Archive | January, 2013

Miss Mocha

25 Jan

Chase_1
Chase here. (Aren’t I handsome??)

Mom said I have get to tell you all about my new foster sister.

For the past couple of weeks it’s been just me and Mylo and our mom and dad. This has been really fun! We all four fit on the couch together, I barely have to share my toys, and I get at least one whole parent all for myself.
Chase_2
Snuggle_0

This Tuesday, though, mom was gone longer than usual. We were awake from our daytime naps, starting to get hungry, and starting to get worried about her. Turns out she was driving to pick up a puppy for Mylo and I to babysit hang out with.

Mocha_3

Mom and dad calls her Mocha. She’s really small compared to me and she has really cool stripes. (Mylo and I are both stripe-less but once Mylo got in to some wet paint and had spots for awhile.)

See how much more biggerer I am?

See how much more biggerer I am?

Mocha REALLY likes to play. She likes all of our toys, she likes to wrestle and she likes to run and bounce around. Mylo and I are getting so sleepy from babysitting playing with her. My favorite thing to do with Mocha is get her to chase me. I hold a toy in my mouth and stand really still until she gets close and then off I goes! She will follow me around the house for lots and lots of time.

Waiting for Mocha to chase me.

Waiting for Mocha to chase me.

And now I'm REALLY tired from all the chasing.

And now I’m REALLY tired from all the chasing.

Mylo’s favorite thing to do is steal toys from her and then put his face in the corner of the livingroom-beds and chew on it there. In order for her to get the toy back she has to crawl all over his head. He grumbles and growls but she’s not a-scared of him.

He's not in the corner, but this is one of his favorite things to chew on.

He’s not in the corner, but this is one of his favorite things to chew on.

Mom says Mocha is about 16 weeks old. She comes outside with us to go potty and at night time she has to sleep in her box (hehehe mom and dad lets me and Mylo sleep on the bedroom-bed.) Mom and dad are SOOO happy because she sleeps so good. Mylo and I are pretty happy too because we have box-trained puppys before and it can be very NOISY.

This photo made mom giggle.

This photo made mom giggle.

Mom says that Mylo and I have to keep being good foster brothers. I think that this means we have to keep letting Mocha steal sharing our toys, letting Mocha sit on the livingroom-beds and teach her how to sit for goodies. I have all sorts of things I can teach her, starting with begging asking PRETTY PLEASE for dinner. (I’m good at that.)

Mom says Mocha never stops moving so this was the only picture we could gets of her laying down.

Mom says Mocha never stops moving so this was the only picture we could gets of her laying down.

Now that you met Mocha, how about another picture of yours truly??

Look at me with my teeny friend!

Look at me with my teeny friend!

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You want a perfect dog? I suggest a stuffed animal.

23 Jan

Chase curled up.

Chase curled up.

Mylo curled up.

Mylo curled up.

I LOVE my dogs. I think they’re amazing and I think they’re perfect. I love that they’re always excited to see me, I love that they sleep in bed with me, I love that they follow me around in the house and I love that they think they’re lap dogs. But in reality my dogs are far from “perfect”.

Can we share this couch?

Can we share this couch?

Some examples?
For starters, Chase has strands of slime coming from his mouth anytime that food is around. He likes to wipe them on Mylo or unsuspecting humans. Sometimes he shakes his head and they land on himself. Either way, it’s gross.

Next, when Mylo drinks water I’m pretty sure that when he’s done he purposefully takes an entire mouthful and then procedes to walk all over the house spitting it out. This is also his favorite time to do a drive-by lick, which is annoying enough without the extra cold and wet tongue.
More?
They SHED. Constantly. I mean, ALL OVER.
Sometimes they get sick all over the carpets.
They jump on me when I get home from work. They cant contain their joy.
They accidentally knock stuff over and purposely rip apart toilet paper and other garbage.
They need exercise even when it’s cold or rainy. Without it they bounce off the walls.

And this is them as ADULT dogs.

Dirty sandy fun.

Dirty Sandy fun.

