Archive | March, 2013

Two and a Half Months

31 Mar

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There comes a time for every foster parent when your foster has been with you for long enough that giving them to another family seems impossible. It may be a different length of time with every foster, and it may be different for every foster parent, but never-the-less it almost always happens. We have had dear, sweet Mocha for 2 1/2 months now. She was about 6 months old when we got her so she is now fast approaching adulthood. Mocha hasn’t had a real family her entire puppy life. She has been cared for, fed, played with, and snuggled with.. but she hasn’t had a real family to call her own.

Cozy.

Cozy.

With some of my fosters I have reached the point of “difficult to imagine giving you to another home” sooner, but with Mocha it really hit me at about 2 months.

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I think it took a little longer with Mocha because I find it slightly easier to foster puppies. They are so young and will adjust so fast. I know that when I DO give them up they will get to spend the entire rest of their lives with their forever families and I know that they will TRULY be a part of someone’s family.

But now Mocha has lived an incredibly large portion of her life with us and she’s almost an adult. She’s happy. She’s learned the ways of our household, she loves having two big brothers to wrestle with and pick on. We have spent time with her teaching her manners and how to be a good house dog and throughout this time she has grown attached to Gene-dad and Chelsea-mom.

Playing tug with big brother Chase

Playing tug with big brother Chase

People always think that the hardest part of fostering will be giving up the dog. In most ways this is completely true (unless you consider the war on dog hair in the house harder..) but for me it’s a little different. It’s not so much that I can’t see MYSELF without my foster dog.. but instead that I feel like a terrible person forcing THEM to leave us. After two and a half months you’ve obviously bonded with this four-legged bundle of love, but YOU have been aware that they aren’t going to be a permanent member of the family. The dog has no idea.

Part of the family.

Part of the family.

Mocha doesn’t know that she won’t be here forever. She doesn’t know that we’re essentially trying to get rid of her. She can’t understand the phrase “it has to be done in order to help others.” All SHE knows is that she’s currently happy and loved, and she loves being here. It’s THIS feeling that makes it so hard for me to imagine the day that Mocha gets adopted.

Snuggling with Mylo-brother.

Snuggling with Mylo-brother.

And on that note, I can’t believe we still have Mocha. She’s the perfect little pocket-pittie. She’s a big dog wrapped up in a compact package. She’s potty trained, crate trained, sleeps all through the night, has decent manners and learns quickly. It pains me that she’s not spending these months with her forever family. They could be taking her to training classes and working on her leash skills with long walks in this beautiful spring weather. They could be creating a routine for her and telling her every day that she’s their beloved pet. Instead Gene-dad, Mylo-brother and Chase-brother are spending these incredibly important adolescent months with her. We’re happy to have her, but I’m sad that her eventual forever family is missing out on it.

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If you’re interested in adopting Mocha check out her petfinder page here.

On Donating Blood and Scary Vets

12 Mar

Mylo here. I’m here to tell you all about our cool experience yesterday.

A couple of days ago mom signed me and my bigger-than-me little brother Chase up to be blood donors. Did you know that dogs can be blood donors too?

"Could Your Companion Help Out Another in Need?"

“Could Your Companion Help Out Another in Need?”

Dogs need blood trans-fusions just like people do so us donating blood can save doggie lives. Mom thinks it’s cool because each blood donor gets a free exam, pre-anesthetic bloodwork, a fecal test and a 4DX test every year that they are in the donor program. Chase and I will even get paid for it and mom said we can buy whatever toys or treats we want with our moneys!

Mom said that Chase is a big scairdy-cat scairdy-dog at the vet and she thought maybe being a blood donor would give him good practices at the vet. I am NOT a scairdy-dog at the vet but mom signed me up too.

In order to be donors we had to go in to the emergency-clinic for something called “Blood Tests.” I think I’m pretty good at tests so I wasn’t nervous at all. My brother can be a little clueless sometimes so he was just excited to be in the car and get pets from strangers but mom was worried about how he’d do.

Chase waiting for his "blood tests"

Chase waiting for his “blood tests”

Ready to pass my test!

