Friends Helping Friends: Amelie

Our friend Josh from That Touch of Pit has saved the lives of over 55 dogs (and two cats!) in the past year and five months. While all of those pups hold a special place in his heart, he has recently rescued a new dog that needs our help more than any others have before.

Meet Amelie.

amelia and mindy

This sweetheart is a one year old pittie pup who was found tied up to a bench in a park just a few blocks from their local public shelter in NYC, unable to walk and crying in pain. The shelter contacted Josh asking if That Touch of Pit might be able to take her, as she could not get the necessary care there. Without hesitating, Josh and his partner Jennifer agreed and rushed her to our emergency vet. The initial diagnosis is that something fractured one of the vertebrae in her neck very severely. She has lost all ability to stand, sit, walk or even use her legs at all. Total paralysis. Heartbreaking? Yes. But what is amazing, is that she has sensation, so the doctors are hopeful that she can recover.

amelie long shot lying down

Amelie’s medical bills alone (this wont include any recovery efforts like physical & water therapy, food, and other necessary supplies) are approximately $7,000. So That Touch of Pit has set up a youcaring fundraiser to help raise some money to cover the exorbitant cost. Here is the link:

 As you can see by the photos, Amelie is a really sweet dog who absolutely deserves a second shot at life. Even just a few dollars can help Josh & Jennifer make that a possibility. We all know that her life is worth skipping a cup of coffee this morning!
Amelie cu
And if you are looking for a way to give back to Amelie, while also having a chance at securing some cool stuff, our friends at Our Waldo Bungie are hosting an awesome giveaway for anyone that donates over $15. Head over there to check it out!
 am1

Luck is in the Eye of the Beholder

I interrupt our previously scheduled blog post for a momentary freak out. Seriously?! You guys are amazing. Which doesn’t even begin to cover it. I believed that one way or another, we would find a way to make this surgery possible, but I never expected so many people to care and donate and share. I am blown away, and honestly, a little bit speechless. Good thing I wrote this post on Sunday, when I had words to spare 😉 Thank you doesn’t begin to express my gratitude. You all are amazing.

———————————————————————————————-

After a weekend of getting to know our little house guest, I posted this photo to facebook, with the light-hearted caption- ‘You guys are all: “Aw, what a lucky boy to have been saved by such nice people.” Meanwhile, I’m all: “How’d I get so lucky to have this handsome dude as a roommate?!”

IMG_2328

Of course, my post was meant to be silly, but it was brought about by a serious perspective. So many people are commenting, thanking us for what we are doing and posting really flattering statements about what this must mean about who we are as people. As much as I appreciate the flattery, anyone who knows me will tell you that compliments and attention in general make me very uncomfortable and awkward.

IMG_2322

I want to make it very clear that I hope and believe that anyone faced with a similar situation would do the same thing. I cannot imagine that the people I love and admire and respect (and most of you are among that list!) wouldn’t go out of their way to help an innocent animal if they had the means to do so. So if you are reading this, I hope you know that I believe you would follow your heart in an instance like this. What we are doing does not make us saints or heroes or angels… in my opinion, it makes us normal people who want to make the world a little bit of a better place, in whatever capacity we can. That means that when I am faced with an opportunity to do the right thing, I will. And I believe that you will, too!

IMG_2326

Not only does this statement reflect on my perspective about our society, but can we talk for a second about this amazing little dog?! Talking about how wonderful we are makes it seem as though what we have done is endlessly selfless and, to some extent, a huge burden. Yes, we have had to alter our schedules and our lifestyle and our finances… but all of that is what makes it possible for this guy to LIVE. I’m sorry, but that is not a balanced trade if you ask me. The amount of affection and love and joy he has already given to us will not ever be repayable by anything we can do for him. It will always be an unbalanced partnership. I think that is one thing that makes dogs so irreplaceable in the lives of humans; their endless need to express their love and devotion, regardless of what we have done to deserve it. Let me tell you, every second of the time I have spent with this dog has been enjoyable. He is not the lucky one… that is all on us, I promise.

IMG_2323

Moral of the story is that while I appreciate the recognition, please don’t put us up on a pedestal. We are doing what is right, not anything exceptional, and we know in our hearts that all of you would do the same! Anyway, if you met this dog, you’d understand why we’d gladly PAY for the opportunity to spend some time with him 😉

IMG_2331There is nothing I love more than a blurred-pittie-tale!

He is scheduled for femoral repair and neuter surgery at Butler Veterinary Associates on Wednesday. They are an incredibly charitable practice, and at least per the original estimate, have given us a very generous discount. With their permission, we will post the bill when it comes in, so that everyone knows where their funds have gone. Please keep in mind that the dog will probably require a second procedure once he has healed in order to remove the pins. If the donations exceed the original cost of the surgery, they will be allotted to this later procedure, as well as the vaccines, etc that he will still be needing. Again, I wish there was a word for me to use other thank thank you… you all are amazing, and I hope this incredible act of teamwork and charity restores your faith in humanity as much as it does mine.