When Mylo was a puppy he could get into ANYTHING. No matter how much we puppy-proofed if he was alone and un-crated for more than 10 minutes he’d find SOMETHING to get in to.
When my husband and I first started dating Mylo was 6 months old and one day, while I was at work, he had diarrhea ALL over the bed while I wasn’t home-and not HIS bed, my husbands bed (this is consequently how he got his nickname “Stinky”).
Mylo has never been able to have any toys other than Nylabones and Kongs because he destroys EVERYTHING.

He looks so innocent sometimes..  Notice the wet hair from swamp water.. "Stinky"

He looks so innocent sometimes.. but notice the wet hair from swamp water.. “Stinky”

When Chase was a puppy he nervous-peed until he was about 1 year old. He weighed 80 pounds far before he quit so when he nervous-peed we ended up with a lake on the floor.
He ate my favorite pair of boots (which I foolishly left on the ground) and he still thinks that we are murdering him anytime we try to cut his nails. In order to avoid murder he thrashes around like a mini-dinosaur. It’s very irritating.

Dirty dogs.  But you can't be mad because they're so cute!!

Dirty dogs. But you can’t be mad because they’re so cute!!

In spite of all of these things Mylo and Chase are great dogs. They are well behaved in the house (except for their initial excitement when we come home or someone new comes), they are fantastic with other dogs, they love people, they listen off leash, they walk decently on their leashes and they know their basic obedience commands. They know what’s expected of them and they know what they can get away with. They always know they’re going to be in trouble for doing something wrong, but they’re DOGS. They slip up. They’re young and hyper and it’s our job to continue to work on their obedience.

For those people looking for a “perfect” dog I strongly suggest you think again. A real dog lover understands that “poop” happens. Literally. All dogs have their own quirks and flaws. When you love them you adore them for their flaws and you are willing to work with them on bad behavior. When you’re really ready for a dog you’ve accepted the fact that your house will not stay hair free and your clothes will not be goober free.

If you can’t love something that spills water, is a messy eater, sheds, drools, or occasionally eats a shoe I suggest a stuffed animal. 🙂

And, for those of you who read this.. lucky you! You’re the first to know that the PFYT family just got a new foster dog!! Stay tuned to meet Mocha, a sweet and rammy 4 month old pittie female.

My First Nomination!

17 Jan

Thank you SO much to Pocket Pittie in the City: http://pocketpittieinthecity.blogspot.com/ for nominating Pitties for your Thoughts for the Liebster Award!

liebster

>”Liebster means Dearest in German, so the Liebster Blog Award is the Dearest Blog Award. It’s an award intended to recognize worthy, lesser known blogs and to help expose their work. Of course, accepting The Liebster Award comes with a few rules!”

Liebster Blog Award Rules
These are the rules as have been given to me:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you .
2. Share five things about yourself.
3. Answer five questions presented by Pocket Pittie in the City.
4. Ask five new questions to your nominated bloggers
5. Reveal your top five picks {with less than 200 readers} and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Copy and paste the award on your blog
7. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers and keep it going!

I am honored to accept this darling award, so here goes!

5 Things about myself:
1. My first true pittie love was my adopted Pitbull-Lab mix Hartley. He injested rope from a rope toy and died due to blocked and damaged intestines. He was only 15 months old.
2. I heard about Mylo a week after Hartley died. He had been abandonned in a house for 2 weeks and needed a home. I needed a reason to get up in the morning so it seemed perfect.
3. I have a math degree and am doing absolutely nothing with it.
4. My two biggest pet peeves are when people discriminate against Pitbulls and when animals are overweight.
5. It is my dream to own a boarding facility.

