Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fancy Goes Home

Fancy, a Greyhound and American pit bull terrier mix, walked timidly into our admissions lobby confused and on edge. She could sense the taught energy in the air and was unsure about what to expect. After over a year of devotion, loyalty and companionship to her family, her owners decided that they had too many pets and simply couldn’t care for Fancy any longer.

With a gentle goodbye and pat of the head, the leash was handed over to the AHS admissions staff member on duty. Fancy was hesitant to follow this new person, but was comforted by a soft voice and reassured to continue along.

"After spending 30 days in the shelter, Fancy became a member of the exclusive 'Lonely Hearts' club"
After some brief petting and prodding, Fancy was placed gently into a kennel. She sniffed around, examining the new and unfamiliar smells and objects, gathering as much information as she could about this new place. Although the walls around her thundered and echoed with barks and whines, Fancy sensed that she was in no immediate danger, so scratched at the towel and cuddled up against a stuffed toy to lay down and rest.

As the days passed by, Fancy greatly looked forward to the few times a day she got to go on her walks with staff and volunteers. The kennels would erupt in barks and cries whenever a new face or voice arrived, since this was a chance for a treat, a pet through the kennel bars, or maybe even a walk with the new people.

Fancy noticed that new dogs would come and go around her, getting acquainted each time with the new sounds and smells. She wondered where the dogs went to and hoped she would find out herself one day. Fancy posed for some stunning photographs to better showcase her beautiful character, and was featured in local media channels. She liked posing for her picture, so long as she could be close to the staff and volunteers when doing so. She loved any time with human companions she could get.

After being in her new home for 30 days, an adoptions counselor placed a special note on her kennel, denoting she was now a member of the exclusive 'Lonely Hearts' club. She had a bright red bandana tied around her neck to showcase her lovely coat and her adoption fee reduced from $100 to only $35. 

Fancy became a favorite of the AHS staff and volunteers, often spending time up front behind the adoptions desk and even learning some more advanced training commands. Her loving and charismatic personality attracted lots of smiles and pets and Fancy loved the extra attention!

A second month passed, and Fancy longed more and more for time with people. One Sunday afternoon, a family arrived at the shelter looking for a Labrador Retriever. The couple and their son, Andrew, were looking for a dog that would be a companion for him and a new loving and well-mannered addition to the family. After making their way through the kennels and not finding a connection, they headed for the door with plans to return soon.

On their way out, the adoption counselor asked if they found a pet to adopt. When they said no, the adoption counselor mentioned Fancy’s name and that her disposition fit the type of dog they described they were looking for.

 "Fancy is now the heart of her new family"

Thankful for the help, but cautious about adopting a Pit Bull mix, they were led back into the kennels to meet Fancy.

After some brief pets through the kennel bars and enthusiastic wiggles from Fancy, they decided to spend some more time with her outside the kennel in the 'get acquainted' room. Fancy was beside herself with excitement, but restrained in manner, cuddling up to Andrew and soliciting pets from the adults, Andie and Robbie.

That was it. The family was hooked, line and sinker. They found her sweet personality impossible to resist and fell in love with her in minutes. It was finally Fancy's lucky day. She was going home!

Fancy is now at the heart of her new family, living a pampered lifestyle. You can find her most mornings sleeping at the foot of Andrew’s bed or huddled in the middle of all the children after a sleep-over. Her new mom, Andie, says she is "the sweetest dog ever and such a great companion for Andrew." 

"We couldn't get a photograph of Fancy by herself,
as she was glued to Andrew's side"

 When we visited Fancy in her new home for this story, we couldn't get a photograph of her by herself, as she is glued to Andrew's side. Not such a bad problem to have! And she even has a new pink and rhinestone collar to match her 'fancy' name.

Fancy's friends at the Arizona Humane Society are thrilled that she finally found a family and is living the "cushy lifestyle" every dog dreams of. There are dogs just like Fancy at both of our sheltersthat are waiting to find their forever faithful friend. If you are looking for a four-legged pal to have an everlasting friendship with then visit one of our shelters and make a dog's day

(This story was shared with us by the caring people at the Arizoan Humane Society.) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Midgy Moo the Rocket Dog

Midge came into my life when she was 7 months old. At 4 months she was run over by a car. Someone brought her in and through the kindness and generosity of volunteers, she was nursed back to health.

Due to the nature of her injuries she had no hip joints and her hind legs were reconstructed with pins & screws. That never slowed her down when Midge, the ROCKET DOG, would chase the ball, and chase the ball, and chase the ball, and chase the ball... She was the perfect companion for someone like myself who has had arthritis for the last 25 years. She was a constant reminder that the only thing limiting yourself is yourself. She knew no limits.