Ready to pass my test!

Mom brought us in to a room at the clinic and she filled out boring paperwork. I have never had to go to the emergency-clinic, but Chase was there once when he was younger.

All of a sudden they took Chase out of the room! I was very nervouses for him. I kept hearing him whine and cry and I got giddy and silly because I didn’t know what was going on. I could hear him behind the door, but I couldn’t see him. He went on and on whining and crying so I started to get more nervous about these “Blood Tests”. What if my Blood isn’t smarts enough? Will I get punished?

Being a goof ball..

Being a goof ball..

Looking for my buddy.

Looking for my buddy.

Chase eventually came back in to the room and they told mom that he needed a break. They told mom that he was flailing around anytime he saw the needle. She kind of laughed, because thats what he does when mom and dad try to give him pedicures. (Not like me who enjoys the snuggles that come along with getting my paw-feets pedicured).

Next they wanted to take ME out of the room! I didn’t want to go out that door so they TRICKED me and took me out a DIFFERENT door that led to the same room. The vet looked me over and said very nice things to me. Mom says that I’m a very cooperative boy and that she’s always very very proud of me, so I stayed very still even when they poked me. (It didn’t hurt THAT bad.) They said I was an “All-Star”!

I could hear Chase whining because he was nervous for me but because I wasn’t flailing around like my silly-pants brother I was done in no time and I got to go back in the room.

Chase waiting for me to return.

Chase waiting for me to return.

The vet and her nice helper told mom that I was such a good boy and that they’d love to use my blood. I thought that meant my blood was so very smart but mom said that they haven’t TESTED it yet.. they just thought IIII was so very good. We will find out in a couple of weeks how smarts my blood is. They test it for type and make sure there’s nothing wrong with it.

Next the vet and her nice helper told mom that even though they really like Chase, and he was not mean at all, he can’t be a blood donor right now because he hates needles so much. They said that Chase can come with when I donate blood and watch so that maybe he will be less ascared sometime in the future.

Although mom is bummed that Chase wouldn’t cooperate she was happy that he didn’t get mean or aggressive even though he was so unhappy. She said “I’ll take whiney and wiggly so long as he’s being nice.” Maybe I can teach him not to be so ascared.

I hope my blood tests very smart so I can earn my very own moneys to buy a new kong. Maybe I’ll even share with Chase.

Have any of you donated blood before? If you are interested ask your vet to see how you could get involved!

If only I could be more like my dogs..

7 Mar

First off, the Comments for Kibble Fundraiser is getting off to a great start, but don’t forget that every comment made during the next next week and half is worth 1 pound of kibble for Minnesota Pitbull Rescue’s dogs!

A MN Pitbull PitStop Event. mnpitbull.com

A MN Pitbull PitStop Event. mnpitbull.com

Secondly… Seriously.. at least once a day I wish that I could be more like my dogs.

Mylo and Chase.

Mylo and Chase.

This starts right away in the morning. EVERY morning my dogs are super ecstatic to wake up to a new day! When my alarm goes off I grumble and groan while Chase tries to lick my face off and Mylo does actual summersaults on the bed.

Next, if I could get HALF as much joy out of “Going Potty” as my dogs do I’d NEVER be unhappy again!

Me: “Do you want to go outside and go potty?”
Dogs(Bouncing around like crazies): “AHHHHH YES YES YES YES YES YES YES”

Maybe my husband should try asking me that when I’m cranky?
I don’t think so.

Later in the day when I come home from work I come face-to-face with my dogs UTTER JOY that I’ve come home again. They are just SO STINKING HAPPY TO SEE ME that they can’t even contain it. I think that the humans in our house need to take some lessons from the 4-leggeds. No longer will we simply say “Hi honey, how was your day?” without stopping whatever menail chore we’re doing at the time. We will RUN to each other, jump in each others arms (preferably me into the hubby’s.. not the other way around) and profess our undying love for each other. This will NEVER get old, and each day we will be JUST as excited as the last.

