Joy Blossoms

Sometimes a girl just needs to feel pretty and maybe have a little something to call her own, and no one understands that better than her fairy dogmother. As often happens when an animal comes into rescue, they have nothing; not even an collar to call their own. Puppies are usually carried and older dogs are led by a slip lead then equipped with a borrowed collar until adopted.  That is, unless you are fortunate enough to be acquainted with this loving crew.

Sugar was just that fortunate in that the generous souls at Oh Melvin provided her with a Sirius collar of her own.  See how fabulous she looks?

 After pouring over the fabric selections for hours we finally opted for Blossoms, thinking the pink and white flowers were just so her while the blue background just pops against her soft white fur.


What do you think?  Dreamy, right?  There’s more, but we’re holding on to the secret for later!

In With Both Feet

Anyone remember this list? Well, my dream of Fostering has come to fruition with a vengeance and then some.  On Friday I became the new Foster Mama to Sugar and her 7 (seven!) puppies.  When I jump in, I do it with both feet.

  
I have so much to tell you guys about this amazing dog and her puppies about the generosity of their fairy godmother and about what a super great Foster boy Julius is but I already have bad news.  One of our teeny gals has come down with Parvovirus and is at the Vet for treatment.

   
          
  

She is our tiny little Joy and she needs some help to get through this.  The Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition is a very small rescue.  When we were alerted to this little family needing help, we had to think long and hard about whether or not we could handle a mama and 7 pups.  We only have a  handful of Fosters and even two of those are currently full.  The whole family has to stay together because the puppies are only 6 weeks old.  While they theoretically could be separated, I just couldn’t let that happen (hello? Remember Ray and his siblings?) so I had to step up.  Now I need you to step up.  Naturally, we would love contributions either through GoFundMe, or I can give you the name and number of the Vet we are using and you can contribute that way. We need you to share, share, share our link and most importantly we need some extra good healing vibes sent to our little Joy.

  

Do Good, Look Great

Though the Peace-a-Bull boys have a fairly extensive collar collection (maybe not like this one-but whose is?!) I’m always looking to add to it and if I can do that and give back at the same time, it’s always a win-win.

As nearly everyone in the Blogosphere knows, Sirius Republic is one of those companies that fit the above bill and I’m hoping that all of our real life friends will make that discovery as well.  I’m often told that the gals at Juli’s Day Play wait to see what collar he will be sporting upon arrival and it is rare that we don’t get compliments on the collars when we are out and about.

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What I love about these collars besides the adora-bility is the durability.  I have every single Sirius collar we’ve ever purchased and they look fantastic.

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We’ve partnered with them in the past to provide some embroidered Adopt Me collars for the pooches at Allen County SPCA and after two years of hard wear, they are still going strong.

Glamour, now Kya, modeling the goods.

Glamour, now Kya, modeling the goods.

Now you and I have an opportunity to help another great local organization and one that is pretty obviously near and dear to my heart.  The Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition is a local non-profit  which strives “to improve the conditions for Pit Bull type dogs in Northern Indiana through education, public awareness and by providing resources for Pit Bulls in need” and also as recently as this year has begun much more of a focus on rescue work. In the few months that I have been more active, we’ve not only adopted some wonderful dogs to great homes, but we’ve helped two families with compassion fosters, by fostering the dogs so that their people could get on their feet and provide all the necessities.  Yeah, I’m pretty proud of that stuff.

But what can we do?  Shop.

Head on over to the Sirius Republic website, build a custom collar for your beloved pooch (or kitty!) and at check out, enter the code RPFW95 so that the Pit Bull Coalition will earn up to 20% back from your purchase!  What’s that you say?  You want to buy a collar but don’t have a furry friend?  Head to Sirius Republic, customize a collar and they will embroider “Adopt Me” on it for no extra cost and you can have it sent* to the Pit Bull Coalition!

Remember that code!  RPFW95

Thanks for helping out the blockheads of Northeast Indiana while making your dog look Mah-velous.