We were fortunate to take her traveling to various places where she could walk, run, hike, swim and play in the snow.

On February 1, 2010, we said goodbye to our Midgy Moo. It wasn't a car that got her when she was a pup, it was lymphoma after she brought me 10 years of inspiration.

She is survived by our husky mix, Penny, our 2 cats, Whitey & Mary, my loving wife who came into Midge's life 7 years ago and was very attached to her, Nelly, and my 2 sons, Tony & Scott.

I would like to give a special thanks to Kiki who was Midge's foster mom and who was one of the individuals who helped make her a part of my family's life.


(This story was shared with us by the caring people at Arizona Humane Society.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fifty the two-legged pitbull

"On a Wednesday this past June my friend Sue, proud mother of a tripod pittie named Trio and founder of the Trio Animal Foundation, told me about a handsome boy named Fifty. He has two and a half legs she says and you have got to read his story. I looked him up, watched his video, and by the end of that week he was mine. In 2007 Fifty and his sister Bella (a shepherd/pit mix) were happily living in Berwyn with their family when a horrible accident occured and Fifty was shot by a police officer. In both legs. For no real reason other than being a pitbull. After two amputations he is now healed but his family lost their home and Fifty and Bella went into a shelter. Illinois Doberman Rescue (plus!) took him in November 2009 and a lovely woman named Julie fostered him until the day he came into my life. (Bella found a home through my dog rescue!) I could not be more thankful to be the proud mama of this little nugget. He has no idea whatsoever that he is "differently-abled" and lives his life like any other dog. All he ever wants to do is run around with his brother Red and chase his little sister Izzy. Despite what you may have heard about pitties, this one is not so tough - he is a total mama's boy who does not leave my side. 

 And he is famous! Everyone knows Fifty, whether they are here by us in Chicago or out in California. The dog rescue I am with, One Tail at a Time, recently started a fundraising campaign to help me raise the money to pay for his prosthetic limb (yes, he will be a three-legged, bionic tripod in the near future!) and people from all over have been chipping in. He really brings people together and shows the good side of the human spirit. Things sure have changed since this boy came into my life - we gets a lot of stares, and questions, and even sympathy - but trust me, he's doing more than fine!  

Fifty keeps a blog about the fun things he gets to do, his physical therapy, and now the process of him getting a new leg. Check it out @ http://fitythepitty.blogspot.com/ " He was also chosen for this year's Gutter Dog Project by artist Margie Glass-Sula, so check out her blog too to see how amazing she is helping these dogs - http://thegutterdogsproject.blogspot.com/"

-Kelly Nichole Michael, One Tail at a Time

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lily-A hazel eyed fawn colored wonderful best friend! from New Jersey

We were living in Brooklyn at the time, on a gorgeous tree lined brownstone block. As we did everyday at 5 PM when I got home from work, Lily and I went on our usual walk around they neighborhood so she could greet all of her friends. Lee, the green grocer who would save bacon from the morning breakfast crowd and give it to Lily on our afternoon stroll and the Pizza guy Marty who would run out and greet her everyday as we walked by. Nothing really out of the ordinary. As we started walking back down our block, we passed our neighbors Laurie & Lynn and their adopted 3-year-old son, Jack. We stopped and chatted, Jack patted Lily on the head, she in return licked his face. Jack had been diagnosed with Autism and Laurie and Lynn had been working with him on his motor skills lately and were having a difficult time with him walking. As we were chatting, Jack grabbed Lily's leash and began to pull at her leash like you would a horse. I held Lily by the collar as Jack continued to laugh and talk to Lily and I talked with Lynn and Laurie. At that moment Jack began to pat my hand and sound the words "Go Go" to me, so I asked him if he wanted to walk Lily. He smiled and bounced up and down, so I thought I would walk him with him holding her leash with me still holding her collar. Not sure if she would run or pull, being she was 4 years old and over 70 pounds. So I petted Lily and said, "Gentle Easy" and off we went. We took about two steps and then Lily did the most amazing thing, she looked back and saw that it was Jack holding her leash and begin to walk one Paw at a time! I could not believe it! It was almost as she was going in slow motion. Lynn, Laurie and I begin to stare and gasp in amazement. Not sure if what we were seeing was true I let Lily's collar go and off they went down the block! Needless to say we all broke down crying.  It was the first time Jack had been able to take steps on his own. Suffice to say Jack just needed the right teacher and found it in Lily and from that day on until the end of summer Jack, Laurie, Lynn and I took Lily on her "usual" daily walks. We have now moved to New Jersey but every once in awhile Lily will receive a picture or treats in the mail from her friend Jack. And on occasion when we are in Brooklyn, we stop and see Jack and he greets her with a big hug and a kiss every time and she in return.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