When I finally get through our “Hello, I love you, I’m so glad you came home and didn’t forget about us’s” the dogs BEG for some exercise. Now, I haven’t been to a gym in I don’t even know how long.. so this makes me jealous EVERY day. Mylo LOVES to run. It’s his favorite thing to do! He will run for 8 hours straight and we’ve clocked him at over 40 miles per hour. No wonder he’s so skinny! If I went absolutely bonkers without exercise like my dogs do then I’d be as skinny as Rachel Bilson (man is that girl skinny or what?)!

My dogs are so fit and trim that sometimes I just want to feed them more so I’m not so jealous. Yup, I’m jealous of my dog’s physiques’ now. I guess I actually am crazy.

Mylo during a play session at the beach.

Mylo during a play session at the beach.


Chasey-Wase

Chasey-Wase

One of the things I’m MOST jealous of is my dogs’ confidence in themselves. They both think they’re freaking awesome. They don’t worry about what they weigh, what they look like, who likes them (everyone loves them, right?) or if they get in trouble. What a simple and easy view on life to have.

There are way MORE things, but lastly (for now) I wish that I slept as sweetly and as cozy as they do. When I sleep I resemble a minor train-wreck. I toss and turn and occasionally hit people. I snore and drool and talk in my sleep. Mylo and Chase are so cute when they sleep that I’m pretty sure I’m justified to be irrationally angry at them for it. NO? Ok, I’ll just snuggle on up next to them and let the train-wreck happen.

Perfect snuggle buddies.

Perfect snuggle buddies.

Comments for Kibble Fundraiser

5 Mar
Mocha

Mocha

My current foster dog Mocha: https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/miss-mocha was reading one of our favorite blogs Love and a Six Foot Leash: http://loveandaleash.com/ yesterday and was inspired by a very simple fundraiser that they did a couple of years ago. It’s called Comments for Kibble and we’d like to give it a shot!

For every comment that the Pitties For Your Thoughts blog receives during the next two weeks we will donate one pound of food (up to 60 pounds) to Minnesota Pitbull Rescue: mnpitbull.com for foster dogs like Mocha.

It’s very simple to participite, simply comment on any of the Pitties For Your Thoughts posts during the next three weeks. I will only count 1 comment per person but feel free to comment as much as you want! I will also extend the deadline if I’m not near my goal at the end of 2 weeks. If you want to participate in a bigger way share my blog so others may comment!

Minnesota Pitbull Rescue is an all-foster based rescue and they currently have 25 dogs that all need to be fed! So, donations of any size are always appreciated.

Help me help dogs like Mocha:

Mocha is available for adoption through MN Pitbull Rescue!

Mocha is available for adoption through MN Pitbull Rescue!


https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/ill-have-a-short-mocha-please/

Boots

Duncan

And many more.

Mylo and Chase are a little miffed that their “Nummies Allowance” will be going towards giving OTHER dogs Nummies.. but when I explained to them that some dogs get NO NUMMIES they came around. Begrudgingly.

Chase says "OK, Mom.. but only this once."

Chase says “OK, Mom.. but only this once.”

Mylo's still a little skeptic.  Can you help him come around?

Mylo’s still a little skeptic. Can you help him come around?

Thank you to http://www.loveandaleash.com for the great idea!!

Pitbulls

1 Mar

Pitbull_2

I could write an entire novel on Pitbulls: How they got such a bad repuation, What BSL is and why it’s not effective, how mistreated they are, how backyard breeding of pits is creating an overpopulation, and how incredibly cute, handsome, loyal, and loving they are. I could go on forever but it would be really hard for me to organize my thoughts and most of it has been written before. Also, no one will read that much informatino in one sitting so I want to see if I can briefly summarize some of my main arguments.

Number 1: Pitbull is NOT a breed.

I know people have heard me say this before but I’m not sure they listen. The term Pitbull is used to describe a GROUP of dogs with certain physical characteristics. If you have a “Purebred Pitbull” it is either an American Pitbull Terrier, a Staffordshire Terrier, or an American Bull Terrier. It is NOT a purebred Pitbull. I repeat, YOU DO NOT OWN A PUREBRED PITBULL. There is no such thing.

