Tag Archives: dogs

Happy 6th Birthday, Lyric!

lyricdirty-june2013-5572Six, long years ago a little black puppy was born in Snohomish, WA.  She was the tiniest and most adorable looking wiggle worm imaginable.  I knew by two weeks old she was to come home to me.  It was a grueling 10 week wait until my little Star Puppy, Lyric, was finally home.  Finally to be forever with me until time took her naughty self from me. The last six years have had their ups and downs.  The trials and tribulations we went through were nothing short of the amazing when we finally succeeded – especially in weight pull.

Lyric, you’ve given me your all – complete with a myriad of faults – and you’ve shown me what heart is.  I truly don’t deserve the absolute adoration and love you bestow upon me daily with unfailing loyalty and devotion.  You’ve not been an easy dog to live with but you’ve made the most of every moment we’ve had together.  I am so proud to call you MY dog and will be blessed for years to come with your antics lighting up my life for a very long time to come.

Here is to many, many more my little Tater Tot.  Happy 6th birthday, Lyric.  Let’s rock this world some more.

Happy 9th Birthday, Duo!

chicagotrip-july2013-7559You weren’t a planned partner.  You were only supposed to be a temporary fixture in our home back in 2009 and now look at you, my sweet boy.  You’ve grown roots here and came to call this place home.  We don’t know much about your past but what we do know about your future.

The last few years have been a trip.  You’ve taught me a new lesson in life and in patience with every step we’ve taken.  You’ve challenged me to grow as a trainer and dog fancier.  You’ve given a whole new meaning to ‘walking vet bill’ with your antics as well but I couldn’t change a thing (except, maybe going a bit easier on the spending?!).  You’re our little wonder bull.  Our short bus who tried and could.  Here is to many, many more years together.  We still have many adventures we need to take and mountains we need to climb.

Happy 9th Birthday, Duo!  We love you in all of your goofy ways!

Shelter Dog Saturday: Blue

bluepitbullhold-october2013-3358Name: Blue

Breed(s): Pit Bull mix

Age: 2-4 years old

Gender: Male

If you’re looking for a dog with go, this boy is your man.  He’s got energy in spades and loves to go, go, go.  He’d make a great running buddy or a dog who could go for hours playing tug or chasing a toy.

Blue has a few quirks, though.  He doesn’t particularly get along with all other dogs he meets.  It would be strongly suggested that he go with a previously introduced submissive female dog just so he isn’t set up for failure but the right boy may work as well provided the new owner is willing to work withbluepitbullhold-october2013-3359 him.  He also hasn’t been tested with kitties but with his level of prey drive, that may not be advisable.

Blue is in definite need of some obedience training and a patient owner.  With his go, go, go attitude, he also can be a bit intense for the average person handling him but he makes up for it in his amazingly sweet demeanor and adoration of the human-types who spoil him rotten at the shelter.

If you’re interested in adopting Blue, 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:  Pulled by rescue!

Book Review: The Dog Who Spoke with Gods

9780312291525I have searched for a very long time to get my hands on a decently conditioned copy of this book.  Each and every time I managed to come close it seemed to slip through my fingers.   This book was, after all,  a pit bull-related book so I just had to have it. I continued my seemingly fruitless search for it until I stumbled upon a copy for sale in the one location I had never expected to find it – a dog show.  I had finally managed to get my copy!

Diane Jessup, the author,  has been around the online pit bull community for as long as I can remember.   In many cases, it was a love or loathe relationship for many forum goers with a woman who is every bit the bulldog – a tenacious individual who has stuck to her guns be it hell or high water.

Diane and I have butted heads on numerous occasions on numerous online communities over one topic or another.   More often than not, we have had to agree to disagree even if we had accepted the other’s point of view. Overall,  though,  Diane is a very good representative for the breed – even if we rarely see eye to eye.   Her love,  adoration and respect for her beloved bulldogs shines radiantly throughout this entire novel.

The Dog Who Spoke with Gods takes place in the Pacific Northwest.   It showcases the love of a once feral pit bull named Damien who unluckily lands himself in a collegiate animal research laboratory and a young premed student named Elizabeth Fletcher.  Unbeknownst to Elizabeth,  this dog and the bond they form will lead her to question her beliefs that she has kept steadfastly throughout her life as that bond between human and canine grows.

