Keeping the Vet Away

Now, don’t get me wrong. We love our vet. But let’s be honest; no one wants to see their pooches sick, or the multi-figure bill that follows. We have been working to make Miss Georgia a more healthy member of society since she came into our care, but the process began long before that.

When Georgia was pulled from the shelter in the state of Georgia, she was a severely malnourished new mama with major skin issues, and was also determined to be heartworm positive. Our rescue did a great job of improving her major conditions, but when Georgia came to us (almost a month ago, now!) she was still harboring some ailments.

We noticed pretty quickly that while the rescue had identified a few ways to manage Georgia’s skin sensitivities (weekly baths, prescription shampoos, etc.), we felt confident that a change in diet would show a major, and more permanent, improvement in her condition. We switched Georgia to a limited ingredient, grain-free, dry dog food, with a novel protein and carbohydrate source. This can be a great way to identify your dog’s allergies or sensitivities. In Georgia’s case, she has responded much more positively to this new diet. The itching and chewing she used to do almost incessantly has completely subsided, as have the rashes on her tummy and paws.

Look at that healthy, shiny coat!

The other issue that worried us was some sensitivity in Georgia’s spine and hips. She would hesitate or shudder when asked to sit, and would wince noticeably when even the lightest pressure was applied to her hind end. She also had very irregular, sometimes strained, bowel movements. After an appointment with the renowned Dr. David Smolensky, our adored canine chiropractor, we have seen some major improvements in this area. We will continue to make trips to the chiro until her back has strengthened, but feel so grateful that we are able to help make Georgia more comfortable. We can venture many guesses as to what has made her so sore, but all that matters is that she deserves to be free from pain.

As Georgia lays curled up beside me, snoring, I also recognize an improvement in her general attitude. Her weight has decreased to a more manageable level, and she has become a happier, more active pooch. She still prefers to cuddle up for couch time, over exercise any day! But play time lasts longer, and we see more pittie-smiles every day!

“You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Today we will entertain a question from one of our littlest fans! Her name is Lilly, and she is the most endearing and precocious two-year-old, whose mama runs the touching blog, The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood.

Apparently, Miss Lilly was fascinated by the pictures of our pooches. Her lingering question… where do all of the puppies sleep at night? I realized that perhaps some of our (bigger) readers, might have some of the same questions.

Tonka’s preferred sleeping location

Perhaps we should begin with where our two perma-dogs, Tonka & Gaige, are supposed to sleep… in their Tempur-pedic (yes, don’t judge!) beds at the foot of our own. But, more often than not, I awaken in the middle of the night to two LARGE dogs laying on top of my legs, stomach, head, etc. Until recently, I blamed the two little scoundrels for their disobedience. Little did I know, that Foster Dad (previously Mr. No-Dogs-in-the-House) felt guilty, and was inviting them into the bed! What a sneak sap!

And Gaige’s preferred sleeping position…

As far as Miss Georgia, oftentimes the most obedient of my FOUR (hehe)… we have chosen to have her sleep in her kennel, which is in her own room. This was in an effort to: 1) Keep all three dogs safe when unsupervised overnight, since we haven’t yet completed their introductions


2) Make her more adaptable to most families that might choose to adopt her. While Georgia is used to sleeping on her own, and happy to be in her kennel, I am confident that she would adapt quite well to being allowed to sleep with her people.

My favorite picture of Gia, to date

Thank you to Miss Lilly for the great question… anything else out there that our readers are just dying to know about Miss Georgia, or the rest of the five?!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I would say, full of lots of playtime and walks, but Georgia told me tell you that she hopes your weekend is full of lots of cuddles and naps! I know her’s will be. 😉

{She is cuddled up on the bed beside me, with the cat, as we speak!}

If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

This Old Dog Learns New Tricks

I have to start by saying, thank you SO MUCH to all of you that commented and emailed your advice to us. It is much appreciated! We will be taking all of your tips and suggestions to heart. It is so nice to know that we have many friends and supporters as we face new challenges with fostering. All of us blogging fosters are a little community… know that we are happy to repay the favor anytime you need support!