*P.O. Box 13064

Fort Wayne,IN 46867

Goals and Damages

A few days ago, as I was walking a Rhino out of the shelter, the thought struck me that this was possibly a bucket list item and then directly on the heels of that thought, was the realization that this was no longer a bucket list item and more of a “thing that I do.”  (Even more thrilling!)

  
Before I get to that, though, I need to apologize to not only our Animal Care facility but to the one from which we pulled Bentley, Jack and the other Vicktory Riders and any other which fall under this blanket.  While I believe in and support the no- kill movement, I will not be referring to these facilities as “kill shelters” and although we recently published this guest post, we did not realize we were still referring to these shelters as such.

Actually, back in March when members of the Pit Bull Coalition went to Bentley’s shelter to evaluate some intakes there, we brought back Miss VooDoo to be placed with the Allen County SPCA.  It didn’t even strike me that she was a ‘bucket list’ pull.  Next the five Vicktory Riders came with me to the SPCA and possibly because they were really going from one shelter to another it still didn’t connect in my mind.  On the day that I walked Rhino out of the shelter to be placed in a foster home, I realized that while he was leaving to different circumstances, he was the seventh dog to walk out of an open intake shelter with me.

 
(No, we aren’t fostering the Rhino) 

Have you ever achieved something that you thought would be momentous but became “a thing” you do? It almost seems more exciting now, but surprisingly life doesn’t come with fanfare. 

Guest Post-As Told by Jack

It was the day humans refer to as Saturday. It the day looked like many others but I felt like this was a different kind of day and when I woke up in my cozy nest of grass, I decided that this was the day I’d let them “catch” me. A few days ago, the human I lived with took me to a building that had lots of sounds of other dogs and handed me to a big man who spoke gruffly, but had kind eyes. I didn’t really want to be in the big building with all of the other dogs barking so I gave the big man the okie-doke and slipped through his legs and ran outside but I stayed near enough to the big building because something told me I should not wander far. That Saturday morning, I was feeling itchy from being outside, my skin was uncomfortable from the pulling hair and I was hungry. I ran right up to a lady and let myself be “caught.”

  

A few hours passed and I wondered why I had that feeling that I was supposed to be here on this specific day. I didn’t like being in the building with the loud dogs but then some more ladies came to look at me and one of them who seemed sad when she was looking at the blockheads said, “Yeah, he should definitely come.” Come where?

  

Eventually a few of the other dogs went in the office for a bit but then they were returned to their kennels and it was my turn. When the door opened, I was full of different feelings. I wanted to run away again and yet I also was a bit nervous so I wanted to hide. When I was brought to the office, one of the ladies and the gruff sounding man poked me with needles but they were kind about it so I didn’t cry. I put my paws in the gruff man’s lap to tell him I was sorry for hiding from him then I sat with the lady who didn’t want to touch me. I think she was nervous of all of my handsomeness, so I gave her a little kiss to make her feel happy. It made her giggle and I could tell she was beginning to love me.

  

Instead of going back to the kennel in the loud room I was put into a tiny crate and loaded into what the lady called the Pittie Van and I learned I was going on a Vicktory Ride. Eventually all five of us were loaded and I was nervous when I saw the big crybaby Blue Tick Coonhound loaded. I was sure his voice would give me a headache but he hopped in his crate and fell right asleep. Whew! What a relief! Oh, the pretty girl with the block head is whining-I think she just likes the sound of her own voice. Why does she have to talk so much? No one else is talking. The yellow guy is sitting up in the front seat like he’s special or something and the pup is being good in his little crate too. We’re all wondering what’s going on but we can tell this is a good car ride so no one is scared, we are just a little nervous.

When the Pittie Van stopped we were all unloaded by some more nice ladies who took us to other kennels and put blankets on our beds then left us for the night to wonder why we were moved from one big building with dogs to another one? What’s different? The next few days passed and we began to learn the routine, outside for fresh air, return to clean kennels with fresh bedding , food, dogs leave, dogs come. One kind lady shaved all of my handsome apricot hair off, and I pretended I was mad, but in truth it felt good to not have my skin pulled and itchy-feeling.

