Sargent’s First Public Appearance

This weekend Ken Foster, author of “I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet” was in Portland at a local dog supply store signing his book. Jessica, of Notes from a Dog Walker and DINOS fame, invited me to bring Sarge to get him some exposure. I, of course, could not turn down an invitation to hang out with two celebrities AND get my foster out and about, so we gladly accepted.

image from: http://www.petside.com/article/pit-bull-book-review

First of all, the book is awesome. Even if you are just a dog lover, and not necessarily a pittie addict like me, you will enjoy the beautiful photographs and lovely stories. Ken was great to meet in person. He is from New Orleans, so I told him about our Nola and how she was named after the Crescent City. He took tons of photos of the Sarge-meister and signed my book!

Ken, Sarge and I

Ken, Sarge and I

Second of all, the title of Ken’s book summed up how the experience went with Sarge. He.was.awesome. Like amazingly awesome. It was hard for him to sit still in the store, there were just too many things to smell and look at.
IMG_4202This was especially true when he discovered the box full of 14 inch bully sticks- his FAVORITE thing ever. He was in heaven. I, not so much, as it took all my might and tons of cheese to get his face out of the box.
IMG_4204Since Sarge seemed to be too much of a shop-a-holic in the store, we spent a majority of the time outside of the store entrance on the sidewalk. The store is located on Commercial Street, one of the busiest streets in the city as it is the beginning of the Old Port Shopping district and the only street that runs parallel to the ocean. Being the day before Mother’s Day is seemed like the sidewalks were extra busy. And big ol’ Sarge, with his almost too small ‘adopt me’ vest on, attracted crowds like it was his job. I personally think it is the combination of his size XL white head, black eye-liner raccoon eyes, and his always wagging kinked tail. People came up from behind him, little kids put their hands in his face, and people bent down right at eye level to him, and through it all he was cool as a cucumber.

Sarge got some treats from a visitor.

Sarge got some treats from a visitor.

Team Sarge!

Team Sarge!

I gave him a bully at one point when the crowd was light and he happily chomped away on the sidewalk. Even when people came up to him while he was eating it, he didn’t mind at all. (I did end up taking it when people came up to him, I just didn’t want to risk any resource guarding since he loves his bullies.)
IMG_4195 IMG_4191Jessica stood outside with us and was awesome to talk to! It is so nice to have someone so knowledgeable as her to ask advice in person. She was so gracious about answering my 50,000 questions about fostering, rescue and how best to market Mr. Sarge to potential adopters. And as if I didn’t know it already, she could not stop saying how wonderful Sargent was. She reminded me that this was a hard environment to be in for any dog, with tons of distractions, strollers, cars, bikes you name it. My old guy was handling it like a pro.

We stayed about an hour and a half, and he probably could stayed longer, but I wanted to leave on a high note. I was so proud of the old guy, he handled himself like a distinguished gentleman. I gave out a bunch of cards with his info on them and talked about him a lot. I’m not sure we’ll get any serious inquiries, but it doesn’t matter. Just knowing that he does so well in these situations made the day worth it. It was a great event for Sarge, and selfishly, I was so happy to spend time with Jessica and to meet Ken. It was a win-win for both of us!
IMG_4207Oh, and Sarge was exhausted after. He was asleep 2.5 second after we got back to the car.

If you want to add a cool, calm and collected pup to your family, Sarge is your man! Fill out an adoption application with BURN or check out his Pet Finder profile.

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Introducing Sargent!

It’s cliché, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.

For about a week the Mr. and I were struggling to decide on a dog to foster. It was down to two, one 12 year old boxer/pit mix and one 2 year old pit mix. The dogs needed to get out of the shelter for different reasons, but both had been there too long for their own good. We, a bit selfishly, had different reasons for wanting to take each dog, including ease of transition into our house, time commitment to training, and which one would have a better chance of getting adopted if we took them in.

Before we could make a final decision, the 2 year old got adopted. After being in the shelter for 5 months, the weekend we had to decide, a decision was made for us! As I eluded to on the Facebook page Friday, the two things I checked off my rescue bucket list are walking a dog out of the shelter and fostering a senior! Meet Sargent!
IMG_3913We picked up Sargent from the NHSPCA, a shelter that has worked with BURN to foster their pitties that don’t do well in a shelter environment. Everyone their said how great of a dog he was and were sad (but happy!) to see him go. He was so wiggly and wagged his tail so much that almost every picture I took that night was blurry.