I try to keep this space very organized and methodical… much like I try to maintain my life! But my world is feeling very topsy-turvy disorganized right about now, so this particular post may be much the same. I apologize in advance!

Gia wrestling with Foster Dad. Her signature move? The Kiss of Death

Have I mentioned lately the fabulousness that is Foster Dad?! He really is the most supportive husband I could ask for… he is my perfect life partner. While I was working yesterday, he was on afternoon doggie walk duty. Which, can be a bit hectic, given that we are still doing some pooch rotating, rather than releasing the hounds all together. Not only that, but while playing with Miss Gia outside, my notoriously terrible multi-tasker was also pooper scooping. For a dog-loving Foster Mama, does it get much hotter than that?! Some of you out there know what I’m talking about… and the rest probably think I’m crazy.

Best friends

Anyways, what may sound like a silly story turned into an opportunity for us to learn more about Georgia girl. As Foster Dad was wielding the shovel with skill, he leaned down to give Gia some lovin’… and she proceeded to melt down onto the ground into a terrified, shivering puddle. 😦 Poor baby. She adores her Foster Dad, at least as much as she does me. They share a special bond, so the fact that with a shovel in hand, she didn’t trust him, made J feel terrible. As soon as the tool was down on the ground, she came back up to him wiggle-waggling, but it just reminded us that you will learn new things about your pup’s past everyday. This is why it is so important to approach their training process with sensitivity and understanding, as well as a willingness to adapt your methods as you learn more about your dog. Every dog is different, every dog’s past is different, and maintaining flexibility in your approach will ensure that you provide your dog with a secure foundation for their future. While we have long ago made the decision to only employ training methods of positive-reinforcement, Georgia still deals with issues from her past that create lingering fear and distrust. We will embrace this knowledge as an opportunity to increase her confidence and security in her relationships with us.

He knows the way to this girl’s heart

Not to get too philosophical here, but isn’t that a great way to approach life in general? Whether two or four-legged, we never know what challenges others have faced or are currently facing. If we kept in mind that everyone has their own battles to fight and insecurities to face, perhaps we would not be so quick to make their paths more difficult. We should all be so busy pursuing the improvement of our own journeys, that we have no time to judge the actions of others. Jonathan and I approach our marriage with the philosophy that if both spouses are consistently putting their partner’s desires first, everyones’ needs are met; but what if we brought that theory to all of the relationships in our lives? We would all feel constantly empowered and embraced. To me, that is what life is all about: doing what I can to improve the happiness and experiences of those around me.

“Let the refining and improving of your own life, keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” — H. Jackson Brown Jr.

{Okay, sorry… end soap box.}

You should all know that our brain-storming idea of sharing one of Georgia’s only flaws, actually may have worked! We have a family that sounds pretty darn ideal who is very interested in our baby doll Gia. Fingers crossed that it works out… so far they seem like a match made in heaven! It would be great to have Georgia in her forever home in time for the holidays. We will keep you posted.

If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

Must Love Dogs

We have all heard the urban legend of the stunningly ideal ‘catch’ of a woman; beauty, brains, compassion, ambition, all in one package (no, I’m not describing myself!) This woman may complain that sometimes she is not approached by men, because they are intimidated by her perfection.

You are pawsitively beautiful.

After talking with Foster Dad, we think that this just might be what is going on with our precious little Georgia girl as she searches for her forever family. The dating world can be daunting, and while she has had a few casual suitors, there have been no potential matches that Foster Dad could entertain for devoted interest. That is to say, they must not have had the purest of intentions with our little lady. Or, maybe it is just that she has so many fabulous qualities, that they assume she will be scooped up by another family?