After losing his parents, this 3 year-old orangutan was so depressed he wouldn't eat and didn't respond to any medical treatments.  The veterinarians thought he would surely die from sadness. The zoo keepers found an old sick dog on the grounds in the park at the zoo where the orangutan lived and took the dog to the animal treatment center.  The dog arrived at the same time the orangutan was there being treated.  The two lost souls met and have been inseparable ever since. The orangutan found a new reason to live and each always tries his best to be a good companion to his new-found friend.  They are together 24 hours a day in all their activities.

They live in Northern California where swimming is their favorite past time, although Roscoe (the orangutan) is a little afraid of the water and needs his friend's help to swim.

Together, they have discovered the joy in life and the value of friendship.

They have found more than a friendly shoulder to lean on.

Long Live Friendship! 
Some say life is too short, others say it is too long, but I know that nothing that we do makes sense if we don't touch the hearts of others ...while it lasts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bella, the blue/red spoiled pit from Lawrenceville, GA

One day, my mom and I decided we wanted a dog. We talked about it for several weeks and finally decided one weekend to go look for a new pup. We went to the SPCA and went straight to their dog room. When we opened the door, all of the dogs went crazy... they were barking and jumping in their crates in hopes of being picked. The first dog we looked at was just too hyper for us so we went back inside looking for another. In one crate, there was a puppy just lying down looking at us. She was the only one out of all the dogs to just lay there while people were in the room. As soon as I saw her I decided that she was the one I wanted.

We were told she had been rescued from a fighting ring in GA and had been held in isolation for a few months with her sister because they had ringworm. When I realized she was a Pit I was a little skeptical but decided to give her a chance. I am SO glad I gave her that chance! She is my baby and I couldn't imagine her not being with me. She loves everyone and everything. I swear she thinks she's a human. At the park, she'd rather walk amongst the people than play with the dogs. When she goes to the vet she just jumps right onto the table. She is just so friendly!

 We love her and the breed so much my boyfriend decided to rescue a Pit from a kill shelter. (This is funny because he told me I was crazy for getting a Pit and that she would bite my face off!) They both have become ambassadors for the breed. They are changing the minds of ignorant people against the breed one day at a time...


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ace of Spades

Ace is a now an 8wk old pit pull puppy with a gene all dogs carry that made him have one blue eye and one brown. You would never know this, but a week ago someone threw him out of a vehicle traveling  65+mph down a 4 lane high way. God was watching, because he suffered no harm from his fall. When he was turned in to the the animal shelter he was underweight, infested with worms and scared. His full history is still unknown, but I believe he was abused from the very start of his life. Now that he is with me, all of that is behind him. Ever day is new to him. He is very calm and smart and is striving. Ace (Ace of Spades) is the name I gave him, because it is the luckiest card in the deck. He is learning to be loved and has even learned his name. Even being so young he gets up in the middle of the night when he hears a sound and goes to check on it. He makes sure all is okay before he returns to my side of the bed to fall asleep. Ace has become the protector from day one and is an amazing puppy.


Monday, October 18, 2010


This girl is wonderful.  She is my foster baby.

Sweet Riley came into the pound as a stray on 10/7.  On 10/8, a For the Dogs rescue volunteer took her out of her cage to be walked and it was discovered she had a dislocated hip.  This poor girl was in a lot of pain and had been that way for an unknown amount of time.  For the Dogs Rescue took her immediately to the vet.  The vet attempted to put the hip back into place, but was unsuccessful so she was referred to another vet.  After a long weekend of being medicated for pain Riley got her chance at a better life.  She was evaluated for surgery and scheduled the same day.  She is now in my care and this girl is full of kisses and snuggles in spite of how she feels.   For the Dogs rescue is desperately in need of donations help to cover her surgery.  As with most rescue organizations, the money that comes in is far less than goes out.  If you can help her please go to her chip in site and donate.  Once Riley is all healed she will be available for adoption.

Amber Blackburn

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kitty – The Neighborhood Pup

On Saturday May 30th, 2009 sometime around 10 pm, someone decided that they no longer wanted their dog. So, they dumped her over a 6 foot fence into the backyard of an apartment building at the corner of Davis and California Avenue in Brighton Heights. Luckily for this nameless dog, she couldn’t have landed in a better place.

