It’s a Numbers Game!

It is estimated that only ONE in every SIX-HUNDRED pit bulls finds a home. Animal control facilities in cities all across the US have pit bulls numbering 40 to 60% of the shelter population at any given time. It is estimated that 1 million dogs classified as a pit bull are euthanized each year (yes, this includes puppies!). The best (and sometimes only) chance a pit bull has at survival once admitted to an animal control facility, is by being pulled by a rescue. Rescues only exist with commitment from dedicated foster homes!

Our rescue partner is LCPO, or Luzerne County Pit Bull Owners.

In 2013, LCPO celebrated their SECOND birthday. In that short time, they have helped more than 150 dogs find their forever homes!

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In 2013 alone, SIX of the lucky LCPO dogs have already found their forever homes.

They have also pulled SEVEN precious pups from shelters in the new year. This brings the total current list of adoptable LCPO dogs to EIGHTEEN.

TWO of LCPO’s alumni have gone on to officially achieve their Canine Good Citizen Certification. Many more are in the works!

In 2012, LCPO took on some dogs with medical issues and/or special needs. Puppy Jora (who is still with the rescue!) required extensive mange treatment and other necessities, which totaled approximately $1,855. Next we have Miss Khloe, who is also still with the rescue. Her total is driven up by her high cost of boarding, spay surgery, and a few health issues, and has reached in excess of $1,215. Georgia was another needy lady (mainly due to the fact that her puppies also required care!) at $1,200. LCPO has also taken on SIX pit bulls who happened to hear only with their hearts! TWO of these deaf pitties are still available for adoption.

In 2012, at least 66 of the LCPO adopta-bulls found their forever homes! These are all dogs that would have been put to sleep in shelters without the help of a rescue.

The average cost for each incoming dog in 2012 was $450. The adoption fee remains at a mere $200.

Borrowed from

Borrowed from ARF.org

While they focus first on finding forever homes for their adoptable dogs, LCPO reaches out to help dogs in many ways. LCPO offers the ‘NEPA Pit Fix Program’. This allows owners to have their pit bulls and pit mixes spayed or neutered for just $50. This cost covers the expense of the surgery, pain meds, and a rabies vaccination. There is no limit to the amount of dogs that can be altered under this program!

LCPO currently operates with a dedicated team of 3 Directors, 7 Leadership Members, and many volunteers. Volunteers have logged well over 250 hours of service in the new year.

Last year’s 5k Race to Rescue raised much-needed funds for LCPO. Rachael L. was the top fundraiser, contributing $650 with her individual fundraising efforts. The 2013 5k Race to Rescue will take place on June 8th. My goal is to raise $500, and my total currently stands at $395, with only 17 contributors. With every entry given the opportunity to win one of 11 prizes, those are some pretty good odds!

My favorite number? ONE. Sometimes looking at the millions of dogs that are hurting and homeless, can make our work as animal lovers seem overwhelming. However, if we take it one animal at a time, before you know it, you will have helped so many. Our fundraiser is one way that you can help!

If you are still interested in making a contribution, thereby becoming eligible to win any of the prizes listed below, please head here! You have until Monday, February 25th to make your donations, as we will be selecting the winners on Tuesday and making the announcements later that week!

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#1- Sugar Skulls bow tie from Little Bow Pup
#2- 3 Paintings from Yellow Brick Home
#3- Custom Collar from Sirius Republic
#4- Flirt Pole & Super Tug toy pack from Squishy Face Studio
#5- 3 Custom ID Tags from Sew Olive
#6- Custom Sweater from Tiennot Knits Sweaters
#7- Collar, Leash, & Harness package from 2 Hounds Design
#8- Two Shirts from Pitbull Shirt
#9- Small Smiling Pit Necklace from Lulu Bug Jewelry
#10- 8×10 Prints from DawgArt
#11- Interactive Puzzle Toy from Poochie Heaven

Leave a comment on this post if you have donated, and let us know which product you are most hoping to win! We will be sure to put in a good word for you 😉

*Please note that all of the LCPO financial totals are approximations/estimations.