So, let’s break the illusion; while we know Georgia would make someone a fabulous four-legged family member, she is not perfect! There, we said it. And we would love your help as we improve her obedience training in order to make her even more adoptable!

When Georgia is comfortable in her environment, she is a very relaxed and low-key dog. However, when introduced to new situations or new people, she gets nervous. One way she displays this behavior is by jumping up on people when she meets them. She is full of love and kisses, but a large pit bull jumping up at someone with their mouth wide open is not everyone’s idea of a great first date!

We would like to enroll Georgia in some obedience classes in order to increase her confidence, which we think will go a long way towards helping her with this issue. But, we want to know; what challenges have you faced when training your dogs, foster or otherwise? Maybe you’ve had the same issue, or maybe it is a different one. How did you overcome it? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue we are facing with Miss Gia.


If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

Dog Pack

“If you don’t own a dog, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”

I have always said that people come into our lives for different reasons. Oftentimes if we look at the people we choose to surround ourselves with, they may represent a spectrum of personalities. Maybe these people encourage us to display varying aspects of our identity, or simply serve distinctive purposes in our lives.

For example, most of us have that friend from our childhood. The person with whom you share early memories and silly stories, inside jokes that no one else understands. You grow up spending as much time with their family as your own, and maybe even become something like siblings.

Some of us have friends from college, the people that are there to support us and help us grow, as we go through one of the biggest life transitions. You cram for exams, spend late nights together, and hold each other during heartbreak.

We have friends that are there for the fun times, to grab drinks or go for manicures. They are our good time friends, with whom we share wild stories and lots of laughs, but maybe nothing deeper. And that’s okay!

Then there are the friends that hold a part of our soul. For me, this person shares a passion for the same sport, but she is also always there to pick me up when times are hard. She never hesitates to set aside her own issues when I need her. She is the epitome of selfless. Her advice is boundless and always offered without criticism or judgement. She always offers me the benefit of the doubt, and knows that although I certainly don’t always get it right, my heart is full of the best of intentions for others.

While all of these people hold a vital place in my heart, as well as in the story of my life, today’s post is about a different type of person. A person that I bet all of you know, and value… the person we trust to watch our dogs when we are away.

It must be someone who will treat our dogs with tenderness and compassion, yet maintain our structure and discipline. This person must understand our neurotic tendencies as pet parents the canine nature, and have an idea about training. You must trust that they are good under pressure, and can stick to a routine. Finally, and perhaps most hard to come by, this person must be willing to give up a portion of their time, usually sacred nights and weekends. For me, these people are almost as scarce as working squeaker toys in our home, but I am lucky to know a few. From my perspective, no amount of compensation or thanks will ever truly portray my appreciation.

I met Ellie when I was working as a manager at an equine veterinary clinic. After a stellar interview, I recommended that she be hired for a position as a veterinary technician. Ellie was the person who always showed up on time, if not early, and consistently stayed late. She was willing to do any job, from monotonous stall cleaning to assisting with complex medical cases. She completed every task with a willing attitude and a smile on her face, and was always seeking out new projects to fill idle hours. She could manage criticism from her superiors, even when it was not necessarily constructive, without letting it negatively affect her performance. Perhaps most importantly, Ellie maintained an understanding for our clients, while handling the horses with the perfect combination of skill and compassion. As she embarks on her path to vet school, I know that she will make an incredible veterinarian. Not only do I feel safe when she is watching our pets, but I feel blessed to have such a trustworthy, caring, and responsible person that is willing to devote her time to allow us some freedom.

Foster Dad indulged me this weekend by taking me on a trip to Ohio for a large annual horse show. While we took our two perma-dogs along with us for the ride, we left Georgia and our cat, Bella, home with Ellie. We are so happy to share Ellie’s account of her weekend with Georgia. Enjoy!