This apartment building (a beautiful old home with turrets that we refer to as “the castle”) belongs to my friend Jeff. Among the castle’s tenants are my friends Matt and Traci (along with their daughter Annan), who noticed a dog in the backyard on Saturday night and called Jeff. That night was a long one – the dog was howling, so Matt and Jeff threw some food over the fence and tried to give her words of encouragement from a safe distance.

The next day, Jeff came to investigate the dog (a black pit-bull), carrying an air horn in one hand, and a can of pepper spray in the other. In the daylight, it was discovered that neither were needed to fend off this dog. The pit-bull was a female who had just had pups, and was an extremely submissive and docile dog who adored people, especially when they rubbed her belly.

More neighbors came to help – Shayne and Lisa, who lived next door to the castle, came armed with dog food, and volunteered to take the dog to Animal Friends to see if she was chipped. (They did, and she was not – there’s no way of ever finding out who dumped her or why.) By the time my husband Brad and I got caught wind of this dog on Monday, the small team of neighbors had already made her a shelter out of an old futon mattress and tarp, and she had unofficially been dubbed the new neighborhood mascot.

Brad and I decided to bring “Kitty” home with us (she seemed like a classy lady so we named after Ms. Kitty Wells, queen of country music). She has a clean bill of health from the vet and has fully recovered from her spaying surgery thanks to the wonderful folks at Hello Bully. She dines on food and plays with toys donated by Shayne and Lisa, is walked regularly by Jeff (who refers to her as his “step-dog”), and is doted upon by the whole gang of neighbors who found her.

Whenever I walk her, I’m usually stopped by someone and asks something like, “Hey…is that the dog that was abandoned in Jeff’s yard?” (Word travels fast!) When I reply that she is, it’s always followed up with something like, “What a great dog! Wonder why her owner got rid of her?” Good question. I have no idea why Kitty was dumped, but as I said before, she couldn’t have been abandoned in a better place. I have a feeling that the love she has been given by our small gang of neighbors is more than she had ever received in her life. Way to go, Brighton Heights!

-Carrie Richards

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Shake it Cali"

Cali was adopted from North Central pound in the summer of '97. She was about 3 months old and her eyes were those of an old soul. I happened to be at the pound searching for a lost cat—this was long before I was an "official" rescuer. As I walked through the sadness, and cries from animals hungry for love and affection, I saw her eyes piercing through the cage: her long nose bent down, one ear stood straight up and the other flopped over to the side. I stopped and put my hand through the narrow bars and she leaned her head into my hand with all her force. I looked up and said, "I'll take her." When I got her she was so excited that when she wagged her tail her entire body shook. As we drove home together a Tupac song came on the radio, one of the lyrics rang out, "shake it Cali." So I named her Cali!

Cali was with me through some of the hardest years of my life. We traveled together, loved and lost together, incurred many victories and failures, but we always had each other. She protected me when I moved to NYC; she was there when I was afraid of the dark. Not only did she protect me, but she protected other animals from injury, a common trait among German Shepherds. She loved Kitties, too, and would never let a "new-comer rescued dog", chase or annoy them. She was the leader of the pack in our home.

When I became a rescuer, she was the bait that helped me catch stray dogs that otherwise I could have never gotten off the street. She completely understood what she was doing, and I swear she understood English.

If I cried, she cried.....so I would try not to! It hurt her to see me sad.

When I lost her to old age, her body had deteriorated, but her soul is stronger than ever. She has no more pain. I believe in all my heart, that Cali knew I was safe, and it was ok for her soul to travel onto her next predestined journey.

I on the other hand must go forward without her in my life, but I will do it stronger, with more determination than ever.....because I know the beauty of life, death and unconditional love that I learned from that cute little puppy from the pound, so long ago.

Shake it, Cali!!! I love you.

Ashley Paige

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Quincy the Saint

So, Tom & I have made the Bross clan even bigger! Saturday morning, Tom & I decided to rescue a beautiful 8-month-old Saint, named Brutus. Brutus had been living in a shelter & passed around from doggie foster homes. His original family had decided that due to financial restraints they could no longer care for him and that Lucky Dog Rescue could find him a better home then what he had. BOY did Lucky Dog Rescue do a great job in finding him a new home!!!!

My father and I drove down to Washington D.C. Saturday morning to pick him up from his transport drop off. Brutus spent 10 hours in a transport van with 40-50 other dogs coming from South Carolina to his FUREVER HOME. Along with other dogs being picked up by their adoptive parents or their foster parents, Brutus jumped out of his crate, came over to me, and started wagging his tail. He had such a smile on his face! He was calm, patient and excited. While all the other dogs were jumping, barking and being crazy, Brutus came over to me, licked my face and put his head in my lap. Brutus knew he was home.