Fundraiser: Prize #9 – Frost Yourself in Inspiration

Anyone that knows me in ‘real life’ knows that I have a thing for quotes. (I’m talking to you, Ticki Nhoma) I think that finding a few well-chosen words, uttered by a powerful individual from another time, can provide strength and courage when facing a new or challenging situation. It can bring comfort to know that someone else has been where you are, and gotten to the other side, mostly unscathed. I have always loved jewelry that can be symbolic of treasured quotes, because it serves as a physical reminder of the things that inspire us. My favorite quote in the world is “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” So it’s no surprise that the Best Gift of all Time is the snowflake necklace my husband got me for my birthday last year, in remembrance of my beloved show horse, Frosty.

(Side note, my second favorite quote is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi)

(Side note, my second favorite quote is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi)

Lulu Bug Jewelry – Animal-Inspired Designs

While doing a search for wearable pit bull designs, I came across Lulu Bug Jewelry, where the masterpieces are all entirely hand-made and designed by an artist named Sue. While she says that her career choice was motivated by the fact that she comes from a long line of crafty women, her sweet Shar Pei, Lulu Bug, inspired the name. I knew instantly that I had to feature her work on the blog, as it fits perfectly into the jewelry requirements I listed above. Her work is truly meaningful, capturing memories and serving as a talisman of your inspirations and emotions. In her own words, Sue’s artistic process is defined below:

“I sculpt, inlay with tinted concrete and use my own illustrations to create original, meaningful pieces in .999 fine silver and .925 sterling silver. Fine silver is different than sterling in that it has no copper alloy, it’s pure silver. After the piece is formed, it’s fired in kiln at 1650 degrees for 2 hours. The binder burns off and the particles fuse, forming a pure silver object, also known as .999 fine silver. It’s quite magical! The majority of my pieces are made with fine silver PMC. ”

Sue's work features almost every breed of dog imaginable... you are sure to find a piece that reminds you of your own special pet!

Sue’s work features almost every breed of dog imaginable… you are sure to find a piece that reminds you of your own special pet!

Lulu Bug Jewelry has been in business since 2007, and Sue has been focusing on her personal creations full-time since 2009. All of her designs are eco-friendly, as they are made with reclaimed silver. The illustrations on her pieces are all created by Sue, and so you won’t find them anywhere else! She even makes the tools she uses to create these masterpieces.

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You can purchase any of the pieces above, as well as many more, at Sue’s etsy shop, found here. You will be amazed at the quantity of work she offers, from ancient dinosaurs to whimsical recreations of wild animals, and of course many breeds of dogs, cats, and horses. She has a variety of necklaces made to feature motivational quotes, and other symbols that may be uniquely inspiring to your life story. Sue has graciously granted a discount to And Foster Makes Five, which has enabled us to provide one lucky winner with the Tiny Smiling Pit Necklace, shown below. To be eligible to win, simply head here to make a donation in increments of $10, which will earn you one entry for each $10 you pledge! As always, 100% of the funds will go directly to helping needy pits rescued through Luzerne County Pit Bull Owners in Pennsylvania.

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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.

Fundraiser: Prize #4 – Getting Playful!

I know that your dogs would all be thrilled if their owners won them any of the three prizes already posted this week (here, here, and yesterday). However, I wanted to make sure that I offered some items that would really excite the canine crowd!

Squishy Face Studio:

While searching for toys specifically directed at bully breeds, I came across Squishy Face Studio. I don’t know about you, but that name instantly conjured up images of all of my favorite lova-bull, snuggle-a-bull, cuddle-a-bull pitties! And I was ‘leashed’. (Get it?) After speaking with Jessica (the girlier half of owners Justin & Jessica Lohman) I was in love… not only with their products, but with her! I will let you read her personal description below, as I don’t think I can say it any better…

about

“Squishy Face Studio is a Florida-based, family-owned business started by Justin and Jessica Lohmann in 2009. Our mission is to create the most innovative and durable toys available for strong and active dogs. Our toys are designed to provide both physical and mental exercise, with the goal of keeping your dogs happy and healthy. Our products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

We are passionate dog advocates, specifically defending “bully” breeds and opposing Breed Specific Legislation. We feel that education is the key to changing the circumstances of these misunderstood animals. We also advocate adoption from animal rescues, shelters and the Humane Society. We donate frequently to organizations that promote these ideals and work to reach the awesome goal of No More Homeless Pets both in our local community and throughout the nation.

