Geeking Out

Julius and I are four weeks into his first formal class.  When I took the Karen Pryor Foundations Class he was my practice dog but that is about all he has gotten in the way of any formal training whereas Ray has taken three series of classes.  What this new series of classes has done for the three of us is really astonishing to me although to many it may be just a “duh” moment.  I’ll tell you a little secret:  we always considered Julius a little on the simple side, especially compared to Ray, even though many of Juli’s responses are more like regular dog responses.  I began to realize that Juli’s simplicity stemmed more from my own shortcomings and impatience with shaping, and not at all from him so we decided to enroll in class.  Julius is my dog of the world and though I once hoped Ray would earn his CGC, I know that is more of Juli’s destiny so off to school we went.

Shared Learning

I’d say the biggest bonus was that once Ray realized what Julius and I were doing, he began to brush up on his own cues, so as we sit on opposites of the kitchen we sharpen our skills as a family.

I love getting both of my big guys engaged which just makes us bond that much more and although I may be anthropomorphizing a bit, I feel like their self-esteem is skyrocketing as well.  Since they have learned some of their cues differently I try to be very conscious about rewarding any blending that they may do.  I’m telling you though, I’m so geeked out with all of the things Julius is learning that I nearly shed tears of pride each week.  I think that tonight when he so quickly caught on to putting his feet on the squishy bone Jan, the trainer and I nearly started hopping up and down with glee.

Really Reliable Training

Tonight after class one of the “students” got loose in the parking lot and while her dad tried chasing her around frantically, we heard “pup pup pup pup” in a high-pitched voice from her mom and the little dog responded immediately and ran back to her mom’s waiting arms while the rest of us clapped our appreciation.  I’d like to say that got me thinking about a recent encounter, but the truth is, I was just happy for that family and drove home with an air of contentment.

A few weeks ago as I was walking Ray, I realized the neighbor’s little Yorkie pup was loose.  I’d never seen him before but I’d met them a week or two prior when they were combing the neighborhood for him.  Now my Ray-Ray is great on walks for the most part.  When dogs lose their shit bark from behind fences, doors, or windows he completely ignores them and often crosses to the other side of the street but coming head on is still more of a catastrophe.  I can usually lure him into a fairly decent ignore if I haven’t been able to change walking directions quickly enough but as far as his walks go, Ray has a pretty standard path he like to tow and he doesn’t often deviate, so the day the Yorkie was trying to engage him in play by bouncing in circles around us was a freaking disaster. I was trying to get Ray away, trying to keep the Yorkie away, cussing yelling at the kids to get their dog, yelling at the hubby who was yelling at me all while Ray was trying to have himself a nice Yorkie peppermint patty.  That we got in the house without any physical trauma to the dogs (other than Ray’s nails getting trimmed a bit) and without me falling down was a miracle.

Tonight as a reward for being so patient and sweet while Julius was in class, I decided to take Ray for a quick walk before tackling the search for some dinner for myself and as we rounded the corner what did my wondering eyes see but Barak the Yorkie strolling around the street.  “Ray, let’s go home.”  Blank stare. “Ray, let’s go the other way.” Blank stare.  Ray, danger!”  We immediately did an about-face and trotted as fast as my old and his lame legs would take us back to the front door of our home where I got his harness off and went back out to help wrangle the wayward Yorkie after which Ray and I resumed our walk.

Worth More Than Gold

I’m honestly astounded by the number of people who resist the thought of “obedience classes.”  I put that in quotations because that is actually the last thing I think of when I think of class.  Communication class may be a better phrase, or maybe Understanding Class or Bonding Class would work.  The fee you pay will be worth more than the replacement fee for your favorite shoes, your sofa, your drywall or your sanity and it will sure as hell help keep your dog in your home. Amortize the fee over x amount of weeks and add in the few minutes each day when you get to practice one on one (or two on one) with your dog and get to watch him blossom and you’ll realize it’s the best bit of change you could have ever spent because the reward is immeasurable.

Oh! And as Ray and I resumed our walk we ran into Barak’s mom who asked us about training classes, so we will be dropping info off to her tomorrow.

 

Many thanks to Janis, Margery, Jodie and Lesley .

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Sugar Babies

Despite my aversion to the “unwashed masses” touching the puppies, I ended up bringing Kit Kat and Godiva to our adoption event on Saturday.  I had arranged for Snickers’ meet and greet to be earlier that morning, so I loaded the three gals up and hoped for the best.  Strange things about this litter and their mama.  As the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition, we really only deal with the bullie s (Am Staff, Staffies, APBT, American Bulldogs, American Bullies, etc) but I have a sneaking suspicion we got flim-flammed a bit.  We know the father of this litter is a Collie-Beagle mix and Sugar?  She’s small, easily confused with a small terrier or a cattle dog maybe.  Toby and Godiva definitely have lug heads and they all have some Pittie traits, but easily taken for NOT a bully, which worked out well for Snicker’s adopters who rent and have breed bans.  So as it turned out, as of late Saturday afternoon, the Peaceabull Assembly was devoid of fosters.

