Thankful

First of all: Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday, in whatever way is meaningful to you. Thanksgiving has always, always been my most favorite of days. Typically, we visit my family in Virginia, which is so special because it is the only time of year that we all get together in one place. I honestly feel like every year, I have even more blessings to count than the year before. This year is no exception, and I truly believe I am the luckiest person in the world. Sure, in a perfect world there are things I might change about my life, but if we choose to look at our lives from a perspective of thankfulness, it is so much easier to be happy and grateful and satisfied.

Along those lines, I spoke earlier this week about our struggles with Kingston’s separation anxiety. Well, I actually flew down to Virginia on Sunday, while Jonathan stayed in Pennsylvania with all of the pups. He just drove down to meet me last night, with Tonka and Kingston as his copilots (Gaige and Georgia stayed home with our awesome pet sitter). I have to be honest friends… until they finally arrived, I had been experiencing some pretty strong separation anxiety of my own! This is the first time visiting my family without either my own pups or my parents’ dogs around. However, as the saying goes, how lucky am I to have someone to love, who makes saying goodbye so hard? It certainly makes for super-sweet reunions. Can you all remind me of these words when it comes time to say goodbye to Kingston? Ugggggh.

Here are some photos of our time together thus far. For the record, Kingston helped us rescue a little lost Shi Tzu we found during our morning walk. The poor thing had just had surgery and had the cone to prove it!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends 🙂 I hope you know how thankful I am for all of you.

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He was enthralled by the dog show… Maybe his vision isn’t as poor as we thought!

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Even the pups have place cards!

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ALL of the boys practicing their knife skills.

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My mom is a professional dog spoiler… She calls them her grand puppies!

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Easter Bullies!

Who would have thought that beneath all of this heavy snow, green grass and bright buds were eagerly anticipating the glorious holiday? And who would have known that behind the endless clouds, the sun was waiting patiently to shine down? Every year, it seems as though the winter is never going to end, and yet, spring always comes. In its own time, it comes, and once it does, you wonder what you had done without its balmy temperatures, bright skies, and warm breezes.

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One of my favorite parts about the Easter holiday, aside from the fact that it brilliantly signals the beginning of spring, is watching the children of our friends and family as they search for eggs. The unbridled joy on their faces is not indicative of the simplicity of the act. So, although we have no human puppies of our own, why couldn’t we get in on the fun?

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We talk all the time on here about doing enrichment activities with our pups. It strengthens their bonds with us, develops their problem-solving skills, and most importantly, is a great way to tucker them out! Of course, a doggy-themed Easter egg hunt would be the perfect way to spend some time with our dogs that would be egg-ceptionally enriching!

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Poor Tonka could smell it, but he just couldn't find it!

Poor Tonka could smell it, but he just couldn’t find it!

easter3Tonka was probably the best at this, but Georgia and Gaige also had lots of fun. Georgia cracked us up (get it??), because each time she found an egg, she would run away to hide while she opened the contents.

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Little Miss Smarty Pants

Little Miss Smarty Pants

Opening it all by herself!

Opening it all by herself!

The eggs cost all of, like, $1.50, so I didn’t care if they were destroyed in the process. Obviously we supervised their use, to make sure no eggs were accidentally consumed. Each one was (color-coded!) filled with things like carrots, cheese, peanut butter, dog food, and lunch meat, so the dogs never knew what they were going to find! We hid 11 eggs at a time for each of the dogs, and let them out separately, so as to be able to focus on each pup individually. I think they enjoyed having some one-on-one attention, and the other two would stand at the back slider, watching the on-going hunt with anticipation!

We hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and if you celebrate, a blessed Easter! I’m loving all of the bunny-eared pittie pictures, as well as the shots of pit bulls and chicks, bunnies, etc that I’ve seen floating around. What an amazing community of pittie-lovers I’ve come to know via the interwebs! It’s nice to have so much support for such a beloved breed.

Fundraiser: Prize #8 – Dressing for the Occasion

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Georgia wants to tell her devoted fan club “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Be still my heart.

It’s no secret. I am over the moon with pit bulls. Head over heels, batting my eyelashes, can’t get enough, wish they would call me more often, think the sun rises and sets by…pit bulls. I’m not sure if it is their soulful eyes, soothing cuddles, variety of coat colors, or their clownish antics, but it has been a love affair of magnificent proportions from the start. So, as you might imagine, my own pit bulls take my love to the tenth power, multiplied by infinity. Alarming levels of love and dependency are reached.