  

On the morning they call Thursday, I went for another ride and people looked at my ouchie foot then did some things in my mouth (I think) and when I came back, the little guy who was in the kennel next to me was gone and I felt happy for him, I guess. They said he found his forever home.

Just as I was settling onto my bed, I was brought to another room and as soon as I was in the door, I saw her! I recognized her as soon as I saw her and I ran right over. I was brought on this adventure so that I could meet my forever person and she found me so quickly. I was so excited to see her and she recognized me so quickly that we immediately were wrapped in love. As we cuddled, she whispered to me, “I hope they let me take you home, it will just be the two of us and we’ll be so happy.”

  

As we left the building, I heard something about shopping and getting spoiled…

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.

It Takes A Village

 *Update: Bentley got adopted today.  5/6/15.  I won’t pretend  that while I’m happy that I might have had just the slightest twist to my heart when I got the news.  

Sometimes the stories that mean the most are hardest to write; at least they seem harder to start. This one has been pinging around in my head for awhile and I keep trying and discarding the beginning, so maybe it will help if I just let it flow.

I’m wondering if this story is so hard to start because there are so many morals to it. Maybe it’s just not organized as well as I’d like it to be for the telling.

Some people shy away from adopting a shelter dog because they don’t know the dog’s history. In many cases, even if a dog winds up at the shelter because the owner surrendered it (rather than showing up as a stray) we don’t really know the history. We know the provided history only. I guess there are the people who have run out of resources and have to surrender and then there are those who just need to “get rid” of their pet. It can’t be easy and those people may or may not be aware that their words at surrender could possibly condemn your dog unfairly.

The first time I saw Bentley was in a picture that was sent to me on March 26th.

 

I had been an official Board member of the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition for a whole five days when a Board member from a neighboring shelter contacted me about an abundance of Pit Bulls currently at their facility. We set a time to come and evaluate possible candidates for our rescue and I was the first to arrive so the Warden’s wife took me on a mini tour and I met the 6 pit bulls in house. Immediately Bentley grabbed my attention. In a large, clean pole barn stood two long banks of double kennels which could be partitioned off in case of a full house. Amid all of the barking and jumping on kennel doors, sat a large red lump with an impossibly large head. As we walked along the line, I was given a brief recap of the little bit of info available on each dog. The majority of the dogs were known by the number on their kennel and not given names, unless they arrived with one.

Bentley and Trina were the only Pit bulls with names. Trina had become the Warden’s wife’s favorite and then there was the large red lump named Bentley. Apparently Bentley was surrendered with nearly the equivalent of a death sentence: “He’s great with people and kids, but tries to kill other animals, including horses.”

When the rest of the team arrived, we began bringing the dogs out to the yard for assessment. The younger dogs, the under one crew were about as expected and pretty much all fun, all the time. The young adult females were also good but with a few slight health issues and all the while we struggled a bit to find a “neutral dog” for the tests. We tried Trina as the neutral dog and she soon showed that not only was she not neutral, but she might not be a very good candidate for …anything. She was returned to her kennel and not evaluated. Finally after all five were seen, the Warden’s wife, turned plaintive eyes to us and asked that we just look at Bentley. Just try.

Long story short, Bentley quickly became the star of the day and left us all wondering about his true past. He and two others were selected for the Coalition-when space became available-but should be left to the adoption floor in the meantime, just in case.

Days then weeks passed and the Coalition, always short of Fosters, did not have space and the Pit Bulls sat.

Waiting.

 

One month later, I received another message that the same shelter was full and needed some relief and this came at the same time that our own shelter was able to pull some dogs, though with the abundance of abandoned Pit bulls in our community, that type of dog as well as Chihuahuas and a few others was rarely “imported.” However, since Bentley had specially touched me, I was hopeful that he might be among the chosen to come to our shelter.

“What is the benefit of pulling dogs from one shelter just to put them in another one?” the Warden’s wife asked. The Allen County SPCA’s kennels are full of enrichment and some training for their temporary guests. Generally when walking through the kennels, one is greeted with soft music and otherwise silence. Dogs learn quickly that sitting quietly buys treats while jumping and barking brings nothing.