{You thought that was good? Here is where is gets really great.}

We are constantly inspired by our own small pack; Petey, Max, Lily and Mr. Kitty (who thinks he is a dog). All three of our actual dogs have been labeled “pit bulls” or pit bull mixes at one point or another. The truth, as it is with many if not most rescued and adopted dogs, is that they are MIOs (Mutts of Indistinguishable Origin). What DNA tests and conformation standards can’t tell you is that they are a perpetual source of happiness, a constant reminder of what is right with the world. They love us and we love them, and nothing in life gets any better than that.”

Sigh. Have you fallen tail over ears yet? If not, just wait until you see their products.

What I love about their toys, is that they offer a variety of ways to exercise your pet; both mentally and physically! Use their Flirt Pole as a fun, interactive way to play with your dog, building your bond and increasing their confidence. On lazy days when your pup isn’t quite ready to be a couch potato, send them out into your backyard to play with the Super Tug, solo. Either way, you can be sure that your dog is getting a great workout, while having fun, and supporting a company that support pitties!

Flirt Pole

Flirt Pole

Squishy Face Studio has generously offered to donate a toy bundle, consisting of their Flirt Pole and Super Tug. These are durable toys, made to stand the abuse that our active pups may throw at them! Win: Your pups have a blast. Double Win: They are dog-tired by the end!

Super Tug

Super Tug

By now, you should know the drill… simply click here to make a donation toward LCPO. We are working toward a goal of $500, and each $10 donation that you pledge, will give you one entry in our giveaway of 10 awesome prizes!

Saving Lives, One Paw at a Time

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”
― Jack London

I will keep things short-and-sweet on this Friday, but wanted to include our readers in a giveaway we are offering! We are taking part in a fundraiser to raise money for our rescue, LCPO, and are asking for your help. Please visit the link below to make a donation in support of us and of our rescue… any amount helps, even just $1 or $5! Our goal is to raise a total of $500 before the 5k in June.

Of course, LCPO saves many pit bulls, just like Georgia, from certain death. However, LCPO does so much more for pit bulls and their owners, including the NEPA Pit Fix Program, which assists owners with the high costs of the essential spay and neuter surgeries. They also have some dogs who are currently in boarding, due to a lack of current foster homes. The organization has numerous expenses every month, and yet rarely turns away an owner or animal in need. Please help them continue to help others. Remember, all donations to LCPO are tax-deductible. Even if you are unable to make a donation, we would appreciate you sharing our fundraising efforts with others!

NOW, here is where it gets exciting. We all know that making a donation fills us with happy thoughts and a warm heart, knowing that we are doing our small part to make a difference. Not only that, but I can guarantee that you will be earning the eternal gratitude of myself, J, Tonka, Gaige, and Georgia! What could be better? I’ll tell you what… an awesome give-away!

Did you say GIVE-AWAY?!

I most certainly did! We aren’t just going to ‘hound’ you for money. (ha ha!) We want you to get something extra out of the deal, as well! Both the highest contributor, as well as one random donator, will earn a special prize from us! Stay tuned next week to find out just what that might be… but trust us when we tell you that this is no rinkadink pen or tee shirt. Each prize is valued at well over $50. In the mean-time, we would greatly appreciate your contribution. Please head to the link below, and donate to help save sweet pups like Georgia. You’re saving lives, people!

Georgia says thanks!!

Georgia says thanks!!

http://www.active.com/donate/lcpo5kracetorescue2/smetan

The Vow

As we approach February 14th, whether single or otherwise attached, it can be automatic for our minds to wander to the mystery of relationships. When a couple gets married, they are pretty clear on what kind of commitment they are making. (I consider myself an expert, considering it was only about 9 months ago that I said my own vows!) They know that they are agreeing to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness or health, and for richer or poorer. They commit to being faithful, all the days of their lives.

Photo courtesy of Jenni Grace Photography

Photo courtesy of Jenni Grace Photography

Somehow, some people seem a little bit confused about this, and 50% of marriages sadly end in divorce. (Stick with me here, dog-lovers, I’m not attempting to start sharing marriage advice on this page!) However, as much as some individuals in our society have a problem with loyalty in human relationships, there is an equal (or greater? certainly more deadly…) problem with our commitment to animals. I thought that perhaps, if we wrote out the commitment being made, both by the animal and the adopter, that it would be a bit more clear. It will certainly bring me some peace of mind in giving up our girl. In this case, I will define the promises I know Georgia is willing and able to make to her adoptive family, and, in exchange, the commitment that I expect the adopter to uphold.