(In other news, I start a new job today. Eeek! A little crazy here in the AFM5 household, but why would I ever expect it to be any other way?!)

Siriusly Fashionable

Happy Friday, friends! We will keep it short and sweet today. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but the collars you see on our dogs in most of the photos are in pretty sorry shape. We have been wanting to place an order with Sirius Republic since before we even started this blogging adventure! You may remember this post. Well, the time has finally come. We are ready to place our order!

Before we place the order, we wanted to check in with our readers. Do you have any input as to what collars we should order for the pups? We would like for them to coordinate between the three dogs, but not match. Also, we want the pattern choices to be indicative of each of the dog’s respective personality traits, and compatible with their coat collars and markings. By now, most of you probably know their personalities almost as well as we do. Do you think they are conveyed in our choices? Do you have better suggestions? Check out the Sirius Republic selection of patterns here!

Gaige’s Collar

DSC_0006

Gaige is the pup that is adorable, mischevious and spunky, and constantly getting into something. A daddy’s girl, she knows how to flit her lashes and wiggle her tail just right to squeak her way out of trouble. She loves to play rough but is also a cuddle bug. Also, Foster Dad has a thing for cherry emblems and vintage patterns.

yhst-60745726336340_2251_7775421

——————————————

Georgia’s Collar

DSC_0010

Gia girl is the laid-back one of the group, never letting much get her worked up. She loves food and snuggles more than anything else in life, and is always up for some fun. She can be a bit stubborn, but only because she knows that she has us wrapped around her little white-tipped-tail.

yhst-60745726336340_2251_23350498

————————————-

Tonka’s Collar

DSC_0039
Tonka is our gentleman, a friend to all! His haters call him a teacher’s pet or a suck-up, but they’re just jealous that he has brains, brawns, and beauty. Obedience and loyalty are his greatest strengths, especially when his mama is a part of the equation. As a high school stereotype, Tonka would be the handsome jock that is friends with everyone, gets good grades, and helps your grandma across the street! We are having a little bit more trouble choosing his perfect pattern, so can you help us by voting?!
 
yhst-60745726336340_2251_24226241
Red? Blue?

Red? Blue?

Take a look at their options and let us know if there is one that stands out to you as being perfect for the Tonkinator! We also love the gray sugar skulls, but are worried it might be too feminine for him. Also the Brewskies, and Bon Voyage… oh dear, we just can’t decide!

Do your dogs wear Sirius Republic collars? And if not, what in the world are you waiting for?! Sirius Republic has graciously offered a discount code to our loyal readers. If you are ready to take the plunge and make your dogs the most stylish ones on the block, head on over to their website and enter this code to enjoy 10% off: AFMF10. Thank you SR! You guys rock 🙂 ALSO, please don’t forget to enter the LCPO rescue code (RPLC97). This will send 20% of the sales their way, helping troubled pups like our sweet Georgia peach!

Enjoy the weekend, friends!

Nala Needs our Help!

Happy Friday everyone!

I don’t like to come to you with requests very often, but this is one that is near and dear to my heart. I’d like to introduce you to Nala.

525216_538698049501848_1556043108_n

Nala was an LCPO foster dog, pulled from NYCACC not long ago, the day before she was going to be euthanized. At the time, she had sarcoptic mange. She was placed with one of LCPO’s most devoted foster families, who willingly took on her skin problems, digestive issues, and even a burst anal gland. Before long, the family realized that they couldn’t live without Nala, and decided to adopt her. They celebrated last week when they finalized her adoption. Unfortunately, just a few days later, during a checkup for her skin issues, Nala was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor. If this had been diagnosed earlier, the rescued would have found ways to cover her vet costs through fund raising and donations, but as it stands, Nala’s new family is being hit with some hefty bills, all in thanks for giving this girl a second chance at life.

Nala’s mom Julee is someone I have worked with while volunteering with LCPO. She is a tireless breed advocate and volunteer, and epitomizes the ideals of responsible pet ownership. She has continually served as a foster home for homeless animals, and even currently has a foster, a sweet girl named Sally who came to LCPO neglected and emaciated. If we all band together, we can show her that her compassion is recognized and so appreciated by the rest of the animal-loving community. I know that they will continue to give back regardless, by fostering and volunteering, but I think they deserve to know that their selflessness is acknowledged by some of us.