IMG_3893Sarge was brought into the shelter after 5 years with his previous owner due to housing issues. He wasn’t neutered, but since coming to the shelter he had the surgery. He has lived with other dogs, kids, and cats. His information said he is crate trained, house trained and walks well on leash. So far, we agree with most of these statements.

He and Nola have not spent a whole lot of time together yet. They have had several on leash walks together, in which they did great. Our first meet and greet in our yard didn’t go all that well. Sargent seems to be missing the part of his anatomy that got snipped at the shelter, because he was much too interested in mounting Nola. Just as any shelf-assured girl would do, Nola would not have it. So, we need to keep an eye on that situation and figure out how to curb that behavior.

He also did not appreciate our set up at bed time. In our house, Nola is the queen of the people bed and fosters are not allowed up unless we say it’s ok. The crate is set up in mine and the Mr.’s bedroom and that is where temporary guests get to sleep. In this case, I bought an orthopedic crate pad, a pillow and two snuggly blankets for Mr. Sargent. He was not happy about it and has cried, whined and barked until the Mr. gave in and slept with him on the couch. We have some work to do figuring out a sleeping situation that works for us all.
IMG_3924Overall, even after just a few days, we can tell Sargent is a great dog. He is very obedient, friendly, walks very well on a leash and is overall just a nice boy. His ears are so adorable because one stands straight up and one folds over. He has a surprising amount of energy for an elderbull, and loves to go on walks. He didn’t mind bath time at all (which was good because he STUNK after we got home from the shelter), and he loves to play with toys (balls, not so much). He has the biggest head I have ever seen on a dog his size, and he uses it to give you kisses and lay on your legs. He wants nothing more than to be with us and we’re happy we can give him that.

Know anyone who wants to add an adorable elderbull to their family? Please spread the word about Sarge: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/25845462

Nola Muffin Monday: Snood-y Beauty

After seeing how cute all my dog blog buddies, Rufus & Turk, Ms. M & Mr. B, and Melvin & Jake, are in thier snoods I begged Mom to get me one. She said she didn’t want to get one for me if I wouldn’t wear it. I don’t know what she’s talking about, why wouldn’t I wear a warm, fleecy neck warmer? Just because I hate the boots she bought me, and would prefer to not wear any of the silly head wear she makes me wear for holidays like 4th of July and Christmas and Halloween, does not mean I don’t like to stay warm. It took weeks of begging, but I gave her one of my best ‘please mommy, please’ looks and she finally caved.

nolasnood1 Of course, it had to be purple to match my jacket, collar, and leash. I had a hard time choosing, since there were so many pretty ones. In the end, I decided on the Kaley pattern from Sirius Republic. I think it makes me look regal. You?

nolasnood4

I wore it to mommy’s office on Friday, since it was casual Friday, and got so many compliments. Mommy seemed pleased that I kept it on. I don’t know why she has no faith in me, I have great fashion sense and I know when I look good!
nolasnood3It even looks good on me when I don’t have my jacket on. Usually in the winter here it’s cold and snowy, but this year the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind. One day it’s 60, the next it’s -5, and then it rains and snows in between. This snood is the perfect accessory for all this weird weather. My neck will stay warm, and above all, I will be a snood-y beauty all winter!

nolasnood2

Why Pit Bulls Rule

In honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Day tomorrow, I wanted to share a list of the top ten reasons why Pit Bulls rule (according to Petfinder) and therefore why you should adopt one. I just so happen to have a very adoptable pittie on my hands and she believes that every one of these reasons apply to her.
10. Pit Bulls are relatively healthy. It is true that any breed of dog (including mixed breed dogs) can inherit genetic issues.

9. Pit Bulls don’t require much grooming. Their short coat is very low maintenance and they can be bathed in very little time — not that they need to be bathed often. They do not need to be brushed (though most enjoy it) or get doggie haircuts, and their fur is not naturally odiferous.

8. Pit Bulls are very eager to please people. A Pit Bull will do almost anything his favorite people ask of him, just to hear their praise. These dogs crave our attention and approval, and are very social with humans. This devotion to people has contributed heavily to the bad reputation of Pit Bulls, because a bad person can use a Pit Bull’s eagerness to please to train the dog for nefarious or criminal purposes.