This book and its plot had me on pins and needles throughout the entire 360 pages.  I laughed.  I cried.  I, ultimately,  prayed for the storybook ending that Damien and Elizabeth deserved.   It was well worth the emotional roller coaster I was on for the entire book.  It was well worth the wait to obtain and read this fantastic and emotionally expressive book.  I would highly recommend this book for any dog enthusiast’s collection even if they do not own a pit bull.

Dog Tolerance and Aggression: The Ugly Realities

dogs_snarling_at_each_otherDog aggression and reactivity is a reality facing many of today’s dogs.  It’s not pretty.  It’s not fun to deal with.  It can be downright dangerous in the hands of someone unable to handle the situation.  The worst thing of all?  It’s a common trait in many dogs and many breeds, especially in the breed that I love and cherish – the American Pit Bull Terrier.  Many people want to sugar coat it, deny it and avoid talking about it like the plague however, burying one’s head in the sand doesn’t do the dogs who have this trait any justice.  They aren’t bad dogs.  They just don’t necessarily want or need other doggie friends.

Dog aggression toward other dogs isn’t, as I said above, necessarily a breed specific trait but it is incredibly common in the American Pit Bull Terrier and related breeds.  Why?  Well, this breed was specifically bred for the specific purpose of being a canine gladiator many moons ago.  Often people want to deny the actual history of the original bull-and-terrier crosses and the associated breed traits but the reality is there.  They were bred for battle against another animal and/or another canine.  They may have performed other duties in home and often times, pit dogs were fine until actually put into the pit as they knew their job and one would have never known the dog had the abilities it did unless one was in attendance at a dog fight.

That being said, there are varying levels of a dog’s sociability toward other dogs.  These levels,pitbull-training originally posted by BAD RAP, describe a dog’s level of tolerance toward other dogs and can range greatly from dog to dog and breed to breed.  These tolerance levels have been classified into four different levels: dog social to dog tolerant to dog selective and finally to dog aggressive.  These levels can be influenced heavily by handler involvement, environment and level of training/handling of that particular dog and is one of the key reasons it is important with dogs who border on more extreme levels of reactivity to be continually supervised and never set up for failure by throwing them into chaotic situations like visiting a dog park. (I’ve already ranted about dog parks here.)

Most pit bull-type dogs tend to fall in between dog tolerant to dog selective as maturity sets in, as is the case with many dogs.  They get fed up with the shenanigans from puppies and other dog social dogs and prefer dogs that they match in temperament and behavior – just like many human beings!  Unfortunately for many pit bull-type dogs that end up in shelters or euthanized, their owners failed to recognize or accept that Fido didn’t love every other dog out there, got snarky and unmanageable and, ultimately, failed by his human being for having traditional breed traits and no one to set boundaries or reinforce good behavior and how to behave even if they’re in a situation that could lead to a reaction.

dogbite_photo2That being said, dog reactivity/aggression should not by any means to be confused with human aggression.  Human aggression is one of the worse offenses dog kind can commit because it brings into play human laws and human emotions and will often lead to the ultimate solution – euthanasia.  I, personally, do not tolerate this type of action from a dog.  If a dog shows serious injury causing aggression toward a person (adult or child), then there is only one fate in my book.  With so many stable-minded dogs of all breeds available, one who harms a human being should not exist in this world because the risks associated with it do no one any good – least of all the dog or person involved in such a vicious attack.

Ultimately, in the end, it will be up to the person to maintain their dog in a situation.  They will need to understand, accept and acknowledge breed traits and tendencies and react accordingly.  Setting up a dog for failure in any circumstance is simply unacceptable and irresponsible.  This act of irresponsibility will lead to other consequences for those who pride themselves in being responsible for their dogs through breed specific legislation and other regulations that are aimed at being reactive to situations of owner failure.  Thankfully, there are many, many resources available out there to help and educate on all things breed specific on the Internet by trusted resources like BAD RAP and DINOS.

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!