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.

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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!
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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!
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Helping an Angel Find her Wings

One of our concerns when we made the decision to adopt Georgia, was that we wouldn’t be able to make our mark in the world of animal rescue. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth! Without all of the time I was devoting to her training and ‘rehabilitation’, as well as marketing her and working to find her perfect adoptive family, I am able to spend that much time volunteering in the rescue in other capacities.

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A few weeks ago, J and I were able to assist this sweet little angel on her path to a forever home!

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And when I say ‘angel,’ I mean spit-shined halo, fluffy wings, and stars in her eyes… this girl was about as close to perfect as I’ve seen! She was totally house-trained, mellow yet affectionate, and incredibly obedient. She was friendly with our cat and gently curious with the dogs (we chose not to allow them to meet face-to-face).

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She came from a shelter in Tennessee, along with the name Darcy, and 8 adorable puppies! They had been in the shelter since May, and the shelter workers and volunteers were desperate to get the little family out.

4Thankfully our rescue, A Positive Promise, stepped up to bring her and the pups to safety. She made sure that we were able to feel the full effects of her gratitude!

1We picked her up on a Saturday in State College (We are!) and brought her home for the evening. She snuggled right in bed with me, slept soundly through the night, and was ready to go only once I’d gotten out of bed the next morning. We loaded her up in the truck and made the trek toward OH, where her foster (to-adopt!) family would be meeting us!

Darcy's puppies, with their fosters!

Darcy’s puppies, with their fosters!

She has been in their home for a few weeks now, and after a little bit of a bumpy start, the future is looking bright for all involved! I have been counseling her foster family on the benefits of the two-week de-stress, as well as positive reinforcement training, slow introductions to their other dog (another APP alum, Ringo, a handsome deaf pittie!), and issues with mild leash-reactivity. They are so dedicated to helping make Darcy (now Ruby!) a happy member of their family. She is truly in ‘heaven’ and definitely seems to be in love with her brother. I call it a match made in heaven!

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6Let’s send lots of positive thoughts and warm-wishes their way!

 

Wordless Wednesday: Luca Gets Around

Do you remember the sweet CharlieDog & Friends pups we gave away? Well, Little Luca was my favorite. I have always had a soft spot for white-faced pitties, and just because she’s stuffed, doesn’t mean she is any exception to that rule. So, it was really difficult for me to part with her. However, I know a special little girl who could use some extra love in her life. You can read more about her story, here. It turned out to be a match made in heaven. This little lady has never been one to hold onto toys, but Luca goes along with her on all of her adventures. Every. Where. Talk about positive pittie publicity!

PicMonkey Collage

7873_10200156964026331_507819771_n970220_10200157028867952_847215609_n970797_4924963001398_407481225_nAll photos in this post courtesy of SweeterSide Mom!

Sick as a Dog

Early last week, this picture came up on my news feed…

chukie-1His name was Chukie, he was at the NYC public shelter, and he was slated to be euthanized that day. This photo? A shot of one of the volunteers saying his last goodbyes to his favorite pup. Chukie had absolutely glowing reviews from staff members and volunteers alike. Most of us have gotten used to seeing things just like this on our news feeds, multiple times per day. While it is unfortunate, you sometimes have to grow a bit numb to prevent yourself from being in a constant state of despair, misery, and hopelessness. In spite of that, Chukie’s story really struck me, and I shared him in hopes of helping him find a foster or forever home.

I was so pleased when that photo quickly received a comment from my friend Josh from That Touch of Pit and Bully Project. If you are familiar with dog rescue, you’ve probably heard those names a few hundred times… they are responsible for the rescue of so, so many wonderful pups. They do great things for New York’s neediest dogs, and beyond. Josh informed me that although they were still searching for a foster or adoptive home, they had put a safe hold on Chukie. With Josh’s help, Chukie had narrowly escaped euthanasia!

430029_518596208207046_717395621_nUnfortunately, the struggle for Chukie’s life was not over. While he has since been removed from the shelter, he is spending his days in a veterinary office, where they work diligently to save his precious life. This is one sick pup, friends. And because they are struggling to find a worthy foster home, the funds that should be dedicated to his mounting medical costs will also need to be allocated toward expensive veterinary boarding fees. In spite of his dwindling health, Chukie remains friendly and affectionate with everyone he meets. It is easy to see what a wonderful family member he would make, if and when he recovers from his illness.

1000424_518927361507264_795835897_nNow renamed Chunk, this boy has overcome so many obstacles, but he is not yet assured a chance at a happy life. Please help Bully Project help Chunk, and other dogs like him, by making any donation, here. I know that if he could, Chunk would thank you with a big wet, sloppy kiss! I will choose to thank you in a way that is more subtle 😉

Wordless Wednesday: Pocket Pittie Snuggles

IMG_2957Check out this little cutie! ❤ We sent surprise packages out last week, filled with our Charliedog & Friends pocket pitties, to some very lucky friends!