Georgia got to make a new friend this weekend! In order to let foster mom and dad take a weekend trip, I was called in as backup.  An avid animal lover as well, I jumped at the opportunity to meet this sweet girl that I had been reading about.
I was super excited to meet her, but nervous at the same time, as I was worried she would be anxious with foster mom and dad leaving. She was quick to prove my worries wrong, greeting me with hundreds and hundreds of kisses. (Yes, hundreds. I’m not exaggerating or complaining!) She was an all star the entire weekend and was up for whatever it was I wanted to do,
whether that be long walks on the farm…
watching TV… (Bella too!)
playing tug of war…
or sun-bathing.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with her patience and willingness, as well as how quiet she is (no whining or barking from this girl, not even after being kenneled for bedtime!!) and I think we had a pretty great weekend together.  Hands down, anyone would be lucky to have a dog as great as she is.

Georgia (and her ears!) napping after a long day of fun!


If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

Wet Behind the Dog Ears

So fresh and so clean, clean.

Looking lovely!

One thing that will be important for Georgia’s forever family to know, is that she has some allergies and issues with sensitive skin. These are under control now, but when she is nervous and/or in a new environment, the itchies seem to creep right in. We are able to manage these with a special diet (NutraMax), and weekly baths. Yes, I said weekly baths. 3 times per month, these baths are done with a Selsun Blue shampoo, and once per month, we use a special medicated shampoo from the vet. The good news, is that these baths also serve as her flea treatment… no creepy crawlies to be found on this lady!

The even better news?! Georgia is a rock star in the bath tub. Okay, no, she is not belting out ballads like Joan Jett & Pat Benatar. However, Georgia is an angel during bath time. She sits patiently, lounging in the warm water, and soaking up all the lovin’ that she can. I was able to ask her to sit and stay, and then I left the bathroom (door open!) to go get my camera. She didn’t even shake off until she had a towel covering her! Post-bath, our bathroom essentially looked as if no dog had been there at all! (Until it was time for Tonka & Gaige baths… ugh! Black hair everywhere.) After she was all dried off, she did a few zoomies through the house, and took a nap. What a sweetie pie! Now she is extra clean and shiny and smelly-good.

In case you don’t believe us when we tell you how great Georgia is with kitties, here is a video of our cat tormenting her… and of course, Georgia takes it all in stride!

We are excited to announce that we will have our very first guest post on Monday! Tune in then 🙂 Have a great weekend everyone!

Georgia: The Ultimate Snugglebuddy

If you have been following our blog for very long at all, it is no secret that Georgia is a pretty low-maintenance dog. She does not have a very high requirement for exercise, and is happy to just follow you around at a leisurely pace, whether inside or out. While she has made a great jogging partner for me, and can be prompted for a rough afternoon romp, she is not a dog that you will need to find time to exercise in order to keep her mellow. Because of that, we think that Georgia would make a great addition to a busy family, or perhaps an animal-loving college student with a full plate.

While we can assure you that in many areas, Georgia is quite content to ‘go with the flow,’ there is one category that is an essential fulfillment; Georgia needs her human to engage in regular cuddle time. See the photographic evidence below…

Settling for a non-human cuddling companion

Don’t worry, no gender discrimination here!

That look of adoration…

I would include more from last night’s cuddle session… but unfortunately I made a horrible wardrobe choice that was not evident to me until reviewing the photos. Apparently my snowflake pajama pants are not as adorable as I had originally thought, and therefore they cannot be internet appropriate… for the sake of my reputation, people. I am dedicated to finding Georgia a home, but there are some things any self-respecting woman just wouldn’t do. So here are a few, sans-snowflakes. (But not sans-pants!)





*Please excuse the poor quality of the iPhone photos!*

If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Lions & Tigers & Pitties… Oh my!

“Roarrrr! Do you think they will really believe that I’m a lion, Mom?”

“Hey look! These ears are just like my real ones… always going in two different directions.”


“Trick or treat! … You’re laughing at me, aren’t you?”