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I am sharing my sweet baby girl with a family, giving them a big chunk of my heart, because I believe she will bring endless joy to them. It is a truly unselfish act, and because of its worth, it does not come without expectations.

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Georgia:

I promise to gobble up any crumbs you drop, before they even fall to the floor you try to clean up. I promise to protect my family from loud noises and dark shadows, including the scary, noisy, tall, moving box that tries to eat the floor and all of my crumbs.

I promise to try my hardest to remember everything you teach me, especially when it earns me treats or pets. Please try to be patient with me. I will try to be gentle when you are quiet, and playful when you are active. I will try to remember to play with my body, and not with my mouth, like dogs do. Even though off-leash walks are my favorite, I will try to remember that you are busy, and not always able to entertain me. In those times, I will learn to entertain myself.

I will always kiss you, especially if you have salty water spilling out of your eyes, or food on your face. I’m a good friend that way. I will always be able to tell when you are sad, or when you have had a bad day. I will respond appropriately with quiet cuddles and snuggles on the couch or bed… I’ll even let you choose which! When you tell me all of your deepest, darkest, secrets, I will never, ever tell anyone. Not even that nosy poodle down the street. I will love your human puppies just like I loved my doggy babies, and I will teach them how loyal the best dogs really are.

I promise to always look at you like you are the Best Person in the Whole Wide World. Because you are. And I will always love you more than anything. Even more than my elk antler or nylabone. Please remember that you are everything to me, and that when you are not here, my world seems empty. Please don’t leave me for longer than you really have to, or lock me up for long when I misunderstand. Know that I am convinced that my presence is necessary in the bathroom, but I will try to be patient if you disagree.

I will trust you to protect me, and to finally give me my real, honest-to-goodness, forever home. Please trust me, too. I am a good dog. I know because my foster mom told me so, every day. If you lose your temper with me, I will never retaliate, and I may not forget it, but I will always forgive. Please remember that when I make mistakes.

When I get old and gray, please don’t grow tired of me, or frustrated with the conditions age brings. Remind me that you love me, and of all of our fun times together. Carry me outside to enjoy the sunshine and green grass, and maybe even the water now and then… you know it is my favorite. I will join you on all of life’s journeys, as a willing and loyal partner… please be the same for me. Everything in life is better for me if you are there too.

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Adopter:

We promise to bring you into our home as our forever friend. We will never leave you for long, and will always provide for you as a member of our family, even if our lives get hard. We will always remember that your life has been hard before, and we will never again let you know hunger, fear, pain, or loneliness. We will always remember that our commitment to you is as important as any other we have ever made. We will teach our children how valuable your presence is in our lives, and show them how to be kind and caring toward you.

We promise to keep in touch with your foster family and blogging friends, and let them know how wonderful your life is with us. We will send pictures when we can, and maybe even arrange for reunions whenever possible. We will remember that were it not for an army of individuals, we may not have been blessed with your presence in our lives.

We will bring patience to all of our endeavors together, and use training to improve our relationship. We will become careful students of your body language, and work to communicate on your level, not our own. When it is obvious that you are not understanding our requests, we will remember your want to please, and look first to our own actions for miscommunication. We will never use force or isolation in an attempt to convey our requests.

We promise to offer you as many cuddles and tummy rubs as you could ever want. We will let you snuggle up on the bed or couch, at least some of the time, or we will crawl down to the floor to join you for a cuddle session. We will never yell at you for the millions of kisses you might try to offer to us, even if we are on the way out the door and you are covering us in slobber. We will understand that you just wish we wouldn’t leave again, and want other dogs to know we are ‘yours’. Even when we are busy, we will remember that you have needs in terms of social interaction, physical activity, and mental stimulation. If we do not provide for you in these ways, we will be prepared for repercussions of chewed pillows.

We promise to speak to you like a friend, because you are that for us. All we ask in exchange is a wag of your tail or your protection by our bed. We will always remember that for what we offer to you in shelter, food, and water, we are more than repaid in your endless love and loyalty. We will always be indebted to you. When you remind us that we are your whole world… please remember that while we may fill our lives with other things, you are what makes our lives whole.

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“The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take the wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens . . .”

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 sel1490@gmail.com.

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 sel1490@gmail.com.

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!

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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!)
studying…
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 sel1490@gmail.com.