 

Bentley was pulled (have I mentioned how much I love that Executive Director of ours?) and quickly became a staff favorite as well as a garner of compliments from the Veterinarian’s office staff while visiting for his snip-snip.  Even on his first day at our shelter, I got the sense that he was happy to be there and he recognized his good fortune and saw his bright future.

Had we relied solely on the surrender information, and without a good word from the Warden’s wife, Bentley might not have been evaluated and certainly may have languished in the kennel until his space was needed. His big, sweet face haunted my mind, but had we not evaluated him, I might have let him go from my mind. Had he not shown himself to be a huge cinnamon sugar cookie of a dog, he might not have had a champion pulling for him. I don’t know.

 
What I do know is that despite whatever may or may not have happened in the past and because so many people stepped up and gave him a chance, Bentley’s future is bright.

But it takes a village.

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.

Belle of the Ball

I do so enjoy getting dressed up for special occasions and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic presentation of Holiday Pops was just that type of occasion. What could make it even more fun and special? Being accompanied by and adoptable dog, of course! The Allen County SPCA joined forces with the Fort Wayne Phil to hae some adoptable dogs on hand for the performances and a few lucky pooches even got to go on stage!

We volunteers were told in advance (at least I was) that we’d be handling small dogs since the singers taking the dogs on stage in all likelyhood weren’t experienced dog handlers, and I had my eye on a cute little poodly-do to be my date. Imageine my delighted surprise when, a few hours before the performance, I received a message stating I would be accompanying SnowDrop (ugh! that name!) For the evening performance, two of us would be handling larger dogs (SnowDrop and Myrrh) and the third would bring Candy and Cane, a bonded pair of Chihuahuas.

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After picking our pretty girl up at the shetler and securing her in the Pittie Van, I switched out her collar and leash for our Freedom Harness, a gold and pearl (duh, not real) necklace borrowed from my closet and a beautiful peacock colored tutu donated to me by our friends at Lamae Designs.

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Not only did our girl rock her fancy attire, she was a perfect ambassador for -not just her “breed” -but for all adoptable dogs waiting at the shelter. She was well behaved, steady in the face of massive crowds around her, she was utterly affectionate to all who jockeyed in for a pat and some doggy smooches and she is apparently even house broken. People of all ages clamored around her to admire the fancy, muscular dog in a tutu and she was steadfast with the youngest to the oldest.

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As the Embassy seats filled up and people began vacating the lobby, SnowDrop settled on some pillows with a bully stick (of course!) for a well-earned break. She chomped happily uninterrupted on her treat until intermission and then once again donned her tutu and sparkled for the masses.

I thought she might have garnered some serious interest and am hopeful that she made enough of an impression that those who fell in love with her will come back soon and fill out an application. This girl is a gem. After intermission, we packed up and all headed back to the shelter to get the dogs all settled in for the night and as I removed SnowDrop’s borrowed finery and settled her back on her blanket covered Kuranda bed, I couldn’t help but think of Cinderella at the stroke of midnight.

Practice Makes Not Perfect But More Fun

I’m not a good photographer by any means and I just have an entry level DSLR, but the kind animals of the Allen County SPCA allowed me to take some pictures of them and for the first time, I was very happy with these in that I got nearly a 20% keep rate with very little editing.  Here are a few of my faves.

Delilah

Delilah

Delilah was the last model of the day for me and as it turned out, I had saved the best for last. She’s a tiny boxer gal who is calm and loving. She seemed like a pro, vogue-ing for the camera. Just a few shots and I knew I had “money.” She was beautiful and touching and will be a wonderful addition to any family.

Isabelle

Isabelle

Isabelle came out, sniffed around the yard, posted for pics and returned to her kennel. She was sweet and friendly in a tiny little package at only 38 pounds.

Capone

Capone

Capone seems very large, but upon checking weighs in just about the same as Julius at 76 pounds.  He is a lot of boy. I’m surprised to find that he is 4, because he has a puppy exuberance that will do well with training, oh, but he is a love bug!

Cha-cha Capone

Cha-cha Capone

I did do a few others but these were some of my favorite shots. So, while I’m fishing for compliments, which watermark do you like better?