Toby

 

photo by his new mom

 

I can’t imagine anything more stressful than wishing, hoping, praying and willing you to be healthy, Toby.  We don’t hold meet and greets or adoptions at the homes of our fosters or board members for fear of a constant stream of strays finding their way to our homes.  Toby’s adopters were good friends of a good friend and their application and message were so heartfelt and polite, so we agreed to have them over to Peaceabull to meet all the pups and hopefully find a match.  They had just lost their Pittie, Sammy, days before we pulled the pups and needed to fill the silence so when they fell in love with Toby we went ahead and finalized the adoption, although we all agreed that the following two weeks with his mama and his litter were crucial to this little guy.  Just as we were excited for Toby’s bright future, Joy got sick and died, the remaining puppies began getting sick and we ended up with every single one being treated for Parvo and Coccidia.

Always the sweeter of the two sweet boys, Toby pulled through and though he was thinner and bony, his loving (and sassy) personality remained intact and he was able to still go home with his parents on the previously scheduled day of July 2nd.  His adoptive parents were so supportive and positive throughout the entire waiting period and I absolutely know he will have a good life and I will get Facebook updates (hopefully) daily!  I’d have to say, he was my favorite.

Reece and Baby Ruth

On the 7th we held a invitation-only meet and greet and brought the five pups as well as Coco, an adult female who had an application out to meet potential adopters.  The first family in the door wanted to see Reece and that’s all she wrote.  

  
They were smitten with his fun-loving and easy-going nature and I’m sure his little heart-shaped nose didn’t hurt either.  Reece is “all boy” in the best possible way; the most adventurous but not too mischievous, he negotiated up and down the stairs without hesitation and leapt head first into any situation.  He will fit right in with that active young family.  Reece was definitely my favorite.

Ruthie also found herself adopted after snatching the place right out from under Snicker’s nose, but that is how Ruthie rolls.  

  
She was always the biggest of the litter and as such, was the bully of her siblings from the get-go.  Most interestingly, like most bullies, she had a weakness for the unknown and the day the pups met Julius, they all swarmed him like screaming fans swarming the Beatles, except for Ruthie who yelped and hid for an hour.  Once she determined that Julius was not going to harm her, she became his little shadow.  Baby Ruth was fun, affectionate and eager to be loved.  She went to a home with a sweet woman and her daughter who will love her always and forever.  Baby Ruth was awesome and she was my favorite.

Snickers

Ah, my little Snicker Doodle-do.  Snickers was always the most clingy and the most whiney vocal which was actually how I knew the moment she got sick.  Being that she was a little bit quieter, I set her down and she didn’t whine or bark, so I knew she was sick.  Snickers was always a mama’s girl in the weirdest way-she immediately bonded to me.  All the puppies would rush to Sugar for nursing but Snickers always wanted me to hold her or play with her for at least a minute or two each time she saw me.  Snickers would put her paws on each side of my neck or try to climb on my shoulder to be closer and the home she found will be awesome, I’m sure. This young couple emailed that they wanted her, first to meet on Thursday then maybe Friday would be better since they were moving on Friday so we set a time then we set another time.  Moving took longer than anticipated and by the time we rescheduled for Saturday, I was feeling like I’d be bringing all three gals to the adoption event.  What I found couldn’t have been further from the truth.  Their apartment was immaculate and tastefully decorated and oh so clean.  Apparently it was not left clean and they spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning before being able to move in.  Snickers was always the gal for them and so there she stayed. 

   

I constantly would tell Snickers, “I’m not your mommy and I don’t love you,” but I could tell she knew that she was my favorite.

Kit Kat

After Joy, Kit Kat was the smallest of the litter but she didn’t let that get in her way.  Kit Kat never instigated anything but never took any sh*#t from her brothers and sisters and was always there to back one of them up.  She was probably the most independent of the litter in that she could play with others, play by herself, be cuddled or just hang out.  The funniest thing about this little one?  On Tuesday she woke up and her ears were now like this:

  
I loved Kit Kat for her chutzpah and of all the pups, she got a new name, which was a bit disappointing, because a dog named Kit Kat!  She was my favorite.

Godiva

‘Diva probably changed the most over the three weeks that the puppies were with us.  Before she got sick, she was the largest after Baby Ruth and she was the one I predicted might end up back in the Shelter system.  She was the one who hung on shoe laces and pant legs and fingers and shirts and strings by her little stubborn terrier teeth.  She was the one who would hurl herself into whatever was going on with the litter.  The Diva was never one to start something but she would by gosh finish it.  When she got sick, I think she took it harder mentally than any of the others.  She got smaller both physically and by her personality.  She became more tentative and more cuddly.  During one of my visits while they were in clinic, she actually scampered away from the door and turned her back to me until she realized it was me.  Then she sat in my lap and got some love.

‘Diva’s adoptive family will have to do more than any of the above to keep her and at the moment are actually fostering to adopt* to allow for more transition time.  She has a dog selective…’uncle’ (?) whose stamp of approval is harder to come by though she and her new dog sister Lucy are already in the throes of love. 

  
This family will ultimately end up adopting this little girl who is going to have a wonderful life. She was my favorite.

But what happened to Sugar?  Check back tomorrow.

*As I was adding pictures I got the message that the adoption will soon be finalized. Diva is home.

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.