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier


Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terrier


Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

What difference does this make?

It makes a HUGE difference. Pitbulls are judged and discriminated against ALL THE TIME and yet there’s no such thing as a pitbull? Therefore people are judging an entire group of dogs: all three of the purebred dogs, many purebred dogs with similar physical qualities such as the American Bulldog or the Cane Corso Mastiff, and then also including in this group NUMEROUS mix-breed dogs that resemble either the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier or the American Bull Terrier.

Cane Corso Mastiff

Cane Corso Mastiff


American Bulldog

American Bulldog

This is also important to remember when you look at “Pitbull” statistics. How accurate can these statistics be when they are collecting date from a GROUP of similar-looking dogs and comparing this data to that of ONE purebred dog?

Another difference it makes?

Sheer NUMBERS. If we take any dog with a large square head, stocky chest, semi-straight tail, docked OR floppy ears and/or other “Pitbull” characteristics that is a LOT of dogs!! There is simply a LOT of dogs out there that can be called “Pitbulls”.

Number Two: The media HAS effected how you think about Pitbulls, and they ARE doing it on purpose.
The media has helped create a bad reputation for Pitbulls in MANY different ways.

Pitbull Attack Headline

Pitbull Attack Headline

Firstly, the media creates a belief that Pitbulls attack more than any other breed of dog by only reporting Pitbull attacks. Pitbull attacks are nationwide news making it in to hundreds of newspapers and on nationwide broadcasts. If a lab or a golden retriever attacks it may make it in to one or two newspapers.
This clearly leads the public to BELIEVE that Pitbulls are attacking all the time while no other dogs are.

The media then adds to this by always putting the words “Pitbull” and “Attack” together in the headline if the attack was done by an alleged Pitbull while hardly ever including the breed of any other dog attack simply stating “Child attacked by dog” or “Dog attacks woman”.
When people see “Pitbull Attacks” in the headlines they don’t even have to read the rest of the story. They already have an opinion in their head. See it enough times and you start to think that all pitbulls attack all the time.

“August 18, 2007 — A Labrador mix attacked a 70-year-old man, sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and the dog was shot after charging the officers. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.

August 19, 2007 — A 16-month-old child received fatal head and neck injuries after being attacked by a mixed-breed dog. This attack was reported on twice by the local paper.

August 20, 2007 — A six-year-old boy was hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving a severe bite to the head by a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.

August 21, 2007 — A 59-year-old woman was attacked in her home by two pit bulls and was hospitalized with severe, but not fatal, injuries. This attack was reported in over 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox.”
Credit: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

http://blog.timesunion.com/dogs/pit-bulls-and-the-media/3597/

Secondly, the media is a huge perpetrator of using the term “Pitbull”. They have ensured that Pitbull has a negative connotation with the previous steps and now they can use the looseness of the term to their advantage. They already know that a “Pitbull” attack story is going to be a huge story, and since Pitbull encompasses all sorts of different dogs the media can call pretty much any dog they want a “Pitbull” just to make a story more newsworthy.

Number three: Breed Specific Legislation is whack.

Yes, I know I’m losing some of my professionalism here, but it simply. is. crap.

Breed Specific Legislation is legislation and rules about specific breeds of dogs thought to be “Dangerous Breeds”. This is often directed at Pitbulls and when BSL is in force there can be complete BANS on Pitbulls in entire cities or even states.

So, what was Number One again?

There is no actual Pitbull breed. The word Pitbull describes many dogs with different genetic backrounds that have similar physical characteristics.

Oh yes, that’s right.

So, we have a blanket ban on Pitbulls, to make people feel safer in their communities, that doesn’t look at how a dog acts, how a dog is treated, or how responsible their owners are but instead bans an entire GROUP of dogs that may or may not have similar behavioral characteristics, but do have similar looks.

Now.. If Pitbull is a term describing dogs based on their looks who’s to decide if my dog is a Pitbull or not?

This is a HUGE problem. It gives policemen and city legislators free reign to decide whether your dog is a Pitbull or not.