After spending some time with him, we decided that since he was getting a fresh start at life, he needed a fresh new name. We wanted to name him something political because we picked up in Washington D.C. and couldn't decide what fit him best! Washington? Hamilton? Abraham? James? Quincy??? Quincy was a perfect name for him. He was youthful but prominent and he responded right away. He is named after the 6th president, John Quincy Adams, and is the 6th member of our family. Me, Tom, Frankie, Tootsie & Benjamin have graciously accepted Quincy into our life.

Please consider rescuing a dog or cat next time you plan on making your companion animal family bigger. They have been discarded and abandoned by what they considered their family and deserve a second chance at life. Lucky Dog Rescue was able to bring Quincy into our lives, and only 2 days later, Tom & I couldn't picture our lives without him. If you cannot adopt, donate. Help keep these animals housed, vetted and fed.

Here is a quote that all of you may enjoy!

"Shelter dogs aren't broken, they've simply experienced more life than other dogs. If they were human, we would call them wise. They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write; the ones dealt a bad hand that responded with courage. Don't pity a shelter dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side."


Love Always,
Tom, Kandice, Frankie, Tootsie, Benjamin & Quincy Bross

Saturday, October 2, 2010


A little over two years ago, I decided to get a dog to ride along with me in my semi-truck. I made this  decision,  because of a driver who was robbed and killed for $7.00.  That's right, seven dollars!  Having made a delivery in that same facility a day or so before, really had me thinking.

I got on Petfinder, and found "Jake", in the Frederick Maryland pound.  He was listed as a Pit Bull, but I have no idea what else his mix is.  I paid his "bail", and after a health check,  put him in the truck.  Poor Jake got car sick for a while, but he soon adapted to life on the road.

About a month later, I ran across a couple who had lost their jobs.   They were trying to find a home for a beautiful female American Pit Bull Terrier.  After hearing their story, I "adopted" their dog and renamed her "Dixie".  I didn't want two dogs on the truck, but would not part with either.  They have a home with me for life.

I have worked with both dogs extensively training them to be good ambassadors of the breed.  Jake and Dixie have been from coast to coast, and border to border.  They promote good will to all.  I really enjoy letting kids of all ages pet and make over them.  I laugh at some of the reactions,  and comments I hear after they find out they are Pit Bulls. 

Attached are two pictures.  One is of Jake driving the truck, and the other is of Dixie.

Leon Shade

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heart of Gold

When we lost our sixteen-year dog we didn't know if we would ever be ready for a new dog. The tears shed for her were beyond what we ever could imagine. A year after she passed, I happened upon a pet
adoption site and found Echo. There was something in his eyes that made me melt, I knew I had to meet him. The minute I met him, he leaned into me and gave a shy wag of his tail. The shelter filled us
in on Echo's past (abused, a heart condition and a really bad case of kennel cough) but we chose to adopt him with open arms. This shy, sickly little boy has turned out to be the most wonderful dog in the world. We renamed him "Tanner" because he loves to lay on his back in the sun. With a lot of encouragement and a lot of patience, he has left behind his shy, unsure self and has become quite the lethal tail-wagger. Once afraid of every little noise and new sight, he now holds his head and tail high. Everyone who meets him can't help falling for him. We are head over heels for this gentle boy and could never imagine life without him.

Didier Piquet

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet Juliet

I rescued a dog from a shelter in August 2009 and little did we that she would save our family! Her name is Juliet and she is a wonderful and loving poodle/schnauzer mix. This is our story:

I have two children with ADHD and a spouse who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 
Depression. Due to these medical issues, our lives ban be very stressful, emotional and chaotic! Once
we brought Juliet home, our lives changed for the better. She has brought us so much joy! I can honestly say that she has somehow magically taught us to become more patient with each other. She has reduced our stressful lives immensely! My husband is happier and calmer and I believe it is because of Juliet! The look she gives you just takes away your pain and stress. My children are more patient and understanding. When we first brought Juliet home she was afraid of my husband and showed some signs of possible abuse in her past. Well now, my husband and Juliet and inseparable, and yes, she even shares a spot on our bed. They have such a wonderful bond that I cannot describe! He truly needed Juliet's smiling eyes and leaps of happiness. Our house is now filled with smiled and laughter and a much less stressful life thanks to Juliet.

Thanks for reading!
--Amalia Cahue

Monday, September 20, 2010


 I am a dog groomer and have taken dogs no longer wanted from clients over the years. I am also a fancier, and am partial to Sighthounds. Those are the dogs that hunt by sight. The Greyhound type of dogs.