5 Questions present by Pocket Pittie in the City:
1. Is formal training “worth it” and why?
I believe that formal training is an excellent opportunity for both dog and owner. I wish that I had more time to take my dogs to classes for retrieving, agility, refresher courses, ect. I think it’s a good way to make sure you aren’t forgetting to continually work on your dogs behavior. This being said, my dogs have not had very much formal training. Haha.
2. What is your favorite activity to do with your pooch(es)?
My favorite activity is off-leash hiking. I know this goes against many dog owners belief systems, but my absolute favorite time with my dogs is when we’re deep in the woods with no one around and they get to be free. They are wonderful company and it’s always so beautiful to be outside and to watch them enjoy themselves.
3. If you like to cook, what’s your best dish?
I like to cook, but I’m not the greatest of cooks. I make a pretty good lasagna, but I can’t take any credit for the recipe. That was handed down to me.
4. What do your dogs do that makes you laugh EVERY time!?
My lab Mylo does actual FULL somersaults on the couch. He moans and groans and snorts the entire time and it’s hilarious.
5. What are your favorite things about dog blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging is discovering all the people out there that are just like me and understand what I’m doing.

I honestly have NO idea how to tell if I blog has more than 200 followers.. (I’m absolutely terrible with electronic concepts..) but here are my questions:
1. What kind of food do you feed your dogs and why?
2. What is your favorite animal related book?
3. I know you are all dog people, but what other kinds of pets do you have?
4. What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” food?
5. Do you exercise your dogs before work or after work?

and my nominees are…. Drum roll..
1. Leroy and Company: http://leroyandcompany.wordpress.com/
2. Temporary Home, Permanant Love: http://temporaryhomepermanentlove.com/
3. Pittieful Love: http://pittiefullove.wordpress.com/
4. And Foster Makes Five: http://andfostermakesfive.wordpress.com/
5. Dream Big, Bark Loudly: http://dreambigbarkloudly.wordpress.com/

Thank you again for the nomination, we all appreciate it!

The Pitties For Your Thoughts family.

The Pitties For Your Thoughts family.

One Step at a Time

17 Jan

Last Thursday we got the official bad news about Sophie. We all expected it but we were naivly hoping that she’d come around and realize that she’d been wrong about her new dad. Unfortunately this just wasn’t the case. Last Saturday Sophie went back in to foster care. What really makes this bad news is that she didn’t come back to US.

The director of Minnesota Pitbull Rescue and myself both agreed that it may not be in Sophie’s best interest to come back to my house if we cannot keep her forever. Sophie is clearly comfortable around our dogs, but we need to see if she can be comfortable in other situations. A huge benefit of her new foster home is that it is in the Twin Cities, which is where most of the MPBR events are held. ( I am over 2 hours away from most of the events). Going to the different MPBR events should really help Sophie adjust to new and different environments. She will have opportunities to socialize with other puppies but will have more chances to learn to be confident on her own. We’re hoping to see if Sophie has any actual socialization issues or if the way she felt about her dad was a one time thing related strictly to him. Since she never showed any nervousness at our house we felt like it’d be best to try her somewhere else.

This was very painful for me. I would have taken her back in a heartbeat and it kills me to know that she’s so happy at our house and we didn’t let her come back here. I know it’s for her own good, but it’s so hard for me not to feel guilty that I’m not just keeping her at our house.

I’m hoping that once she gains some confidence she will find somewhere new that she will be JUST as happy as she was at our house. I’m also impatiently waiting for some updates about how she’s doing at her new foster’s house. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know as soon as I hear anything!

Missing in Action. A little bit of news!

10 Jan

So, I feel like I haven’t blogged in FOREVER. Let me tell you right away, this IS NOT because I haven’t had anything to blog about, but instead because I don’t have the right words for all that’s happened lately.

I intended on writing a wonderful post about Sophie’s Christmas surprise. A couple of days before Christmas my brother and sister-in-law decided to start the “foster-to-adopt” program with Sophie! I was SO excited! Not only does she get a fantastic new family, two human siblings and a great new home, but I’ll also get to see her for the rest of her life!! My 7 year old niece, Mia, had been begging for Sophie for over a month and couldn’t believe it when her parents said she was staying. Sophie has met Mia before and has always been head-over-heels for her in return. The first thing I felt was extreme happiness and then a huge amount of relief. This time, instead of being torn into pieces between the fact that I SHOULD be happy, and my sadness and hurt about giving up a dog, I can focus on the fact that one of my fosters, and one that I love SOOO much, will remain in my family! I’ll even get to dog sit! I’ll get to see how she’s doing and I’ll always know JUST how much her family loves her. What more could a foster ask for?!