In love with this little lady? Read her special story on her mama’s blog: The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood

Goin’ to the Chapel and We’re…

Most of you know how rare it is for us to interrupt weekend time for a blog post… but today we are thrilled to do so, and for great reason. My BBF (best blogging friend, remember??) is getting M.A.R.R.I.E.D!

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Morgan runs the blog Temporary Home, Permanent Love

I never knew it to be possible to have so much love for someone you had never met, but I am sending tons of well-wishes and congratulations down to the sunny land of Florida to Morgan & Rich, the new Mr. & Mrs! I hope your day is every bit as beautiful as you had imagined, but more than that, I wish for a marriage that is even more exquisite than your wedding day… and with hearts like yours, I know it will be! Enjoy every single second… we will be thinking of you! (And planning our visit!!!!) If these two put even HALF as much love, loyalty, and dedication into their relationship as they do to their dogs, I know that it will be a lifelong love story.

943181_10151570920158184_1182463192_n526072_10151231570049484_1901281874_n( I didn’t take a single one of these pictures… I stole them all from Morgan’s fb page. Oops… probably should have asked first, but that would have ruined the surprise, right? Sorry, Morgan! haha Aren’t they just adorable?!)

Of course, Morgan’s wedding would never be complete without her pups in attendance. To get in the spirit, check out the Wedding-Dogs facebook page, where they feature beautiful weddings and their fabulous four-legged guests.

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

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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.”

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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…

How Mean is Your Pup?

Do you guys remember the challenge we talked about last week? We want you to send us some photos of your ‘dangerous’ dogs (pitties, dobermans, rottweilers, GSD, mutts, etc!) at their ‘meanest’. We will then turn the shot into a fun graphic with text, and share it on here, as well as on our facebook page. Not only will this help to spread awareness for these misunderstood dogs, but each submission will equal one pound of dog food, which will then be donated to a nearby animal shelter, courtesy of And Foster Makes Five! What more could you want? Helping animals, in two different ways… it doesn’t get much easier than that!

So please send us your best shots! Submissions should be sent to sel1490@gmail.com, and must be received by Friday April 26th.

In the meantime, here are some of the awesome submissions sent in by our friends and readers thus far. Which one is your favorite, and why?? We wanna know!

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Recognize the ladies in this photo, and the pups in the next? You should! They’re from Temporary Home, Permanent Love!

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Thank you guys so much for your submissions thus far! It is such fun to see adorable photos of your pups, and find fun ways to express their personalities. The homeless shelter pups will be even more thankful!

All Creatures Great & Small

Pit bull lovers are a crazy bunch. We are doctors and lawyers, teachers and truck drivers, stay at home mamas and college students. The only defining thread in our lives is that we have come to know and love our pit bull-type dogs, and stand strong to defend them. We face discrimination with a quiet yet strong presence, armed with facts and figures, stories and snapshots.

Only recently, I have come to realize that I myself am occasionally guilty of discriminatory thoughts. It has nothing to do with breeds, per se… but I have been ‘size-ist’. I have a strong preference for big dogs, and while I know better, I’ve always looked down the tip of my nose at tiny pups and their owners. I thought that their experiences of dog ownership must be vastly different than my own… while we are off doing adventurous activities like hiking and swimming, they probably do terrible things like:

-Dressing their dogs up in costumes

DSC_0090 DSC_0023-Spoiling their dogs like their children

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Easter egg hunt for our dogs... that's normal right?

Easter egg hunt for our dogs… that’s normal right?

-And carting their dogs around with them everywhere they go

(It has taken us 3 months to find a vacation rental that is dog-friendly… and I refused to go, otherwise.)

So, maybe we aren’t as different as I thought?

Now, don’t hate me just yet. These were never conscious thoughts, and certainly nothing I’d ever said out loud. But I am recognizing and admitting my flaw… and it is all thanks to a little pup named Harold.

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I always had the idea in my head that big dogs had fun personalities: they were ready to play and run and fetch, but also content to cuddle up on the couch for a snooze. While I was happy to meet a little dog, I imagined that owning one could never be as ideal. They would be less active, but also less snuggly, more independent but also prone to anxiety. Essentially, I was an idiot a jerk uninformed all of the above! And it is all thanks to Harold, who is essentially, just like my big dogs, in a conveniently sized package.

IMG_0903We spent a few hours together last week, while his mama (an incredibly talented videographer) had some meetings. I fell in love. It was entirely my pleasure to have him pal around with me. He was playful and sweet and cuddly and silly… everything that anyone would want in a pet!

IMG_0890So while I still believe that Harold is a special dog, I also now realize my hypocrisy… big or little, brown or blue, pit or poodle… a dog, is a dog, is a dog!

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As if all of that wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with Harold, check him out, live and in color (and sound!) HERE. It will seriously make. your. day. His mama brilliantly captures what life is like when you’re a (little) puppy.