If you can contribute, even just $1 helps! Even if you are unable to give, please share the world and spread Nala’s link. I know that if she was sleeping in your lap right now (which she would do instantly upon meeting you!) or looking into your eyes and licking your cheeks, you wouldn’t be able to tell her no.

Nala with some of her four-legged 'siblings'

Nala with some of her four-legged ‘siblings’

If you are interested in making a donation, you will be my personal hero! There are two ways to contribute. Please keep in mind that time is of the essence.

1) Online donations: http://www.gofundme.com/2o7h4g

2) Nala’s Veterinary Hospital:

CARES (Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services)
2010 Cabot Blvd. West Suite D
Langhorne, PA 19047

*You must specify that it is for Nala Wall

More information: After noticing a mass on Nala, it was brought in for a cytology, and came back as a mast cell tumor. Cancer is obviously a devastating diagnosis for any pet owner, especially when the dog is a recent addition to your family. However, the placement of the tumor (on her vulva) is notoriously more aggressive, and so it needs to be removed immediately, in hopes that it will not continue to spread. The family has already made the decision, with the veterinarian’s input, to try medications in an attempt to shrink the tumor. She will then go to a surgeon who specializes in such procedures, and cost will be due in full that day, which is between $3,000 and $5,000. Julee and her husband are asking for $2,000 in donations, and are prepared to cover the rest personally.

Any of us in rescue know that sometimes those dollars and cents we should be designating for a savings account are often transferred to helping animals in some way or another. We may be putting ourselves second, but we are rewarded by the notion that we are helping animals. Nala’s foster family could have been setting aside money every month for their own personal savings, but instead, they have chosen to donate their time and finances to fostering pit bulls for LCPO.

Sleepy, sweet, snuggly girl

Sleepy, sweet, snuggley girl

“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist.”
Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian Theologian, Musician, and Medical Missionary

CharlieDog & Friends: L.O.V.E.

“I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!”

-Buddy the Elf (…and Stephanie the Blogger)

Love #1? All of you. Can I just say how awesome our readers are?? You never fail to inspire me with your comments and support and even constructive criticism. This blogging community has become such a treasured and vital part of my life, and I don’t know what I would do without all of you! It is so special to be able to share my passions and find others who can relate.

Love #2: CharlieDog and Friends

pitties_set3

Charliedog and friends is a company that is doing amazing things for the plight of unloved and unwanted animals. Their approach? Start small… as in, with the smallest of animal lovers.

Almost every family experiences the begging and pleading from their children for a new four-legged family member. But what if those children were not pestering for just any pup, but for a shelter dog? I can’t say it any better than they have eloquently described it themselves, so I will be pulling much from their Mission Statement page:

”  Our mission is to help rescue organizations change the way people think about, and go about, getting their family pet.  It’s to make sure the animal shelter is the first (and, hopefully, only) stop on that exciting Saturday afternoon, when children and adults get in the car and set out to find their new best friend, brand-new leash in hand.

We hope every child that loves a CharlieDog toy loves the spirit of that toy, the spirit and the story of the once-homeless pet that inspired it.  And when the day comes — and it will! — to start pestering the parents for a dog or cat, we hope that child will say, “I want a homeless pet.”

198794_491631014229944_1114002332_n

The unique, hand-crafted toys themselves are made in America, and based on real-life shelter and rescued pets, and now they help homeless pets get to their forever homes. In addition to their toys, they make colorful, playful, patterned bracelets that mimic pet collars, simply embroidered with the word ‘Adopt’. Talk about a conversation starter!

67485_474802525912793_176412963_n 549843_466402763419436_1926436812_nThe above pups are real-life rescue dogs Ruko and Adolla, pulled from New York City kill shelters just before their time was up. They continue to do good by touching the lives of children as treasured stuffed animals.
 
Their website calls this pup a little red-nose pit bull from PA... it MUST be Gia, right?!

Their website calls this pup a little red-nose pit bull from PA… it MUST be Gia, right?!

We can’t wait to make a little red pocket pittie addition to our family! (Remind you of anyone?!) As if all of that isn’t enough to send you running to their website to share and make purchases, CD&F isn’t just talking the talk barking the bark… they are also walking (no-pull leashes & harnesses in hand!) the walk in their every-day lives. $5 from each and every purchase goes directly to rescue shelters across the country.

”  We promise never to waste your money.  We’ll pledge to spend it thoughtfully and directly on on-the-ground rescue needs — exactly how we would spend our own money.  Vet care for sick or injured animals.  Transport costs (gas and tolls) for pets who have been rehomed, but have no way there.  Direct sponsorship of individual dogs or cats in shelters.  The people behind CharlieDog and Friends have seen local rescue in action (we volunteer ourselves) and we can tell you: it’s awe-inspiring, and because it’s a job that tears at the heart, it needs constant funding. We’ll never donate to large, bloated animal welfare organizations, that — despite their size, and without a doubt — do good.  Rescues need more help. 

