Category Archives: Rescue

Life in the Fast Lane

It’s been crazy the last few months here.  We’ve been spending a lot of time on our Facebook page and neglecting the mess out of the blog.  It wasn’t a purposeful lapse but life got pretty crazy and it was just simpler to focus on that since my jumbled brain couldn’t seem to put two fiona-may2015-5414sentences together for more than a nanosecond before that thought process was lost into the great abyss of blog fog.  It was, to put it mildly, very frustrating.

Along with life getting in the way, we managed to acquire two new temporary additions to the pack.  They both came from unpleasant situations that wouldn’t have ended pleasantly for either if left to their own devices.

Fiona the Labrador was owner give up because she was too drivey and overwhelming for a large family that had more on their plate than dealing with an adolescent, high drive Labrador with a keen sense on how to get into the most trouble in the shortest span of time possible. It’s really an incredible feat but she more than makes up for it with her intense focus when her attention is cornered on doing something that intrigues her and makes her think!

river-may2015-5390River the Shih Tzu was a foundling at a local park.  He was obscenely matted and emaciated.  When we found him, he was unable to move because of a mat that ran from the base of his tail to the base of his sheath – essentially connecting both back legs.  It was obvious he was in pain and initially lashed out until we secured him and took him to a vet to check and see if, hopefully, he had a microchip that would allow us to reunite him with his owner.  Sadly, he didn’t.  We were left with the task of fixing him up – which started with removing the mat on his bottom.  Once that was removed it revealed raw and oozy testicles and a naked backside.  He wasn’t too happy about it while it occurred but he felt far better once it was done and the area was cleaned up.

We searched in vain for his previous owners – posting Craigslist found ads, posts on local Lost & Found groups on Facebook and posters at local pet businesses near where we found him.  That was in April and he still hasn’t been reunited with an owner so we’ve scheduled a neuter, microchip and other vet work that is needed before he is able to go to a permanent home that won’t let him down again.

Needless to say, our two new additions have a few issues to work through that will be easily puppies-march2015-5210solved with persistence and patience.  A good project to keep us busy and not with our typical breed either!  There is no doubt that Fiona, who is a tiny 42 pounds(!!!), will make an amazing sport prospect with her insane food, toy and a moderate prey drive but River will likely be a good companion for an dedicated couple or a family with dog knowledge – especially breed knowledge as a cherished companion to that family.

Now that all that has happened, expect many more entries as the days, weeks and months pass because I am almost positive that the blog fog has passed as summer hits and fills up my head with entries due to time and weather that is favorable to training and competing once more is upon us.

Two Weeks Too Long

gus-goodbye-july2014-4606-1

It’s hard to believe that just two weeks, three days and four hours ago, I said goodbye to a dog I had barely begun to get to know.  It seems like only yesterday an old, crotchety pit bull mix known at the shelter as Pugsley weaseled his hobbling mannerisms and dislike of any dog he couldn’t domineer and push around stole our hearts.

In the ten short months that Gus called our home his, we learned many valuable lessons – like the patience and unconditional love and trust of a dog who hadn’t always had the good life which showed through on the many scars and healed old wounds on his old body.  He allowed us to fall truly, madly and deeply in love with his aged soul with utter abandon and his passing three weeks after being diagnosed with lymphosarcoma knocked the wind out of our sails as if we had been blessed to hold him in our hearts for the thirteen odd years he had walked this earth.

Gus was a truly special dog.  He was dignified, stubborn, tenacious and all bulldog even when his body began to fail him.  He pressed on even on those days where he hurt so badly that even a heavy dose of pain medication couldn’t touch.  He always wanted to be the good dog in our house.  He strived to always be with us – as close as physically possible – at all times.  He was a good dog – even when he was being horridly naughty.

Gus was the heart and soul of what a ‘pit bull’ should be.  He loved children and adults of all walks of life.  He had never known a stranger and was as polite as a gentleman when he was asked to be – even if he encountered a rude, ill-mannered creature in our daily walks of life.  He will always be remembered for what he was and not what the cancer stole from us in those last three, short weeks as a member of our crew.  That hole will always be there where he took a piece of our hearts and the hearts of those who knew and loved him with him across the Rainbow Bridge to wait for us and teach those lessons to those who waited along with him until we are able to join him.

There is never ‘goodbye’ in Gus’s world only ‘see you later’ because tomorrow was a new adventure and a new journey on a path that will lead to something amazing.