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“It’s got to be that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, World Series kind of stuff.”

This Valentine’s Day, I am declaring my obsession with the pitties that we all know and love. I feel so thankful to have the opportunity to share my perspective of the breed with people, and hopefully change a few minds, one at a time. It is refreshing and rewarding to introduce people to Georgia and Gaige, and see their perspectives widen and their hearts open. At the same time, it is encouraging when you meet others that already share your passion for the breed. Starting this fundraiser has given me the opportunity to do just that. I have met so many wonderful individuals that have made an effort to run companies and produce products aimed at supporting the breed and refreshing its image.

Pitbullshirt.com – Fashion Tee Shirts

Pitbullshirt.com is just one such vendor. The brains behind this awesome company are husband and wife team Tommy & Sharon Athanasiou. They combine Tommy’s talent in art and design, with Sharon’s passion for pitbulls, which all began as a fundraising effort for an injured pit bull named Smokey. Smokey had been terribly abused and injured, and was being nursed back to health in California. With Sharon’s guidance, Tommy provided a hand-painted, pop-style rendition of Smokey, which ultimately raised $300 for his vet bills. With the success of Smokey’s fundraiser behind them, requests for custom dog portraits began pouring in, and The Tommy Pop Art Studio was born. Graciously, the couple donated 10% of each commissioned painting to the non-profit animal rescue organization of the customer’s choice.

The dynamic duo’s next venture was to enter the world of fashion design, and they now create clothing that brings attention to the pit bull’s plight and following, while providing their wearers with a fashionable alternative to the typical baggy, screen-printed tee shirts. These are not your typical pittie rescue shirts; they highlight the things we all love about bullies (their smiles, their snuggles) while giving their clothing a vintage vibe and funky feel.

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Tommy and Sharon live in Florida, minutes from the beach, with their four furry family members: Peanut, their very girly pittie, a toy poodle named Fluffernutter,  a maltese named Vanillabean, and a Himalayan cat named Junior.

Pitbullshirt.com is their online store, where you can purchase some shirts of your own. If you are feeling lucky, simply enter our giveaway! Tommy & Sharon have graciously offered a discount to And Foster Makes Five, and so we will be providing one lucky winner with their choice of designs in 1 Regular Tee Shirt and 1 Babydoll Slim Fit Tee. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, simply head here to make a donation. Each $10 increment will earn you one entry into our contest, where you will be eligible to win any of 10 prizes! Remember, 100% of the fundraiser benefits our rescue, LCPO.

The Holiday Season

Does anyone else out there feel like they are just now recovering from the hectic holidays? Or is it just me… NOT that I am complaining, however. To be honest, I basically threw a full blown temper tantrum when taking down our Christmas decorations last week. I love the way the twinkling lights emit a soft glow throughout our home. And while I’m being honest, I may as well just admit that while the ornaments are stowed safely away, the strands of lights have been carefully wrapped and stored, and the stockings folded together, our Christmas Tree still stands in all its glory… dripping needles need not be mentioned.

In case any of you are feeling the same post-holiday depression that I am, I thought I would share some details of Georgia’s first Christmas! You heard yesterday how perfectly she behaved with all of the activity, and many people entering and exiting our home. I thought I would share some of what I would imagine to be Georgia’s best memories!

I may or may not have spent a night in the hospital just before my family arrived for the holidays. All I wanted was to be home & healthy; baking, cooking, cleaning, and preparing for our first Christmas as newlyweds. When I finally got back, the dogs were on hand to spoil me with cuddles and kisses. I’m telling you, at this point, whomever adopts our girl is not just getting a great family dog, but pretty much a registered nurse as well.

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Who needs a blanket?

Who needs a blanket?

Once I was home and on my way to recovery, we were able to enjoy the family that was in town, and include the pups in our celebrations.

Sleeping while we open presents

Sleeping while we open presents

Opening her first stocking gift, from her family in VA ! This may have been her favorite.

Opening her first stocking gift, from her family in VA ! This may have been her favorite.

:)

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PLEASE tell me... does it get any cuter than this??

PLEASE tell me… does it get any cuter than this??

What I really wanted to share with all of you is a fun video of the pups playing in the snow! Be prepared to watch Georgia get super adorable.

Interested in adopting our precious girl Gia? Of course you are!

Read more about her here, or check out our facebook page here.

