#TakeAChance

Well, that was quite the cliffhanger, wasn’t it? I meant to finish out the Tale of the Blues and talke about “Iron’s” hashtag on Friday, but not only did scheduling not permit, but Fate intervened as well. Chance’s story was going to be about how Asia regretfully decided to let him go. She had told him during her visits that he would be coming home to live with her and ultimately with all of the newness, as well as a foster pup, she agreed to see if his true family would show up. She gave them 30 days.

August 15

On Saturday August 15th I had an urge to visit “Iron” at the shelter and as I was driving down there, I received a text that a wonderful couple were in and going to adopt Iron. As luck would have it, I was able to meet this couple and they were, in fact wonderful. 

  

In the back of my mind, I felt a little sad for “Iron.” He would be an “only dog” which may make him a little sad, but it might work out in the end. That is the story we would have published on Friday.

August 22

A beautiful day dawned full of promise and anticipation. Today our little Pets for Life team would finally be hitting the streets and knocking on doors to begin our mission of helping our neighbors retain their pets. We were going to be able to offer spay/neuter, vaccines, preventatives and food among other things all for free to this specific area. What nearly marred this glorious day was the message I received that “Iron” was coming back to the shelter. The funny thing about this, though, is that it didn’t upset me or even make me sad. It felt right somehow. 

  

The adopters were distraught to return him (along with the mountain of belongings he had amassed in just 7 days) but due to some neighboring dogs trying to fence-fight, he returned as they say “through no fault of his own” and with the feedback that he is, in fact, perfect in a home. I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t feel upset about this return. I hugged the big wiggly lug when I saw him and I let him know that it was ok and I would always be around to look after him.

August 23

Another Sunday and another Pack Walk with The Bully Collective. As has been her custom, Lisa had arranged for a couple of volunteers to come and walk adoptable dogs. One of those dogs was meant to be Bitsy, Asia’s foster dog but as fate would have it, Bitsy had been on a two-night trial and on Saturday night we received the message that Bitsy had found her forever home. That allowed for her walking partner to be available for Iron/Chance.

  

Julius and I picked him from the shelter and left with the message that while I’d try to have him back by noon, I wasn’t going to promise. (Side note, Julius is the only dog I know who gets excited to roll up to the shelter as if we’re going to Disney.)

A nice long pack walk was followed by some impromptu Bro time as Clyde came over and the three boys had some quality play time in the yard. 

  

I loved seeing Chance waddle-trundle along after the sleeker Clyde and Julius. It was so much like a little brother trying to keep up with the big guys. As Lisa and I watched the adora-bulls play in the yard we agreed that someone in our large family of friends needed to adopt Chance. We couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing him regularly. I considered it over and over again. He and Julius got on well and Ray would be given all the time and space he needed and even the name could work. My boys are named after football players, so Chance might not work but Iron? Iron Mike, of course would be perfect!

After Clyde went home, I loaded Chance in the car and decided to make a pit stop at Asia’s house. Since she had company over everyone was in the back yard I text her to make sure Ms. Cranky (Sugar) was on a leash. 95% of the time Sugar is great with other dogs but there have been a couple that she wouldn’t tolerate so I wanted to be sure there would be no incidents. There weren’t. Asia didn’t receive my text on time and as Chance and I walked in the far gate, Sugar greeted him as if he were a long lost brother.

  

Chance played with Sugar, romped around the yard, followed the little (human) girls around and drank his fill from the water spurting out of the Slip ‘n Slide.

An hour before the shelter was to close, I called and got assurances that no one had come in to visit with him so I let them know he wouldn’t be back for “curfew” and since the shelter is closed to the public on Mondays, he wouldn’t be back until Tuesday.

There’s no mistaking the joy on Chance’s face when enjoying all of the activities of the day. Going from Pack Walk to a play date with the Big Boys, to a play date with Sugar, Slip ‘n Slide fun with three girls ranging from 1 – 5 years of age to all of the different locations in just one day back from another home would make anyone exhausted or even over-stimulated. Chance aced the day as if it was just business as usual.

Are you a believer in fate? Karma? Everything happens for a reason? The very evening that Chance was returned to the shelter Bitsy was adopted 

 

Bitsy and Bentley

 

and on Monday morning Asia emailed me, “I think he is meant to be with us. It’s been one month since I met him, I tried to let someone else adopt him, and it didn’t work. It’s a sign.” My response?

  

Okay.

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Driving Mr. Deucey (part two)

Oh, the pressure. I knew this would be a two-part post, but I didn’t exactly have the second part written. Actually, I had started this and trashed it several times, but since I’m running out of time, I’ll give this a shot.

Deuce is listed as a Dalmatian/Labrador mix, but it is apparent by his pictures and by my interest in him that there is more to him than that. He has some sort of Pit bull type in him, of that I’m sure and though I’m considered by many to be a Pit Bull advocate, I still try to lean toward being a dog advocate who loves Pit Bull types.

We live in a community that is still emerging as far as breed equality goes. We have a Pit Bull Coalition and both shelters adopt out Pit Bull types, but we are still treading a very thin line. If I had a dime for every time someone in this community says “they just get a bad rap,” I’d be on my way to being wealthy. I almost feel like every time someone says that, they are propagating the “bad rap” itself.

Anyhow, we all have a handicap or a stigma about us. For some of us it is internal, for some it is external but we each have memories or situations which have shaped who we are and make us “different.” For me, growing up I was the only ray of sunshine in the box of pale crayons that was my school. I always knew I looked different and if I somehow forgot, there was always someone there to remind me.

That brings us to Deuce and the Tent Event. Deuce is now and forever will be considered a reactive dog. A reactive Pit bull type dog which makes everyone tread that much more carefully regarding him. When I heard he wouldn’t be able to attend the Tent Event, I made it my mission to not only handle him but let his true colors shine through.

Overseeing the event

Overseeing the event

As you can see from the photos, Deuce and I set up camp a few yards back from the rest of the goings on. I had a camp chair, a couple of weatherproof blankets, a portable water bowl, several cool bottles of water, a can of squeeze cheese, a dental bone, Zuke’s treats, a tug toy, a stuffie, Ray’s elephant collar and bow tie, and poo bags. I figured we could hold court a nice distance away from the fray. While back there, we witnessed several barking dogs, several dogs “correcting” other dogs, at least four volunteers who conveniently forgot poo bags, a few dogs playing nicely with each other and a huge crush of humanity under and around the tent.

chill

At no time did Deuce lunge, jump (except on those whom he already loves), growl, over fixate and the only time he barked was when a truck with two barking dogs drove by.  Deuce was calm, relaxed and feeling secure, so he was able to shine as the loving, sweet, playful, smart puppy that he is.  He was the featured dog on  the radio station that was broadcasting from the event and we even had a gal tell us that she heard about him on the radio and came to meet him.  Those who were savvy enough understood that our distance was in an effort to give Deuce some space and only one woman had to be told three times to give us space.  It was space I had asked for, but Deuce was still showing signs of relaxation and calmness.  At the end of the day, he did get an application, but whether or not his true forever family has found him yet remains to be seen.

Until then, I and the scores of folks in his corner will continue to love and care for him as he deserves.  So if you know of anyone in search of an 8-10 month old LabraPitmation, please send them our way.