Tag Archives: pitbulls

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.

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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!!

Hartley, My Heart.

11 Feb
My Heart.

My Heart.

I have loved animals all of my life. I always loved my family dogs, I loved horses and horseback riding as a kid and I always wanted to work with dogs when I grew up. Everything I thought I knew about loving dogs all changed when I saw Hartley’s face on Petfinder in February of 2009. I knew I HAD to have this dog. I was 21 years old and living on my own. This was going to be MY first dog. I filled out my adoption papers 20 minutes before someone else tried to adopt him. It was meant to be.
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Hartley was a 12 week old Lab-Mix puppy. My vet declared right away that he was probably a Pitbull-mix. That was fine with me, I’d been in love with Pitbulls for the past 5 or so years. No wonder I fell so hard for his picture.

So Snuggly.

So Snuggly.

Hartley and I instantly fell in love. I was 21 and had a pretty busy lifestyle so I simply brought Hartley with me. Everywhere. Hartley came to friends houses with me, Hartley came to my parents houses with me (even though he wasn’t invited). Hartley came grocery shopping with me or to school with me if I had a short day. He loved being in the car and I loved that I could walk him during my breaks. Hartley and I spent our time camping, at the cabin, or hiking. I was so much more active than I’d ever been before. We even played outside at night which would have scared me before.

Can I come with?

Can I come with?

Before I had Hartley I used to have terrible sleeping problems. I was always scared at night and I could never just FALL ASLEEP. When Hartley was about 7 months old I stopped making him sleep in his crate and let him sleep in bed with me. Every night he slept in the crook of my legs with his head on my legs. Suddenly I wasn’t afraid anymore. I listened to, and felt, him breathing and I fell asleep.

My life changed when I brought little Hartley home. I loved that I was responsible for his life. I loved coming home after work because that was Hartley and Chelsea time. I loved that he made me active and I loved that, with Hartley, winter was fun. I couldn’t just sit indoors anymore.. Hartley needed to be exercised. I learned that if I bundled up, playing in the snow was actually fun.
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My dad was always so amazed by Hartley’s attachment to me. He used to say that Hartley orbited around me. Even off leash he rarely went more than 50 yards from me. He would chase me on the four-wheeler no matter where I went.

Me and My Baby

Me and My Baby

This was the first time in my life that I had experienced THIS kind of love and devotion. He was my whole life, my whole heart and soul. Nothing made me happier than Hartley did. And he also made me fall in love with Pitbulls even more. The love and devotion that this little Pitbull gave me was more than I ever could have dreamed of. He was my best friend and the love of my life.
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One year after I brought little Hartley home and into my life he got really sick. He was throwing up and very lethargic. It turned out that he had ingested rope from a rope toy, and the next day he died in surgery. His intestines were completely shredded and there was nothing they could do to save him. He was in so much more pain than I ever knew. The night before he died he didn’t act like he was in pain. He just wanted to be with me. I didn’t even say goodbye. I was so relieved that he was going in to surgery because I was convinced it would help him. I didn’t get to say goodbye until after he had died. He would have done anything for me and I completely failed him.

Hartley died 3 years ago and I still can’t believe he’s gone. His death wrecked me. I still can’t think about the last couple of days that I had with him without crying.

I love Mylo and Chase with all of my heart but Hartley will always be MY HEART. Hartley changed my life and opened my eyes to real undying devotion. He gave me my strong passion for dogs and gave me an unwavering commitment to Pitbulls.

I’m now overly cautious with my dogs, and I worry ALL the time. I don’t want to ever go through that pain again. Saying goodbye to his lifeless body was the worst moment of my entire life. But, I am thankful that I had one year with Hartley, my angel, and I will always have unwavering affection for the dogs in my life, because Hartley would want me to.

I thank Hartley for showing me what is important in life. He died three years ago yesterday, so this post is for him.
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Harltey, I hope you’re having fun over the rainbow bridge. I miss you every day. I’m sorry we didn’t get more time together, but thank you for sending me Mylo and Chase and all of my fosters to bring me some comfort, and some more love.

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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.

Passions and Participating

7 Nov

It’s pretty clear to anyone who knows me that my passion is Pitbulls.  I believe that they are incredibly sweet and loyal dogs who have been mistreated and taken advantage of.  Because Pitbulls don’t have very good English skills I choose to do their talking for them.  (I almost wrote that they don’t have a voice.. but Pitbulls are notoriously vocal dogs, so that’s most definitely not true.)

I choose to stand up for them when people put them down, whether I’m at a wedding, the grocery store or the bar.  I may not change anyone’s mind, but maybe they will learn something.