If you are already in love, you can email Stephanie (Foster Mom) at sel1490@gmail.com, or you can talk with the rescue president Christine, at nepabullies@gmail.com.

Finally, you can check out her Petfinder profile, where you will find adoption applications and additional information.

 

Busy as bulls! (pit bulls, that is)

Woo! It has been an exhausting few days around here. This weekend, we enjoyed time with friends, did some Christmas shopping & decorating, took lots of family walks, and even had a visit from a special guest… a local celebrity dog trainer! (We will save that last bit for tomorrow’s post, however.)

There is ALWAYS time for snugglin'

There is ALWAYS time for snugglin’

The hectic schedule didn’t end there. Today began with an early morning trip to the vet. Georgia was due for her rabies shot, and had also been itching more than usual. She was an angel for her exam, took the shot like a pro, and shared lots of tail wags and kisses with the staff. Of course, they just couldn’t get enough of our girl. We received a few comments on what a BIG girl she was (don’t they know it’s just plain rude to comment on a lady’s weight? Really… 75 pounds is not that bad!) We only encountered one other dog while we were there, and while Georgia didn’t seem entirely eager to investigate the stranger, she stayed relaxed and quiet. We also have a new anti-yeast shampoo to try, in order to combat the itchies, so we will keep you posted on that!

After our adventures at the vet were through, we took a trip to Petsmart. Georgia’s previous foster had warned that Georgia could get uncomfortable at public adoption events, so she hasn’t been out and about much since coming to live with us. I figured that a quiet Monday morning would be as good a time as any to give it a try, and so I hooked up her harness and had a buddy for my shopping trip. I armed myself with lots of treats to reward positive behavior. Again, we didn’t meet too many other dogs during our excursion, but Georgia was a model mutt, even sitting politely when presented with a treat from the check out girl.

Georgia does so well in the car. She loads quietly, waiting for her cue to step up. She even waited patiently while I ran in to a store and then the post office. She was content to sleep in the back seat for most of our travels, checking in with me occasionally for a pet or a kiss. Can’t you just imagine her as your permanent co-pilot?!

And there is always time for play!

And there is always time for play!

Please stop by tomorrow for a big fat post with the full run-down of our time with a special dog trainer. We will share our new-found ‘expertise’ with all of you… and don’t worry, it’s free only to our readers! 😉

Wordless Wednesday: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

..Oooh, girls just wanna have funnn! (You know you read that in a singing voice… don’t lie!)

You all know that Wednesdays never stay wordless for long around here, but I do my best to keep it short & sweet. I spoke in this post about how Gia is quite the little lovebug, when it comes to flirting with the men in our house… or, the ones she meets on the street. Not to call her easy, but let’s just say that our girl doesn’t discriminate!

However, I must say that Georgia can also be a girl’s best friend… and I think I am perfect proof of that!

Playing nurse

Big thanks to Foster Dad for capturing all of these special moments 🙂 Now if only we could get a few with ALL of us in the shot… but that would be some sort of Christmas miracle!

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

…Or at least, that is my hope! I could give you a million excuses as to why you haven’t heard from us in such a long time, but I think we would all prefer that I get down to business… let’s talk about the dogs!

It has been a frustrating few weeks, filled with a few leads to prospective adoptive families. Unfortunately, they all ended before they even began. For various personal reasons, none of the families that expressed interest even came to meet our girl! I wish I could say that we have been taking advantage of this time nevertheless, by working on Georgia’s obedience and introduction skills, but with lots of traveling, some unexpected vet visits for Tonk, and changes to our work and personal schedules, we have not been devoting as much time to training as we would like. Therefore, we are biting the bullet and officially pursuing some professional training classes. I am very excited about this. Georgia has so many wonderful traits to offer to a family, but I know these classes will give her the polish that will help someone to fall madly in love with her.

This time of year, I am always especially cognizant of the many blessings that we have been given. It is clear to me every day that the gifts in my life far exceed my requests or expectations. The biggest change in my life this year has come in the form of a little big brown bundle of love, who reminds me every moment to enjoy the little things in life. Georgia takes such delight in tummy rubs, expresses uncontrollable joy over bully sticks, and savors daily walks on the farm with the other dogs. While it will literally break my heart to say goodbye to her, I can’t help but pray that she finds her forever home in time for Christmas. She deserves nothing but the best, and I know that she will make the perfect family so, so happy. Santa, do you hear me? As the year’s first snowflakes drift down and stick to the ground, the best Christmas present I could have is a home for our girl.