7. Pit Bulls are often very athletic. A Pit Bull will definitely motivate you to get daily exercise, whether you only want to walk around the block or train for a marathon. Pit Bulls also tend to excel at dog sports like agility. However, Pit Bulls are not obsessive about exercise, like some breeds.

6. Pit Bulls are super loyal. When you adopt a Pit Bull, you have a friend for life, through thick and thin.

5. Pit Bulls are usually not as reactive to pain as other breeds. While Pit Bulls do not have any special physical characteristics that make them more impervious to pain, as a breed they have a much higher tolerance for pain and rough handling. This characteristic is one reason why Pit Bulls are often so good with children, because they are able to patiently endure the pain that children may unintentionally inflict without reacting negatively. Note: All children should be taught how to interact with animals and should be supervised when playing with any animal.

4. Pit Bulls are hilarious. Just like people, all dogs are distinct individuals, but Pit Bulls are usually bursting with personality and they love to make us laugh by clowning around. They are fun and playful, even as they get older.

3. Pit Bulls love, love, love people. And Pit Bulls do not discriminate against humans for any reason. Even if a Pit Bull does not like other dogs, they typically love humans and are happiest when they are with us. They remind us of this by wiggling happily and kissing us often!

2. Pit Bulls love to cuddle. Even the most athletic Pit Bull will also have a sedentary side and crave being hugged and petted. Adopt a Pit Bull and you will have a constant companion keeping you warm in bed, on the couch, on your lap in your favorite chair. Did I mention that many Pit Bulls don’t realize they are too big to be lap dogs? For this reason and because they are so trainable, Pit Bulls can be excellent therapy dogs!

1. And the #1 reason why Pit Bulls rule? The Pit Bull smile. Pit Bulls are great for your mental health. If you are having a bad day, one look at your Pit Bull’s huge smile and lolling tongue will surely make you smile and their zest for life is infectious. Truly, happiness is a Pit Bull smile!
Here are some other great resources that talk about the awesomeness of Pit Bulls:
Bad Rap
Pit Bull Rescue Central
Stubby Dog
Animal Farm Foundation

Although Nola is not a Pit Bull, I can tell you that through fostering the Mr. and I have learned to love this breed. We are happy to be their voice and speak about against breed discrimination. We hope that someday the term ‘Pit Bull’ will no longer have the negative connotation in the general public that it does today. Educate, don’t discriminate! Pit Bulls are dogs too, and some of the best if I do say so myself! We hope that everyone does something to celebrate Pit Bull Awareness Day tomorrow. Small or big, every little bit counts!
Anna wants you to also be aware that she is still available for adoption. Fill out an application with Almost Home Rescue so you can add a pittie to your family!

‘Uncommonly’ Awesome

I neglected to buy Anna a new collar when he first came to stay with us. She wore our generic ‘rescued’ collar that I got for our temporary fosters at Target. When it was clear she was going to be here for the long haul, I started shopping around. I remembered seeing a beautiful display of collars from Uncommon Paws at Camp Bow Wow when I dropped Nola off at daycare. They are a local company, made right here in Portland, so I looked around on their website for weeks trying to decide if I should buy one for Anna. When I recently got a coupon for 20% off and free shipping I decided now was the time and not only got one for Anna, but for Nola too!

I chose the Paperweights pattern in the 1.5 inch size because it came in blue and brown, so Nola and Anna could match.
I got Nola a buckle because they require it at daycare. It is high quality and the nickel hardware makes it so beautiful! (Apparently Nola’s right side is her ‘good side’!)
Anna got a martingale because she can pull wiggle her way out of a regular buckle.
The blue looks great on Anna’s dark brown fur and the brown brings out the gold tones in Nola. I love that both collars have lots of purples and reds and although they are different, they look like they go together.
Because the company is local, the collars were hand delivered to my house in this beautiful packaging.
If you’re looking for new collars for your pups, I highly recommend Uncommon Paws. Their website has TONS of different patterns (many are Maine inspired, which I love) including holiday styles.There are also neckties for boy dogs! I can’t stress enough how beautiful these collars are. The colors are vibrant, the material and hardware is high quality and I think the dogs know how beautiful they make them look.
Anna would love to show you her new collar in person! If you are interested in adopting her, fill out an application with Almost Home Rescue.