My friend Suzy Allman is the brains, brawn, and (especially inner) beauty behind this amazing group. If you’ve fallen in love as quickly as I did with her heart, which she so openly shares through her words, then show her some love by following her blog and liking their facebook page. She is essentially an angel for animals… not only is she running this amazing yet fledgling company, she is a blogger, writer, NY Times sports photographer, and shelter volunteer, but she also provides free transportation for ‘super urgent’ rescue dogs out of New York shelters in her spare time. Wow.

Perhaps my favorite kernel of light from the CharlieDog website is as follows, because it so closely resembles my own mission when it comes to unwanted animals (here):

”  It’s hard for us to see a homeless animal without thinking of our own pets — safe, warm, loved, living a life that we know they need, and deserve.  It kills us, and we’re not alone.  We’re in the company of millions. CharlieDog and Friends believes we all want the same thing for our animals: a soft place, a loving place, a place where scraps sometimes land on the floor and it’s okay to pick them up with your tongue.  A special spot in the heart of a family.  ”

The dogs in shelters are no different than the dog resting at your feet, guarding your front door, or curled up beside you on the couch. (Cats too!) They deserve the chance to prove that. By supporting CharlieDog and Friends, you are giving those deserving animals the opportunity to find their forever families.

While CharlieDog and Friends is entirely deserving of a post all their own, I will be back tomorrow to talk about how their toys just might pertain to some of you! Stay tuned…

We Need Your Help! Contest: Continued…

Hi there friends! We hope everyone had a great weekend 🙂 We got to spend lots of time outdoors with our pups… including an impromptu swim in the pond! I didn’t take my camera along, because as I said, it wasn’t exactly planned… dogs will be dogs, and all of that 😉 We were walking along on a sunny Sunday, and I guess the dogs had more adventurous activities in mind.

In other news, our contest is still in full swing, but nearing an end! For those of you that are late to the party, we are accepting photo submissions of your ‘dangerous’ dogs at their ‘meanest’… you know, licking you to death, stealing the covers, and aggressive snuggling. The usual.

contest01 contest02 contest03

Submissions must be received by Friday, April 26th, and can be sent to me at sel1490@gmail.com. Most importantly, each submission will earn ONE pound of dog food, to be donated to a local animal shelter! Further, these photos will be placed one our facebook page. The most liked/shared photo will be our winner, and that will earn you and your pup some pretty cool prizes! Basically, your dog will be famous, and that means your adoring fans at AFM5 will send you swag. Does it get any better than that? I mean seriously, you’re helping to feed homeless dogs, while spreading pit bull love, and all you have to do is document your adorable dog being adorable. Easy, peasy.

To learn more about the precious pups you see here, head on over to our facebook page! (Right hand side of your screen!) While you’re there, be sure to vote for your favorites. If you’re wondering why, it’s because one random sharer will earn a prize as well!

While we our LOVING the photos you’ve sent us so far, and we have been completely blown away by all the squeezable, lovable, kissable faces and sassy, sweet antics, our current count is only up to 21… which equates to only 21 pounds of dog food! We know the local shelters need more than that, so please help to recruit for us!

Along those lines, we want our readers to help us select the local shelter where our food donation will be made. Let us know!

Animal Friends

The Animal Rescue League of Pittsburgh

Orphans of the Storm : This is a smaller, local shelter (no-kill!) that is where our niece-dog Chese (pronounced Kaysa) came from!

Tonka, Popster, and Chesa!

Tonka, Popster, and Chese!

Animal Protectors: This is where we got our kitty cat, Bella!

DSC_0023

Butler County Humane Society: This is where it all started! I started volunteering here when I was just a little girl.

Let us know who and why! Ready, set, go…

Licking Discrimination

We hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! We have had 10 entries to the ‘mean’ pit bull photo contest, and we are so excited to see such adorable photos of our readers’ pups. This means that we are up to 10 lbs of food to be donated to a local shelter… which is not nearly enough! So keep them coming, friends.

We realized that in our attempt to dispel myths about pit bulls, we were doing a huge disservice to all of our other bully and misunderstood breeds. With that being said, we want to open the contest to anyone who has a breed of dog that experiences persecution as a ‘dangerous dog’. This might include dobermans, rottweilers, german shepherds, etc… whatever loveable dog you have that gets uncomfortable stares or rude comments from time to time.

To brighten your weekend, I thought I’d share one of our first reader submissions… this is a fellow celebri-blog-dog, Leroy! His mama is the author of Leroy and Company, and he is a fellow LCPO rescue dog! Let me know what you think, and please, send me those photos. You’re helping homeless dogs, people!

1267