I groomed dogs, went to college part-time, got an assistantship to graduate school and then joined the Peace Corps. Some friends took care of my old Whippet while I was overseas.

When I returned from the Peace Corps, I got the Whippet back, but he soon died of old age. I used to do lure-coursing, so I called some people (this was before the internet ;) and got in touch with a Saluki breeder and got one of his older dogs. That dog died of cancer about four years after I got him. By that time, you could search breed rescues on the internet.

At the time, Whippet rescue still had no dogs in rescue. Saluki Rescue had no dogs either, but knew of a hobby breeder who had an older dog she was hanging on to until the "right person cam along." See, that the thing. Hobby breeders don't breed unless they can keep the dogs they breed indefinitely. It is generally not their dogs that wind up in rescue shelters.

I had the Saluki, a very nervous dog, for about a year when someone from Whippet Rescue called me. I had been on the waiting list for 4 years! The dog's owner had died, nobody in the family wanted the dog and they could not track down the breeder. I told them I would take the dog of he got along with my Saluki. Dogs have to choose their own friends.

It was love at first sight and they have been best buds every since. I was showing the Saluki and had Bebop (that's what we call him) at the show with us and a Whippet breeder aksed me where I got him. I told her his story and she told me, "I think I bred him! I would have taken him back." I am not sure shw would have, but the family did not know her. She gave me all his registration information in case I wanted to do obedience or agility, but he was, and still is too goofy to exhibit! He is a wonderful pet!

--Robyn Michaels

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My rescue, My ring bearer

My fiance and I adopted our rescue from Chicago Canine Rescue in November of 2008.  He was about a year old, severely underweight, picked up in Tennessee and transferred from that county kill-shelter up to CCR.  We couldn't imagine life without him!  He had pretty bad separation anxiety but over time he's gotten so much better and has such a great personality.  In fact, he has such a wonderful personality that we decided he would be the perfect candidate for ring bearer in our wedding! He did a wonderful job and made our wedding day truly special. We are so glad he is in our life and we made some pretty good friends at the shelter during the adoption process.  As we settle into our married life, we can't wait to adopt another rescue!

--Lyn Hooley

Monday, September 13, 2010

Big Love for Bam Bam

About a year ago this month, my daughter came home with this little white thing. At first I did not know what it was. I thought it was a little piglet from afar, but then she came closer and I could not believe my eyes; it was this precious little baby puppy! He was only about 5 weeks old and we later found out that his mother and siblings had all died in an alley. He was discovered underneath his mother, shivering with the trauma.  My daughter, knowing that I am a huge animal lover (especially dogs), brought him to me and I immediately went to the pet store and bought all of the things I needed until I could get him to the vet the next day.  I really did not think he would make it. He was so very, very small and sooo tired that it seemed like he just wanted to curl up and go to sleep forever.  I rushed him to the vet the next day and he got all the shots and tests that he needed and, amazingly enough, he only had worms which was easily treated.  Bam Bam is now growing up in a loving home with 3 brothers and 1 sister and he is loving every single day!  I have so many photos of this animal that I could make a blog just for him, but I will share two with you today. One when we first fell in love with him and a recent photo with him and his big brother, Taz the Pom, also a rescue. Thank you for this opportunity to share this little story about our BIG LOVE for Bam Bam!
--Donnamarie Alfano

Friday, September 10, 2010

85 Pound Bundle of Love

In April of 2009, the officers of the Watertown, N.Y. Police Department rescued two dogs from a closet with their mouths tied shut with rubber bands. These wonderful, compassionate officers tried to cut off the rubber bands before they even got to a vet. One of the dogs, a 4-month-old pit mix was featured on the local TV station. My family, like most people, were horrified at his swollen, bleeding muzzle, but were glad he was rescued. About a month later, on my mother's birthday (she was a woman who loved dogs), my daughter and I were at the local dog pound, just looking around. In the end kennel was a small, scared pup with two rings around his mouth. When asked what the marks were, we were informed he was one of the "rubber band dogs". When my daughter asked to see him, he climbed in her lap, put his head on her shoulder, and sighed, as if to say, "I've been waiting for you. What took you so long?" Apollo (named for the sun god, because he'll never be in the dark, alone, scared and bleeding again) has been with us ever since. Apollo is now an 85-pound bundle of love. Apollo holds nothing against humans for the abuse he suffered. He may have scars on his muzzle, but none on his heart. Some people are afraid of him because of his breed. At a high school football game, the woman at the entrance asked if his scars were from dog fighting. When informed how Apollo got them, she bent over to pet him. Apollo put his front feet on the table, extended his paw, and shook hands with the woman. He made an immediate friend, and scored one against the conception of "vicious pit bulls". Apollo lives with two other dogs--so much for the idea that pits are always dog aggressive. My vet believes that rescue dogs know they are lucky and are actually even more loving and affectionate than other dogs. I hope people will consider rescuing their next best friend. I am thankful everyday that Apollo adopted us. This is a picture of Apollo soon after his first birthday.

