be moving out in a year or so. How will I find a home? I am not in the position to buy a house and it is hard to find a place that allows Pit Bulls. Will I end up in the “worse” part of town? Will I end up adopting a dog and find myself homeless next year? Can I afford the renters insurance that covers Pit Bull/mixes?

My other concern was general ignorance. Like so many pet Moms/Dads, I’m protective of my fur babies.  How will I respond to prejudice?  Will I be able to hold my tongue and be a good Pit Bull owner role model?  Pit Bulls tend to get a bad rap, but let’s be honest, there are a lot of really poor Pit Bull owners out there that don’t represent the breed well.  I don’t want to be one of them.

So, it took me about 2 weeks to decide if I was going to adopt Loki. I got in touch with our local Pit Bull coalition and asked about housing. I talked to several friends and colleagues about Pit Bull parenting. I felt confident that I would be able to do this. All the while, poor Loki was still sitting in the kennel waiting for a family. I called the shelter on a Friday and said “I want him”! The response was, “Oh, sorry, he got 2 applications today. He will probably go home on Monday”. Wow, my bubble burst. I figured it wasn’t meant to be.  I told myself that the only thing that mattered was that he had a good home and didn’t spend another day in the kennel.

Monday came and I had to head into the shelter to do some work. My colleague said that the people were there to meet with Loki and another little Pit mix, so they could decide which dog they wanted to adopt. Apparently the other people who put a hold on him did not follow through. I prepared myself to say goodbye to him.  It was a bittersweet day.

Did I mention that Loki had mange? Well, the people that came to see him decided that they didn’t want to put the money into treating him and decided to go with the other dog. Loki could be mine!! Now, I just have to see if my dog and my roommate got along with him.

Adeshka came in to meet him and it went as expected. She pretty much ignored him.  My roommate thought he was great. It all worked out. I could take him home the next day.

I picked him up in the morning and we started our new journey together. First things first, Loki was not his name. He was too calm, kind of an old soul. He is Clyde. Yes, an old man’s name for a little boy who has already lived through too much.

Clyde has since come out of his shell. He is a wonderful, spirited, affectionate, snuggly, tail thumping, face licking boy. I feel lucky every day to have him in my life. He is a true ambassador for his breed. He is not perfect. We are still working on manners and training. He is still young and I am still learning myself. I took for granted how easy my girl, Adeshka, is. She is so well-behaved and very low maintenance.

I’ve been lucky not to have had to deal with much prejudice so far. I am thrilled that I am able to take Clyde to work with me. Most of our clients look forward to seeing him and the staff treats him like a king. Surprisingly, the neighbors behind me had a Pit Bull for 14 years and he was loved by everyone. My neighborhood, considered to be in the “nice part of town”, has several Pit Bull’s/mixes. I love that the face of the Pit Bull guardian is changing into someone just like me and you.