Every Doggy Needs Some Doggy

It has been two weeks since Georgia joined our family, and I think that it is safe to say that she is finally starting to let down her guard and truly settle in. Georgia is such a sweet girl, and loves everyone she meets, but I can’t shake the feeling that she is like a trauma victim. She seems to be enjoying her time here, but also prepared for the inevitable change. This poor girl has never known a truly loving, secure home that didn’t have an expiration date. With every home she has been moved to, she seems to become more restless. Thankfully, this lack of security hasn’t manifested into any negative behaviors, but I can only imagine how Georgia will blossom with a permanent home to call her own.

Yesterday was a very eventful day in our house! In the morning, I went on a walk with Tonka & Georgia. This was the first one without Foster Dad holding Georgia’s leash, so the dogs were in closer proximity. They were perfect!

Excuse the poor quality of my iPhone 4…

Georgia seems to be relaxing more around Tonka, and is learning to enjoy his presence. She has never displayed any aggression towards him, but seemed nervous around him at first. I think that before we know it, the two will be great friends.

Whatcha doin’ back there, Foster Bro?

Poor widdle couch potato was exhausted after our hike!

After dinner, Foster Dad helped make a kong for Miss Georgia! Georgia has some sensitivity to different foods and dyes, so she is on a special diet (just a specific brand of food that can be found at Petsmart). When she is having a reaction to a food, or if she is feeling more nervous than usual, she will lick at her tummy and paws.

Trying to give herself a pedicure!

We wanted to try using a stuffed kong with her, so that when we are gone, she will have something to occupy her time. Georgia made sure to dictate what should be placed inside of the kong…

“Ok now Foster Dad, heavy on the cheese, light on those crunchy orange carrot thingies.”

Georgia offers some closer supervision.

Finally, once that task was complete, we decided that now was as good of a time as any to try clipping her toe nails. This girl was way overdue for a pedicure! Naturally, I made the assumption that because her toes were a bit overgrown, she must not be a fan of the procedure. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Georgia was an angel for her pedicure, letting us clip and trim without any fuss from her. She is just such an easy pup!

If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at

The Awards Ceremony: Inspirational Blogger!

For some of you dog-lovers out there, today’s post might be a bit boring. (As opposed to all of the others, which I desperately hope are not!) Drum roll please….. We were nominated for our first blogging award!

Thanks to one of our favorite blogs, the always hilarious TuesdayNightBoyfriend, we are now a “Very Inspiring Blog”. Woo-hoo! You should totally check out her posts. She combines her 3 favorite things, in a very creative way… her dog (a pittie!), her boyfriend Ryan, and food. They get pretty adorable together!

So, on to the rules of the award…

  • Link back to the person who nominated you   CHECK!
  • Nominate 15 bloggers
  • Share 7 facts about yourself

Embarrassingly enough, the nominations part is super simple for me. There are SO many blogs that I follow on a regular basis, and I would love the opportunity to give them a shout-out. However, I just want to clarify that I am still learning the rules of blogging etiquette. To me, getting a blogging award is this Super Cool Thing (just ask Jonathan, who gets to deal with my daily rundown of new blogging stats on the regular), but perhaps the writers I am nominating do not agree? To put it in perspective, these guys are the best of the best, the seniors of the school, the top dogs… so this is just my disclaimer that you don’t have to participate. Just take it as my form of complimenting, as these really are the people that have inspired us to do what we do. Participate at your leisure!