--Elaine Murray

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Reason for Smiling

My story begins about three months ago when I became a foster home for a Chicago-based organization known as One Tail At a Time.  I had always grown up with a dog, and after being an active volunteer for One Tail I began to realize just how much I missed the presence of a canine companion.  So I filled out an application to be a foster mom, and sure enough I was contacted with a dog that seemed to be a good fit.

I met Emmet on June 1, 2010, and I fell in love with him the moment I saw his big floppy ears and that adorable face.  I was greeted with a wagging tail that stood out among his bony body.  Emmet was very thin.  I could see every bone in him as if there were nothing holding him together.  After spending the week getting to know Emmet, I really got an opportunity to understand him, both in terms of his breed but also what made him that special dog for me.  Emmet is a Treeing Walker Coonhound, a breed that I knew little if nothing about.  When I had first heard he was the dog that was going to come live with me, I decided to do some research to see if I could get some insight as to what I could expect.

No matter what I read online or in books, nothing could have prepared me for what to expect with Emmet.  He is a ball of energy.  I was fostering Emmet for about a week when I got news that there was an applicant interested in his adoption.  My world stopped at the thought of having to give up my new best friend, and at that moment I decided to be Emmet’s forever home.

The adoption was finalized on June 9, 2010, when Emmet got his first official collar and tags with his name and address already engraved.  He strutted around the house like he owned the world, and to me he did.  Not only was I able to provide a forever home for Emmet, but he has made my home and my life complete.  He is that joy that I find when nothing seems to go right in a day, he is the reason I break into a smile, and he is the reason I look forward to coming home.  There is never a dull moment with Emmet around.

Looking back on the situation, it breaks my heart to think that Emmet would have been put down.  He came from a high-kill shelter in the Northern Chicago land area, and if it were not for One Tail and their dedication, Emmet would not have had his second chance at life.  He is still a puppy, slowly learning that he is indeed not a lap dog (although he insists that he will fit on your lap), and he is still trying to perfect that Coonhound bay.  There is not a dog in the world that Emmet doesn't leap for joy at the chance to play with, and there isn't a squirrel that he wouldn't love to chase.

Within the first week of adoption, I took him on his first trip to the pet store to pick out his very first toy.  His Coonhound characteristics must have taken over because sure enough he picks out a goose that honks.  He goes through about one a week, but it is all worth it to see him run around the house tossing his goose around.  Just when you think playtime is over, he brings out the tennis ball for you to throw around, or sometimes even your slipper.  One of my fondest moments of playtime with Emmet is when he chases his own tail, and after five minutes of not being able to catch it he sits down and howls at it.  He is indeed a goofball, but he is truly a joy.

I could go on and on with my stories about Emmet and how great a dog he really is, but in order to truly appreciate him and the happiness he brings to me...well you will just have to meet him.  Thank you One Tail At a Time for the bundle of joy and endless laughter you have brought me through my forever companion.

Kathleen Dutton

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Introducing Zoe and Company!

I am an Animal Science Grad Student about to start at Mississippi State, however I am originally from San Luis Obispo, CA on the central coast. My most recent dog adoption, a female pit bull named Zoe, was owned by some terrible people. She was chained in a back yard for years with one other pit bull, and was never socialized with people or other dogs. She became both human and dog aggressive, and after biting the landlord of her owner’s rental home, she was evicted. She went to a boarding facility, where the employees fell in love with her, although they could not handle her dog agro issues. Not wanting to send yet another pit bull with dog aggression problems to the pound, they called me knowing I love the breed and have experience working with pit bulls. It took me about four months of challenging and consistent work, but with the help of my lab pit bull mix, we got "Zoe" rehabilitated. She passed her Canine Good Citizen Test through AKC 6 months after I adopted her, and is now a working therapy dog and is completely dog and human social. I got the opportunity to be on Dog Whisperer and watch Cesar Milan in person when my best friend's dog was on the show, and I accredit a lot of his teaching and support for the breed for my success with such a challenging dog.

Thanks for loving an amazing breed of dog!
Meryl Cohen

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"We've gone pittie and won't go back!"