Shelter Dog Saturday: Princess

princess-october2013-5623Name: Princess

Breed(s): American Pit Bull Terrier

Age: 2-3 years old

Gender: Female

Princess is a very sweet girl who has been dealt a very crappy hand.  She was originally brought into the shelter as a court case dog when her owner went to jail.  Her house brother, Tank, was already adopted into a loving home which left her behind.  Princess, however, has a few issues that she’s come in with that can likely be linked to previous care and ownership practices because of lack of training, socialization and rules in the home.  princess-october2013-5624

Princess is dog selective and can be nasty toward other dogs if given the opportunity to be.  She also is incredibly agile and can get herself into a lot of trouble by being able to scale fencing with ease.  She has been labeled RESCUE ONLY by the shelter because of her behavior concerns but it would be worth an experienced home’s time to check her out if they are willing and able to work through her behaviors because she is a very sweet dog even if she’s not keen on other dogs and small animals.

If you’re interested in adopting Princess, she is available for adoption through the River Rouge Animal Shelter which is located at 100 W. Pleasant Street, River Rouge, Michigan.  You can contact the shelter by email at pkelly306@aol.com or by phone at 313-205-1732.

Update: Headed to Rescue!

Shelter Dog Saturday: Puck

blueboy-october2013-5429Name: Puck

Breed(s): American Pit Bull Terrier

Age: 1-2 years old

Gender: Male

What can I say about Puck except that he is absolutely amazing.  He is the kind of dog that I would be proud to have as part of the Work-A-Bull pack.  (Yes, folks, he’s one of those few that if I had the resources to work with another adult dog, I’d be bringing home!)

Puck is a younger dog about 1-2 years old.  He has drive in spades for toys and never let my attention getting toys out of his sight without staring for more.  He likes treats but it’s a moderate drive there since the B-A-L-L was far more important in his life.  With these two drives, he would make an exceptional sport, search and rescue orblueboy-october2013-5435 detection prospect.  He is more than willing to please the other end of the leash if you could please just share that reward!

Puck has not been tested with other dogs or cats so appropriate introductions or an experienced home would be best suited for him who would do slow and proper introductions.  He handled being poked, prodded, pinched and pulled very easily but with his youthful exuberance may be too much for a younger child to handle without dedicated, slow introductions.

Overall, Puck is one of those once in a lifetime dogs out there that an avid dog sport person or active family really shouldn’t miss and he’s available right now at the shelter where no owner came to collect this beautiful boy!

If you’re interested in adopting Puck, he is available for adoption through the River Rouge Animal Shelter which is located at 100 W. Pleasant Street, River Rouge, Michigan.  You can contact the shelter by email at pkelly306@aol.com or by phone at 313-205-1732.

Be a Shelter Dog’s Super Star

pitbullmix-october2013-5325If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll have noticed the addition of ‘Shelter Dog Saturday’ (which I sadly missed this weekend due to unforeseen circumstances) where I feature a different dog each week and write up a small bio and the contact information on one lucky shelter dog from one of the shelters locally to me – well, I’ve been lucky enough to meet and get to know each of these dogs on my visits and I felt that they needed a little spotlight on the Internet to give them that boost they may not ordinarily get – an opportunity at going home to their forever home.

Visiting the local shelter isn’t always easy – especially if you’re not looking to adopt a new friend.  There are rows of kennels and dogs barking and leaping at their kennel doors.  They often look ferocious because they are cooped up for hours on end with no release to their energy.  This, sadly, means that many of these dogs will be passed up because of their frustrated behavior and their desire to be with people and not be stuck in a kennel.  These dogs, sadly, get the cruddy end of the stick if they start acting ‘kennel crazy’ from spending so much time there – especially if they are in a high kill shelter.  Thankfully, there are many, many ways to help these dogs and showcase them in their true nature and help them express some of that energy out so they are more appealing to a potential home.

If you have a spare bit of time in life’s busy schedule and aren’t looking to adopt, here are some things you can do to help adoptable dogs (and other animals!) at your local shelter:

– Go up and walk a dog.  Dog walkers are always in demand.  This allows dogs to be able to expend some of that pent up energy and allows them riverouge-september2013-2787to mellow out a bit in their kennels.  Some of the larger, more drivey dogs need longer walks or even runs so you’ll get your exercise in while building some good karma!

– If you’ve got a particular talent for capturing the best look of an adoptable critter, consider donating your photography skills to a shelter.  Often shelters rely on volunteers and cell phone photos and low end cameras (which don’t always work as fast as an animal!) and this means many, many photos behind kennel and cage doors with forlorn faces or blurry streaks – neither of which shows an accurate picture of how lovely and wonderful this adoptable animal actually is!

