Vote for Sargent! Gray Muzzle Club

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month! It pleases me that there is a whole month to celebrate a fact that I already know for sure: Senior Dogs Rule. To celebrate our favorite Senior, Sargent, I have a whole bunch of posts planned to highlight just how awesome and rewarding it is to adopt an elderbull…or eldertriever, elderweiler, elderoxer, elderhuahua …some how those others just don’t work as well. No matter what breed, adopting a senior is amazing. PERIOD.

But today’s post is simply about doing something nice for Sargent. He LOVES bully sticks. I place an order with BestBullySticks.com at least once a month. So when I saw they were having a photo contest, just for senior dogs, I couldn’t resist entering Sarge to try and win him more of his favorite treat.

graymuzzleI entered him in the ‘Whitest Muzzle/Face’ category. Would you mind casting your vote for him? He would be the happiest boy ever if he got a prize pack!

You can vote for him here. dog_sarge11(I know it’s hard to vote just for him, all the pups are ah-door-a-bull!)

The contest ends Friday, 11/15 at 5 pm EST. You can vote once a day until then. Sarge would appreciate any votes you could give him!

Thank you and yay for seniors!

Trick? Or Treat?

It’s not a trick, we actually have a post! It’s been eerily quiet around M&M&NK lately. So quiet in fact, it’s spooky. Did the mere presence of an actual post scare you? I bet you didn’t expect it! While I haven’t been blogging much lately, I have been spending lots of QT with my two adorable pups. But, I couldn’t bare to let a holiday go by without a themed photo shoot. The Mr. doesn’t like when I put costumes on the dogs, so I went for a more subtle Fall theme. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween from Nola & Sarge!

DSC_0257 DSC_0264 DSC_0273 DSC_0279 DSC_0282 DSC_0302 DSC_0311Oh, and the pups got LOTS of treats while taking these photos!

A Letter to Sarge in His New Home

I got the idea of writing a letter to my fosters once they were adopted after reading several other blogs. I thought it would be a good thing to try, and turns out I was right. I’ve written one for Laynie and one for Anna and it has been a great way for me to get closure. It usually takes me several weeks to process our time together and put it into words, but I really enjoy ‘telling them’ how much I love them and wishing them luck in their forever homes. Even though Sarge was adopted by us, I felt like I needed to continue the tradition and officially put his foster days behind us.

Dear Sargent,

Your stay with us began with a large amount of doubt. I have a very hard time making decisions, and bringing you into the house as a foster was no different. I didn’t even know you needed a home until I found you while trying to learn more about a different dog we were going to foster. But, I fell in love with your big white face and floppy/straight ears right away, and so did Daddy. Your age got me, big boy. How could I let a 12 year old dog stay in a shelter? But, the other dog needed our help too. Well, it was meant to be because as we were making our final decision, the other dog was adopted. Your fate was sealed, and you became our third foster.

I’m sure you were confused. After living with a family for at least 6 of your 12+ years, you were in a shelter and then going home with strangers. What brought you to the shelter in the first place? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that your misfortune was one of the best things that ever happened to us. You were the first dog that we got to pull directly out of the shelter and give you a well deserved freedom ride. You were so wiggly I couldn’t even get a good photo of you that first night. Your tail never stopped wagging.
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Our adjustment period was a little rough, and after only 2 days we were nervous you wouldn’t even be ok with us as a foster. You just wouldn’t stop dominating/humping Nola. I don’t blame you, you were probably allowed to do that in your other home since you were still ‘intact’, and being neutered this late in the game is tough. But, no matter what we did to stop you, you didn’t seem to understand that Nola didn’t like it. You also hated your crate, you wouldn’t sleep in it and you cried when we left you in it. We weren’t sure how we were going to leave you and Nola at home together without a crate, and we weren’t sure how we were going to make bed time work for the four of us. But we knew you were worth it, so we tried to find a solution.
DSC_0537Turns out you just needed time. It took you several weeks to adjust, but when your hormones calmed down, and once we bought your ottoman, your wonderful personality really started to show. We discovered that you loved to walk with us, love to play, cuddle, ride in the car…actually we found out that you love doing just about anything as long as you’re with us. As the weeks passed, we started to think seriously about what we would do if no one wanted to adopt you. We had one person ask about you right away, but that was about it. It was sad for me to think about how the number of years you’ve lived overshadowed your wonderful personality. Why were people scared of losing you before they even met you?
DSC_0574And then we realized that we knew from the day we picked you up that you would spend the rest of your days with us. We ‘tried’ to find you a forever home, but really your forever was right here. You just fit, mister. You’re so easy going and can keep up with Nola without annoying her too much. She has been more of herself around you than she has with any of our other fosters, and as much as we loved them, we needed to find a pup that would mesh with her. You were it Buddy, we found our second forever dog.
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You were our ‘first’ for so many things: our first male dog, the first dog we rescued directly from a shelter, our first elderbull, the first foster that didn’t need any training (other than to stop humping) and the most important first, our first foster failure. We know you will bring tons of joy to our lives as you live out your golden years. We can only hope that we can do the same for you. We promise to give you everything you need, want, and deserve, and all we ask of you is to be you. YOU are the pup we fell in love with in that shelter photo, and you are who we will love for as long as we possibly can. Welcome to the family Bubba Boy, you are home.
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Sarge’s DNA Revealed!