My husband is a blue-collar guy who has never had a dog in his life. I'm a corporate executive who has rescued a couple of greyhounds. When we married, we bought our home in a normal family oriented neighborhood and fell in love with it, because of its large fenced in backyard.  We were pretty close to being your typical suburban yuppies. We weren't going to have kids so we decided to adopt a dog - never even considering going to a breeder because “breeder” is not in my vocabulary.  I started researching dogs and, to my dismay, my husband fell in love with the look of the pit bull. “Forget their media background and my lack of dog experience,” my husband reasoned, “they are a strong, sturdy, beautiful breed with little shedding, great loyalty and a large adoptable population.”  I, however, thanks the media hype, wasn't sold.  We looked at a dozen or so different dogs including a couple pitties. The last dog they brought in to meet us was this little black pittie named Luda, short for Ludacris. She ran into the room and, instead of wrestling with the pile of toys like I assumed she would, she nestled right into my lap and smiled gently at me with her soft brown eyes.  SOLD!!!!

After adopting Luda, we went through training, got her into a doggie daycare and spent a lot of time researching and learning more about the breed. As our research deepened, we learned more and more about the horrible things this breed is likely to encounter, including the injustice of the media. Who could ever damage a dog like that?! As our search for more information continued, we met Bombshell Bullies at a pet expo and the real education started.

To make a long love story short… this, “not so hip on adopting a pit bull suburbanite yuppie,” not only owns a pit bull, but now fosters, does public speaking on BSL, advocates for them, educates people about the breed, does fundraisers, press releases, works at the kennel, etc.  A bigger convert there could not be!! And we’ve had a lot of hurdles to overcome, particularly in our neighborhood and with my husbands side of the family, but "we've gone pittie and won't go back!"

So that's our story. I thank you for what you are doing to educate people on the breed and give them more positive exposure. 

Kim Brunner-Ashbaugh, Bombshell Bullies

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rudie is Famous!

 It’s actually one year ago today that we brought home Rudie. I first heard of him through a fellow rescuer who basically said “there’s a deaf, unadoptable Old English Sheepdog” at the pound in DuPage, and they are going to euthanize him.  I grew up with Sheepdogs and my rescue, One Tail at a Time, works with that particular pound so I put a call in.  We found out that he was dropped off by his family with his sister (a pit bull!) and he wasn’t doing well.  He was “aloof” and didn’t care for the volunteers.  I was so nervous of what I would be picking up so I worked with Midwest Old English Sheepdog Rescue that was going to take him.  I got really excited to pick him up and then the day before they called me to tell me he had parvo and not to bother.  They were going to euthanize him the next morning.  I was heartbroken and ready to throw in the towel, but Midwest OES urged me to pick him up anyway.  They were of the mindset that there was no problem that couldn’t be worked out.  I was incredibly inspired and armed with bleach to kill the parvo in the car I drove to pick him up in.

Rudie was the most beautiful monster I have ever seen in my life. Bright blue eyes gorgeous black and white coat and a trot you wouldn’t believe.  Long story short he was not deaf, did not have parvo, and was just depressed that his family left him and his  sister died in the kennel next to him.  Heartbreaking.

He sat in a foster home for 2 months until I couldn’t take it any longer.  I fell in love with that dog the moment I saw him so I picked him up the next day and he has been a part of our family ever since.  We went through hell and back with him.  He largely ignored us for several months.  We couldn’t get him to lose weight and he had no hair on his scraggly tail.  To top it off he was a trash eater and got a hold of a corncob which almost killed him.  $2000 later and he’s still alive, but left with stomach problems that 
plagued us for months.

I’d say about 5 months ago we finally discovered that the source of the problem was a very under active thyroid.  We got him on medication and he is a whole NEW DOG!  He shares his love in the funniest way; thumping his now huge bushy tail on the ground and rubbing his huge head in your lap.  He jumps for joy when it’s time to eat and when he gets excited he jumps on his sister to play.  He loves to sleep, eat, and play with pit bulls (we think they remind him of his sister).  He’s a show stopper and we cannot walk the block without little kids trying to hug him and adults asking us about his bright blue eyes.  He’s mischievous and naughty and I have stories for days.  Our kitchen is spotless because anything left in the kitchen, counters, garbage etc. is fair game.  He is the biggest fluffiest best pillow out there and a great porch sitting partner.  
I could go on, and on and on.

I couldn’t imagine life without him; he’s absolutely the biggest character I have ever met.  Although I had been doing rescue for years prior, Rudie taught me that every dog deserves a chance.

--Heather Owen, One Tail at a Time