My Inspirational Blogs

(in no particular order)
  1. Two Pitties in the City: This blogger hails from Chicago, and I love to read about their adventures in the windy city.
  2. Two Black Dogs: Obviously, I’m obsessed with the name, but we have more than that in common. This lady also nominated us for the “Super Sweet Award”. How ‘sweet’ of her?!
  3. Kate with a Camera: Dude. Kate’s photography skills are unparalleled. I wanna convince her to take a trip to Pittsburgh to photograph me with my pups! She is also a fantastic writer, and shares poignant stories that relate to all things furry.
  4. Peace, Love & Fostering: This girl is my age, so I love to read about fostering from a similar perspective. However, her training tips and rescue advice are pretty much unparalleled.
  5. A Heartbeat at My Feet: As if the name wasn’t swoon-worthy enough, this writer shares hilarious tales of fostering. Be prepared to L.O.L.
  6. Pittieful Love: The pit bull snuggle-fest continues. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  7. That Touch of Pit: Bringing both the male & female perspective to the world of pittie blogging, Josh & Jennifer have an impressive resume of experience in the world of animal rescue & welfare, and are happy to share their knowledge with the rest of us.
  8. Fostrickson: I have linked you to my favorite post of theirs, ‘Marriage Vows for Dogs’. You have to read it.
  9. Pitlandia: These guys are also a bit new to the world of blogging, so we share that perspective. The story of how they came to adopt a little brindled pittie girl is precious, and everything that ensues is pure hilarity!
  10. For the Love of My Dogs: This blog is all-encompassing. Head to their page to read about everything from nutrition, to responsible ownership, to animal welfare.
  11. Adventures of a Dog Mom: Combining dogs & food in the most glorious (and humane!) of ways.
  12. Doggerel: First. Time. Dog owners! As if that isn’t enough, their pup is named Pyrrha (I love unique names and a good literary reference) and she is a gorgeous, rescued German Shepherd. We don’t discriminate here, people!
  13. Our Waldo Bungie: Doesn’t the name just say it all? More dogs. More love. In a little Kansas Bungalow.
  14. Love & a 6-Foot Leash: I love every blog on this list, but I have to say, these guys are probably the creme de la creme. They are truly what started us on our fostering journey, and we can’t thank them enough. Blogging professionals. Oh, and their pups are ridiculously adorable.
  15. The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood: This blog has very little (ok, nothing?) to do with dogs. But I nanny for the amazing mama who writes it, and I love to check out all of her tips on raising happy, healthy kiddoes. She has the combination of parenthood, food, and art down to a science, people! She also advocates for a heartbreaking illness called congenital CMV.

Seriously, I thought long and hard about what blogs to include on this list. So sorry that I had to leave some other favorites out, but take a gander at the ones we featured. You won’t regret it!

On to the 7 Random Facts About Stephanie:

1.) I am a proud graduate of Penn State University, where I met my husband. I come from a long line of Penn Staters… my first word was Nittany!

2.) I was born in Chicago, and have moved around a lot since… this is the first time in years I feel comfortable saying that I know where I am from! Just North of Pittsburgh, to be precise.

3.) My dog Tonka is my best friend. Hands down. And no, I am not ashamed to admit that. (Hubby comes in at a close second!) Also, Tonka is a 50/50 mix of purebred Golden Retriever (mama) and purebred brindle Boxer (pops). Don’t try to argue with me, I knew the parents!

4.) I have been a workaholic for most of my (young) life. I have maintained a job of some sort since the age of 10 (pet-sitting businesses and horse stall cleaning, to name a few!) and graduated high school and college in a combined total of 6 years.

5.) Every car I have owned has been a manual transmission. I think everyone should learn how to drive one… it’s just way more fun!

6.) Riding and showing horses is my passion, but I’ve taken a break from that to focus on the fostering thing. I have been riding since I was 7 years old, which is over 2/3 of my life! My horse Frosty was my once-in-a-lifetime partner, and I still miss him every day.

7.) If you know the story of how I met my hubby, Jonathan, you probably think we are crazy! But he is my biggest supporter, and we balance each other perfectly. Life has never been better! I am one lucky girl.

So, I think that’s about it! Hope I haven’t bored anyone too much… Do we have any ‘random facts’ in common? Want to know more? Let us know! We will be back tomorrow with more from our Georgia girl. Stay-tuned!