When we sprung Sarge from the shelter, we were told that he is a pit bull/boxer mix. Of course, knowing that pit bull is not a an actual breed, unless it is referencing the American Pit Bull Terrier, we were not convinced. Nola is part boxer and that is pretty obvious just by looking at her, but with Sarge I wasn’t so sure. He does have a massive block head, so that could come from several different breeds that make up the ‘pit bull’ label so many shelters use. But, what about the one ear straight up one ear down, the black skin underneath the fawn colored fur, his short but stocky body, the long, thick tail?

So *drum roll, please* according to his Wisdom Panel, Sarge is an:
American Staffordshire Terrier, Bulldog, German Shepard, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Mix.

sarge_breeds2One of his parents was an American Staffordshire Terrier/Bulldog mix and the other was more of a mutt, but with German Shepard and Staffordshire Bull Terrier genes detected. Just as I thought, he is definitely not a boxer. I do think the bulldog is spot on. The size and shape of his head is definitely similar, minus the brachycephalic nose. The German Shepard could be where his pointed ears came from!
DSC_0966So, it seems as though the Mr. and I now have a bona fide pit bull as part of our family. I was a bit disappointed when Nola’s test came out with no trace of pit bull breeds, so I am happy that Sarge definitely is. He is a great example of a friendly, easy going, snuggley, handsome, rescued dog that is also a pit bull. Now when people ask me what he is I can proudly tell them that he is a pit bull and a great dog! Because above all else, he is a dog, and we love him regardless of what his genes are. And now, I can proudly display this sticker that I’ve had for months!
pitbullfamily2Anyone surprised by the results? Have you had your dog DNA tested?

*As a side note, I do understand the controversy surrounding the accuracy of dog DNA tests. In no way do I think they are 100% accurate, but for someone who was just plain curious, these tests are fun and interesting and do not hurt the dog in any way.

Sargent is Adopted!

In case you missed yesterday’s post or don’t follow M&M&NK on Facebook, Sargent was officially adopted by the Mr. and I this weekend on his 14th Birthday.DSC_0047Pretty much since we got him in April EVERYONE asked, “Are you going to keep him?” I’m pretty used to this, especially since I started the blog. I try to write about everything that happens with our fosters, but it’s mostly slanted toward the positive aspects. People never really see the struggles and the behavior issues that we deal with. With Laynie, I knew she would get adopted, so answering the question of keeping her was easy, no. With Anna, she had SO many issues I wasn’t sure she was going to be adopted any time soon, but I knew that she was NOT a good fit for us long term. Thankfully her perfect family found her. And then there was Sarge. IMG_3900

The questions began the instant we pulled him from the shelter, I think mostly due to his age. And, I couldn’t say that he would definitely get adopted. He was by far the most well behaved and easiest foster we’ve had, but his age was a tough thing for people to get over. We had an applicant almost immediately after we got him, but her financial situation changed right after she applied and just didn’t think adopting him would be the responsible thing to do.

As time went on, and there was no interest in him, the Mr. and I started seriously discussing the possibility of Sarge being a ‘long term foster.’ Then, a few things came up that made us think this was the right time. First, when I reached out to BURN about the possibility of adding Sarge to our family, my contact told me she was getting ready to send out a marketing blast about the available dogs so I should try to let her know sooner rather than later. Then, when I went back into all his paperwork from the NHSPCA and found that his birthday was July 20, it made me think we should make that day one big celebration and make his adoption official then. DSC_0374I’ve known for a couple weeks now that this was the plan. Some of you probably were clued in when I stopped posting about why he should be adopted. I also stopped putting his adoption information at the bottom of my posts. I wanted to wait to announce it after it was official, but it was really hard to keep a secret!