Cities with BSL in force spend incredible amounts of money collecting and putting down Pitbull type dogs and then can’t fathom why they aren’t having any results.

Well, for starters, criminals and bad dog owners are NOT being targeted. Anyone and everyone with a Pitbull type dog is being targeted. That seems like a huge waste of resources to me! Criminals and bad dog owners continue what they are doing while good, responsible dog owners are faced with either moving, finding a home for their dog outside of the BSL jurisdiction, or hiding their dog knowing that they’re risking the dog being confiscated (like a piece of property) and put down.. which is a nice word for murdered.

BSL is a blanket ban on Pitbulls that doesn’t really look at what the problems are. Irresponsible backyard breeders with un-altered males and females living together are a problem. Owners that keep their dogs chained and tethered their entire lives are a problem. Dog fighters are a problem. Drug dealers and criminals who have no idea what it really means to own a dog are a problem. BSL makes people “feel safer” but are they?

BSL is ridiculously expensive, is incredibly hard to enforce, hurts innocent people and kills innocent dogs. Period.

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Number four: Backyard breeders have created a Pitbull overpopulation.

There are SO many Pitbull type dogs right now that 1 in SIX-HUNDRED Pitbulls is adopted from shelters. The other 599 die. This includes puppies. This is partly because of breed specific legislation and partly because every irresponsible Pitbull owner on earth seems to think that they need to have Pitbull puppies to make a couple bucks.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Some shelters euthanize Pitbulls the second after they walk through the door. They are not allowed to adopt out Pitbulls therefore they immediately put them down.

Pitbull Shelter2

At some shelters Pitbulls account for 50% of the shelters dogs. Because there are already so many Pits in these shelters they only get a few days or even a few hours to live. Their chances of being adopted are slim to none.

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All of the backyard breeding increases this overpopulation problem and continues the mix-breeding of Pitbulls, since remember, there are no purebred Pitbulls, and this mix-breeding increases the looseness of the term. Because of their size and typical good health Pitbull type dogs tend to have a lot of puppies, often as many as TEN puppies in one litter!

Because Pitbulls are often bred by inexperienced people and irresponsible owners females may be bred too young and too often, and the puppies likely won’t get dewormed or be given any vaccines. Then they are sold to people who will conitinue the process.

If people would adopt Pitbull type dogs from the shelters, instead of buying them from backyard breeders, we could decrease the numbers of Pitbulls euthanized every day (2800 Pitbulls are euthanized a day) and maybe this would give backyard breeders less of an incentive to keep breeding.

Another plus about Pitbulls being adopted instead of bought?
Pitbulls adopted from shelters are most often already spayed or neutered, or they are adopted with a contract dictating that the dog be spayed or neutered. This means that even if an owner is irresponsible and lets their dog roam or the owner thinks that having puppies would be fun the adopted dog CAN’T reproduce.

Read more about Pitbull overpopulation and Pitbull Euthanasia here: http://www.examiner.com/article/pit-bulls-and-euthanasia-rates

Number five: American Pitbull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers (the most common of the purebreds referred to as Pitbulls) are NOT natural fighters.

Yes, these dogs have been used for years in fighting rings, but what you probably DON’T know is how hard it is to get these dogs to be fighters. SO many dogs fail. When dog fighting rings are busted the grounds are usually littered with the dog bones of the failures. The dogs that WONT fight. Dog fighters make their dogs live in a manner where violence is their only option and they find ways to escalate it. I won’t go into the long gorey details, but it’s important to know that dog fighters treat dog fighting like a science, and not very many dogs will even do it.

A not so well known fact about Pitbulls and dog fighting: Pitbulls were originally chosen not only because of their size and strength but because Pitbulls were the only dogs that would specifically NOT bite their humans when they got in the ring to stop a fight. They were chosen because of their LOYALTY to humans.

The rest of my main points about Pitbulls are based on how sweet they are, how forgiving they are, how much they can overcome, and how loyal they are. Maybe a Pitbull Part Two is neccesary? Stay tuned for why I LOVE Pitbulls.

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