What Makes Anna Banana So A-peel-ing

It’s easy to get caught up writing about the things that we are working on with Anna. But, it is also important to focus on all the things that will make Anna a great addition to the right family. There are many, so here are just a few:

First, she is an amazing snuggler. When she puts her head right on your shoulder and slides her body close to you it is hard not to fall in love.
Second, she snorts, a lot. I know I compared our last foster Laynie to a pig, but I think Anna might have some piggy in her to.
Third, she sits side saddle like a lady. It is so cute how she tucks her little legs off to one side and sits politely waiting for you to give her something.
Fourth, she is a wonderful watch dog. She loves to sit at the door or look out the window taking in all the sights and sounds. She barks occasionally, but is definitely not up to ‘neighborhood watch’ level, barking at EVERYTHING like Laynie did.

And lastly, she is so easy going. Although she has some reactivity to other dogs, when she is in the house just hanging out with us she is so easy. She wants nothing more than to be where you are, sitting right next to you, chewing a bully, or snuggling with Foster Sis’ Nola.
If you think Anna is sweeter than banana cream pie, fill out an adoption application through Almost Home Rescue.

It’s Official- Foster #2

I apologize for the lack of blogging last week, but Nola, the Mr. and I were adjusting to being a two dog household again. Anna Banana is officially our second long term foster.

As you may remember from this post, she was supposed to be a two day hold. But, after meeting her we were tentative about the family who was already ‘approved’ to adopt her. They had three young children and Anna has no house manners. They came to our house for a meet and greet and we discussed what was best for Anna and what was best for the family. The Mr. and I were convinced that after they saw how excitable Anna was and how much she was in the children’s faces (only for kisses, but that can be scary to young kids), that they would recognize that is was not a good match. Well, we were wrong- they wanted her. We were shocked, and concerned. We strongly believe that Anna needs to go through some obedience and should not be around small children under 5 years old. It took a couple phone calls and emails to the rescue stating our case to get the situation resolved. In the end, we are happy they listened to our opinion, and even though we were not anticipating another foster pup at this time, we are committed to help find her perfect forever family.

So here we are, two weeks later. I would be lying if I said it’s been easy. First, I can’t stop comparing her to Laynie. I don’t know why, I love them both, but it’s so hard not to! It’s always “Laynie did that too” or “Laynie learned that more quickly.” It’s unfair to Anna, but their personalities are so similar I can’t help it!

Second, we’re having a hard time determining how she is around other dogs. She has been ok around Nola, but Nola is extremely tolerant and submissive. Anna is a wicked puller on a leash as it is, so whenever she sees another dog it just intensifies. After a couple of intense incidents, we have just been avoiding any encounters with other dogs. It seems as though if the dog ignores her, Anna is fine. But if the dog starts barking or starts to pull toward her, it gets her worked up so we have just been trying to avoid getting to that point.

Also, Nola’s not loving having another foster sister. After Laynie we said we wanted to try a male foster pup next, since Nola seems to love the boys! She is being very tolerant and patient, but since she is just coming off her long recovery from her ACL injury we have to keep the playing to a minimum.  Anna is pushy and plays rough so that is not an easy task. Everything has to be separate, walks, potty breaks, feeding, you name it. It also means that the Mr. and I haven’t been able to spend as much ‘family’ time together with the pups.We are used to taking Nola for long walks on the beach or in the woods together, but since Anna can’t be off leash or around other dogs we have to split the walks. He takes one and I take the other. Not so fun.

The Mr. was also away all last week so I had the two dogs on my own. That meant for 4 days I got up at 6 am to walk Anna before she went in crate, then I fed both of them, then went to work, came home at lunch to walk the pups (separately), went back to work, and then came home to feed and walk the pups again. Needless to say I was tired.

But, as tough as it’s been, we’ve also fallen in love. Anna is a sweet, wonderful dog. She gives Nola a run for her money in the quality and quantity of kisses. She is an excellent snuggler and she even snorts when she’s happy to see you, which is pretty much all the time. She does need some work on her manners, but she is going to bring so much joy to someone when she finds the perfect home. We are excited to help her on this journey and hope we will find her the forever home she deserves.

If you want to be Anna’s forever family, fill out an application through Almost Home Rescue.