Now I’ve crossed off three items from my rescue bucket list with one dog! He’s a very special guy and we’re happy that he is a member of our family. I worry a little about Nola because he’s not the ‘ideal’ second dog for her. We always said that we wouldn’t add another dog that she wasn’t in love with. But, she’s not in love with him the way she was with Zeus, or with her BFF Payson. He’s big, pushy, and more dominant than she is and sometimes she just wants to be away from him. He means well, and tries to snuggle with her, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him. I hope that with some management on our end, and lots of special Nola time, she will be ok with him long term. IMG_3937Having two permanent dogs also means the end of fostering for a while. I have loved each dog we’ve fostered, but I am happy to take some time off. The only time the Mr. and I seriously fight is when we have a foster in the house. It’s stressful and a lot of work, and extremely rewarding all in one. I don’t regret anything, and the fact that now Laynie’s mom is fostering (she has TWO fosters, plus Laynie and her sister Daisy!), it feels a bit like a ‘pay it forward’ situation. I still plan to be involved with BURN, and possibly do some foster holds and transports. I can’t imagine my life not being involved with dog rescue in some way. IMG_4204So, there you have it, the full explanation of Sarge’s adoption. We love him tons and are so happy to give him a place to live out his golden years. We hope we still have a good amount of time with him, but should that not be the case, we are happy that he will know nothing but love in his final days.
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A Day of Celebration

Saturday we celebrated Sarge’s 14th Birthday. Because we have no children, dogs in our house get full blown birthday parties. Sarge was no exception. Nola has had two so far, so I’ve learned some ways to make the day special for the four legged birthday boy.DSC_0045First, we started off the day with a walk on the beach. It’s been so hot and humid here lately that the dogs haven’t had much time outdoors. Sarge seemed to enjoy the release of energy running in the sand and wading in the water. When we got home, the dogs had breakfast and then enjoyed some of the Mr.’s breakfast ham.DSC_0971 DSC_0972It was still really hot on Saturday, so Sarge and Nola napped most of the afternoon. I officially gave him his cupcake stuffie (I gave it to him for a few minutes when we did our pre-birthday photoshoot) and he chomped on it and then fell asleep.DSC_0029 DSC_0048Dinnertime marked the real celebration. I decorated the table and laid out Sarge’s presents. DSC_0988 DSC_0994(You’ll notice two of each present. That’s because with two dogs in the house, I felt like I couldn’t get Sarge something and not get Nola something too, except collars…Nola has a million of those and Sarge only has one so it was time for another!)

He got a three foot bully stick (bullies are his fave!)…DSC_0057the aforementioned cupcake stuffie….DSC_0044and a new collar!DSC_0016 DSC_0022The bully stick was by far his favorite thing. Instead of starting at one end, he decided to start chewing right in the middle. It was so cute seeing him try to walk through the door with it! He eventually gnawed all the way through and then had two! DSC_0060 DSC_0080He, and Nola, also got Frosty Paws and the Mr. and I enjoyed some cake.DSC_0068 DSC_0064Sarge was too busy chewing his bully and didn’t want to come outside to blow out the candles, so we brought the cake to him.DSC_0071(Notice the photo-bomb by Nola in the pic above.)

DSC_0076All in all it was a great day. The Mr. and I just wanted to make double, triple sure that Sarge knew this was a special day and that we love him very much. And so, the best way to accomplish that was with the one present that I didn’t lay out on the table:sargecontractSarge’s adoption contract! July 20 will now be his Gotcha Day and his Birthday! We are all very happy to add Sarge as the 4th member of the family. It was a great day of celebration for everyone!DSC_0063Well, except Nola, who didn’t seem impressed by any of it (except the parts that involved food) and spent most of the time like this:DSC_0028More on the adoption tomorrow!

Happy 14th Birthday Sarge!

The shelter told us 12. His adoption profile said 13. But, the paperwork from his previous owner had vet records with the birth-date of 7/20/1999. That means tomorrow the big boy turns the big 1-4.

Yeah, it's my birthday!

Yeah, it’s my birthday!

I’ve got a few of his favorite things to give him as presents and we’re of course going to have cake and Frosty Paws! Check back on Monday for photos of his celebration and to check out his loot!

Ma! Can't I just open my presents now?!

Ma! Can’t I just open my presents now?!

Old Dogs Can Be Disc Dogs Too!

One thing we discovered very quickly about Sarge is that he certainly does not have the energy level you would think a 14 year old dog should have. We started by only taking him for short walks around the block but when he was easily keeping up with Nola we decided to try walking them together. On weekends Nola usually gets at least an hour of off leash running time, either at the beach, the Eastern Trail, the disc golf course, or Fuller Farm. We weren’t sure Sarge could take that much, but we tried anyway figuring he would at least trot along with us while Nola ran her heart out.
IMG_4131What we discovered when we went to the disc golf course was that Sarge likes to chase discs too! He does this adorable run where he throws up both front paws and sorta hops. It’s like he gets a burst of puppy energy!
IMG_4124 IMG_4129He does not have a soft mouth like Nola, so we made sure to use a disc we didn’t care if he chomped on.
IMG_4125Although he can’t run with the speed or chase the disc the distance that Nola can, he had so much fun and looked so happy to be out playing. This guy is seriously amazing. I have looked over his paperwork multiple times since we picked him up from the shelter to make sure he was actually 14. Judging only on his disc chasing, I would say he wasn’t a day over age 6!
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