– Spend time with the cats or other small animals that may be at the shelter.  Bring up toys and entertain them or just spend time petting and talking quietly to them.  Shelters are stressful areas for many small animals – sometimes even more so than for the dogs.  A frightened and stressed animal is more likely to get sick and a sick animal is never a good thing in a shelter environment of any type.

– If time isn’t on the menu, consider a monetary donation or a donation of food, durable toys and/or easily sanitized beds (if your shelter allows them).  Shelters are often run on donations for veterinary care, food and other environment enrichment items.  These items help the animals even if you can only spare a few moments or a cowboyadopted-october2013-3389few dollars and are always in high demand.

– If none of these are feasible and you’re unable to make it out, support your local shelter via social media and speaking to locals who may be looking for a new family member.  Sharing these animals and letting people know that they are available and looking for new homes is the biggest help of all.  This gets these adoptable furries their forever homes and creates more space for those animals that need a temporary space to crash.

If you can do even the smallest thing or donate a small bit of time, your local shelter and its animals will thank you – especially when they are heading out the door into their forever home!  Happy Adopt-A-Pet Month!

Shelter Dog Saturday: Butterscotch

butterscotch-october2013-4060Name: Butterscotch

Breed(s): Pit Bull mix

Age: 1 year old

Gender: Female

If you’re looking for that perfect companion or long walks on the beach or an up and coming dog sport star, look no further than Miss Butterscotch.  She is a sweet, relatively low maintenance gal who would love to be the apple of her new forever family’s eyes.

Sweet and kind Butterscotch is a delightful little girl.  She is relatively good on a leash but has some typical puppy-ish exuberance.  She is very, very foodtayloranimalcontrol-september2013-2996 motivated and has a moderate toy drive.  She would do well in a home that was willing to work with her and set her up for success.

Butterscotch can be a bit pushy with other girl dogs because she believes she needs to be the only woman in her human’s life.  She would probably do best with a boyfriend or being totally spoiled as an only dog.  She seems to interact well with the boys at the shelter currently.

If you’re interested in adopting Butterscotch, or any of her kennel mates, he is available for adoption through the Taylor Animal Shelter which is located at 25555 Northline Road, Taylor, Michigan. You can contact the shelter by phone at (734) 374-1354 or by clicking the link to the shelter above.

Update: Butterscotch has been adopted!

Shelter Dog Saturday: Freckles

tayloranimalcontrol-september2013-3011Name: Freckles

Breed(s): Pit Bull mix

Age: 1-2 years old

Gender: Male

Would ya look at that smile on that goofy face!

Freckles is an amazing bundle of spotty goodness. He is happy-go-lucky and full of get up and go. He would do well in just about any family because he is just an amazingly well-rounded dog (we would have taken him home if we didn’t have six already!) with a phenomenal personality to boot!

Freckles, if you’re interested in dog sports, this guy already has atayloranimalcontrol-september2013-3012 pretty decent start to the basics and would make a fabulous prospect for obedience, agility, weight pull or any other venue you may be interested in. He has the desire to please and an off switch when it’s time to relax and chill out at home. I really can’t say enough good things about him. Unsure of how he is with other dogs and kitties but proper introductions to both should definitely be on the top list of priorities no matter what!

If you’re interested in adopting Freckles, or any of his kennel mates, he is available for adoption through the Taylor Animal Shelter which is located at 25555 Northline Road, Taylor, Michigan. You can contact the shelter by phone at (734) 374-1354 or by clicking the link to the shelter above.

Update October 11, 2013 – Freckles was adopted!

National Pit Bull Awareness Month 2013

21423_10151223420059828_576419650_nEvery year the month of October is hailed in as a month of awareness for one of the most misunderstood, mistreated and maligned breeds of dog in modern history – the pit bull.  There are many who would wish to see this breed’s future annihilated and sent into extinction but there are even greater numbers of breed advocates and aficionados who work tirelessly against the opposing side in an effort to reverse breed specific legislation that is aimed to eventually destroy the breed that is affectionately called ‘America’s Dog’ by its followers.

National Pit Bull Awareness Month is only a couple of years into its conception.  The creator founded this month in an effort to show the love and dedication of one very special American Pit Bull Terrier named Tiffin who had crossed the bridge earlier in the year.  This wonderful tribute allowed for the extension of the original National Pit Bull Awareness Day (which was started in 2007) into thirty-one days of advocacy and affection for an incredibly diverse and resilient breed.  This month will allow shelters, breed clubs, other individuals and groups to spotlight the breed through events geared toward education and responsible ownership of this often demonized breed to show that, with a little elbow grease,  this breed can and should remain a part of the heart and soul of so many fanciers across the globe.