I choose to make sure that my pit-mix is an excellent example of the breed.  I’m aiming to get Chase therapy certified, but until then I make sure he’s always on his best behavior at the vet, the parks, or anywhere else I take him.  I get no greater joy than seeing someone come up to Chase asking “Is that a Pitbull?” with trepidation, and then finding him to be a calm, gentle, loving giant (at 80 pounds he’s a big pit-mix).  Again, this may not change anyone’s mind, but maybe, just maybe, somewhere down the road they will remember their good experience with a Pitbull-type dog.

I choose to foster Pitbull’s.  I choose to help save lives.  I choose to be an available safe home when a Pitbull needs to be rescued.  On top of helping save lives, fostering Pitbulls gives me more ammunition when I argue with drunks at the bar.  Drunk: “Pitbulls are terrible- why would you let them in your house? They’re going to bite your hand off.”  Me: “I have yet to have a mean Pitbull in my house.  As a matter of fact I find them to be much more well-rounded than many other breeds”.  Drunk: phpphbbb.  (It’s hard to argue with drunks.)

My most common arguments.

I do these things because I’m head over heels in love with this breed.  I STRONGLY believe that they shouldn’t be judged simply because of the way they look.  Have people learned nothing in all these years?  Dogs are no different than people (except for their lack of opposable thumbs-which makes them useless when I tell them to do stuff for me).  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Their behavior differs from dog to dog, not breed to breed.  There will always be some similarities between dogs of the same breed; but there will be many differences as well.

I don’t expect everyone to share my passion.  I don’t expect that everyone I know will instantly fall in love with Pitbulls simply because I tell them how wonderful they are.  And that’s fine with me.  Everyone I know has their own issue to be passionate about.  I know people passionate about politics and people passionate about the environment.  I have friends passionate about children with disabilities and family members passionate about educating our youth.  Without all of these different passions the world wouldn’t go around.   What is most important is that these people are PARTICIPATING.  Regardless of whether they share my passion or not they are getting out and doing their part.  They are standing up for something, educating anyone they can, and taking part however they can.

There are many different ways to get involved no matter what you’re passionate about.  In the animal welfare and animal rescue world alone there are hundreds of ways to get involved. Some of the people that I admire most have dedicated their lives to help rescue, and educate about, Pitbulls. Check out Ashley Owen-Hill from Lucky Dog Rescue (luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com) or the founders of Bad Rap rescue (badrap.org).  Read about people who started programs like Priority Paws, a program right here in MN that brings Therapy Pitbulls and youth groups together (http://www.arottalove.net/blog/), and learn about the founder of MN Pitbull Rescue (mnpitbull.com).  These people are incredible.  They make me feel as if I’m doing practically nothing.  These are people for me to look up to as I continue working with Pitbulls.

What these people do is amazing, but they couldn’t do it alone.  Many people who are very dedicated to animals aren’t able to dedicate their whole lives to saving them.  However, choosing to participate in even the smallest of ways helps programs like these survive.  There are many seemingly small gestures a person can make that will make a world of difference in the big picture.

People volunteer their time.  These volunteers are the core of any good rescue/education program.  I feel like I have so little time to give, and yet here these people are walking shelter animals, working at an adoption events, helping rescues with their administrative duties, helping train rescue dogs, taking their personal dogs out to classrooms ect. The list goes on and on.

People get involved with fundraising. Not everyone wants to be out in the cold walking dogs or volunteering to clean kennels.  Fundraising can be a fun social event and is a totally great way to help save lives!

Many people who don’t actively participate in animal rescue donate!  There are some incredibly generous donators out there and there are many others who don’t have a lot to give but still donate what they can to causes they feel strongly about. Every dollar counts. I know rescue groups with more than 20,000 friends on Facebook.  How amazing would it be if every one of those friends donated just a dollar a month?

If money and time are short for you like they are for me look in to fostering! I feel like it’s such an easy way to participate because one: I already have dogs, so it doesn’t take any extra time, and two: it’s free! The best part about fostering is that even if you foster fail you saved a life!  What could be better than that?

For Pitbulls one of the most important things a person can do is to make sure that THEIR Pitbull is a good example of the breed.  Every positive experience that people have with the breed is another step in the right direction for the breed as a whole.  This doesn’t involve being involved with any rescue group, it simply requires people to be responsible Pitbull-type dog owners.

Sometimes a person’s actions at home are enough.  Loving the pets you own and treating them well is enough in my book.  That’s one, or two, or three less animals to worry about.

So, you can see that there are many ways to get involved, each as important as the next.  I greatly enjoy sharing my love for Pitbulls with such an incredibly passionate, strong willed group of people across the US and throughout many other countries.  We HAVE to be so passionate about our love of Pitbulls because the people discriminating against them are just as passionate about their hate.  I know that this is how other people feel about THEIR passions and I feel incredibly lucky that their are people out there sticking up for the underprivaliged children, the environment, farm animals ect.

Whether you are passionate about Pitbulls, like me, or something else I suggest that you find a way to get involved and participate. Sometimes the smallest things make all the difference. 

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