So you’re probably wondering WHY I didn’t write her amazing adoption story 2 weeks ago when I found out that she was getting a home, especially such an EXCITING home, for Christmas. I had every intention of doing so.. but the longer I waited the more we discovered that Sophie isn’t quite as happy about her new home as we all are.

Here’s a little backround on Sophie.. Sophie was just 12 weeks old when she came to our house. She had been with her siblings her entire life. Her first night in our house was her first night without them. She was scared and probably felt all alone.. but she soon discovered that she wasn’t alone. She bonded immediately to her foster-brothers Mylo and Chase. She became a confident, ram-rod of a puppy, and people who met her fell instantly in love with her.

I never had ANY idea that without her big brothers around she’d be insecure, afraid, and lose all of her spunk and character.

When we dropped Sophie off at her new house she was very scared. She wouldn’t go up to anyone other than Mia and she wouldn’t wander around the house. We all assumed that she would adjust quickly and be her ramrod-self any day. We all said “theres a lot going on today, she will adjust in a couple of days” and “She’s a puppy, it wont take long.”

During the next couple of days Sophie spent a lot of time with Mia but she continued to be afraid of her new house and her new family. Unless she was with Mia she mostly stayed in one room. Worst of all she decided to be incredibly afraid of her new dad. She wants nothing to do with him no matter what he does.

I have been putting off writing her adoption story because I assumed she would adjust soon and then I could write her happy story. I didn’t want to write about her incredibly happy news if she’s NOT happy and we’re not sure it will work out.

I decided to write her story now, though, because there are lessons to be learned from it.

Sophie has been in her new home for two weeks now. She has stopped running away from her new baby brother (she’s still not too sure about noisy babys but he’s not QUITE as scary anymore), she recently decided to brave some new rooms in the 3 story house, and she has gotten pretty used to her new mom. Unfortunately she’s still incredibly scared of her new dad.

Sophie’s behavior and attitude towards her new dad is such a shock because she was a huge daddy’s girl at our house. She’s never been afraid of men in our house, in fact, she’s never been afraid of anyone. What we failed to think about, however, is that Sophie had never spent a day of her life without a dog sibling. We got her directly from her litter as a pup and then she had Mylo and Chase. We never imagined she’d be so insecure without them. She was always so incredibly brave and outgoing. I never stopped to think about how she would adjust to being an only dog. I’ll admit that I’m always a fan of my foster dogs going to homes with other dogs, but I do also strongly believe that single dog homes are wonderful too. Especially single dog homes with children. I was so focused on the fact that she’d be getting two amazing parents, a 7 year old who can’t get enough of her and a bouncing baby brother to grow up with. I was completely sure that it’d be a great situation. Now I’m discovering that it’s a situation for me to learn from.

As a foster parent I will have to do a better job of testing my fosters in a variety of situations. I’m not saying it’s my fault that she’s adjusting so slowly, but if I had been expecting her to be a nervous, shy and insecure dog I would have been able to discuss this with the new family. If they weren’t EXPECTING her to adjust quickly, as puppies typically do, it may not seem so weird that she’s not.

Perhaps if I had tested her in a larger variety of situations I would have known what we needed to work on. I could have taken her to public places without Mylo and Chase. She could have been entered into puppy socialization classes. These are things that her new family will probably have to do now because I didn’t know that she needed it.

Her new family is trying everything they can to make her comfortable, but she’s simply not adjusting to her new dad. This makes ME sad, and I know it’s making her new family sad. I continue to tell them to give it time but eventually it needs to be decided if the situation is good for anyone involved.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that Sophie will get over her fears and get to stay with her new family, especially since I was so excited about this family! I thought that I had escaped the heartbreak of giving her up. We all want it to work out SO badly, but now we need to focus on making sure that whatever happens we act in the best interest of both the family and Sophie. I hope that, no matter what, her story can be a learning experience for everyone involved.

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