 So, the question remains – what can you do to be a responsible advocate for this years National Pit Bull Awareness Month to raise awareness and celebrate your love for this breed?  Well, hereriverouge-september2013-2787 are a few suggestions that may get your creative juices flowing that will not only help the breed but also the community with your positive actions:

– Use the power of social media to share positive images, stories and events involving pit bulls.

– Volunteer at your local shelters and rescues.  These dogs wait for their forever homes and time spent working with them enables them to get closer to the highly sought after end result of that forever home.

– If you’re looking for a new canine companion and can responsibly care for a pit bull, check out those same shelters and rescue groups for your next best friend.  (If a rescue isn’t your cup of tea, which we understand, and you’re still looking for a pit bull, make sure you work with a breeder who is ethical and responsible!)

– Get involved in breed specific activities and events.  Group walks/hikes, dog sports, etc. are excellent ways to network, keep updated on local issues and provide opportunities to passively socialize your dog or to solve a current issue with someone who has one through it already.

– Sign up for that Canine Good Citizenship or Therapy Dog class you’ve been putting off.  Everyone appreciates a well behaved dog no matter what the breed is and eventual therapy dog work will be beneficial to the community as well!

227875_10150183839839828_1098159_nMost importantly, no matter what activities you do this month, make sure you enjoy your dog(s) and be an advocate who acts professionally and politely without being too overzealous.  It is, after all, a hard pill to swallow if one is proved wrong (and something I’ve personally learned from experience many times over!).

Have a wonderful National Pit Bull Awareness Month and don’t forget to celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2013 on October 26th!

Love Knows No Bounds

gus-september2013-2788If you had asked me two weeks ago if I had planned to add a new dog to the pack in the very near future I probably would have laughed.  I had plans, yes, but they were weeks, months and even years in the future.  I wasn’t in the thought process that the future and new dog were only a short time away or in the circumstance in which they happened to happen in.

When I first saw Gus (then Pugsley) and his photo on Facebook, my heart took a flying leap into my throat.  Here was this sweet, old pit bull mix staring at me from the depths of my computer screen across the Internet.  I cursed at the state he had arrived at the shelter in and wondered how this stately gentleman had ended up bitten to ribbons with sores and cuts all over his body even though I know the streets aren’t kind to any dog, especially an old guy with nubs for most of his teeth.  This sweet guy and I would be seeing one another soon as there was no other option because he had landed himself at the very shelter I spend most of my time at.  Just my luck, right?

It started off innocently enough.  I offered to take this poor guy into the vet.  I steeled myself against falling in love pretty successfully until he climbed into my lap as I sat on the floor of thegus-september2013-2857 exam room.  That final tightening of the love noose came when he laid his greying head on my shoulder and let out a deep, relaxed sigh.  I knew that it was the beginning of the end.  He had to come home.  My…no, our home would and must be his.

The rest of the week (since he came on with a black quick release collar) while he was on stray hold was pure agony.  I waited to see if my sweet old man would be returned to his former home…but no one came and part of me was sad.  Someone had to be missing him, right?  I couldn’t dwell on it.  He had served his mandatory seven day hold and was a stray no longer.

Officially available, I collected him from the shelter he had called home.  Never again, I vowed, would he want or need for anything.  His golden years will be full of love and care for as long as he is with us.  He will be loved, cherished and spoiled utterly rotten.  He will be able to call a place his forever home.

gus-september2013-2847

Happy Gotcha Day, Gus.  Here is to many more years in the Work-A-Bull pack.

Shelter Dog Saturday: Lady

ladybull-september2013-2421Name: Lady

Breed(s): Pit Bull mix

Age: 1 year old

Gender: Female

Lady came into the shelter as an owner surrender.  Her previous owner was unable to take her with him when his life circumstances changed and looked to the good folks at the shelter to help find his little girl a home that was able to give her a forever home.

Lady is very sweet and very kind.  She is gentle taking treats and very willing to learn.  She shows promise as a potential dog sport dog (thinkladybull-september2013-2434 obedience or agility here!).  She’s shown no interest in the currently available kitty, Boots, and is gentle with other dogs.  There’ve not had any kids to introduce her to but if her temperament with everything else she’s met holds true, there are no doubts she will do fine with them as well. Lady could, in theory, go into just about any home and is seeking that forever home right now with a family who will love and cherish her for many years to come.

If you’re interested in adopting Jewel, she is available for adoption through the River Rouge Animal Shelter which is located at 100 W. Pleasant Street, River Rouge, Michigan.  You can contact the shelter by email at pkelly306@aol.com or by phone at 313-205-1732.

Update: Lady headed to rescue!