Monday, February 7, 2011

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Love Like a Dog (Paperback) by Anne Calcagno

Love Like a Dog

by Anne Calcagno

Giveaway ends March 01, 2011.

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Monday, January 17, 2011


My best guess is that Iggy is a Pit Bull, Mastiff and American Bulldog mix, with perhaps a smattering of Dogo Argentino. His parents were picked up by Dog Control off the streets of Manhattan. His dad was euthanized immediately, which unfortunately, is not uncommon for dogs that fall under the category, Pit Bull, or Pit Bull cross … His pregnant mom, China, was spared. Fortunately, after she gave birth to her pups, they were all taken in by a Pit Bull Rescue group.

We first learned about Iggy through the Pit Bull Rescue’s website. After completing their adoption application we waited patiently and watched him grow through the photographs that were updated online every week. Iggy remained our favorite in the pictures, and when the pups were 8 weeks old, all the potential adopters gathered to meet them at the official, “puppy party.” We fell in love with him immediately – the biggest and mushiest of them all, Iggy was even cuter in real life. A week later, he was delivered to our house for a “house check,” we passed, he stayed, and the most amazing human – dog bonds ever, began to form.

Iggy quickly grew to be my full time, and official “co-pilot” and super model extraordinaire... His dashing good looks coupled with and his stoic, kind, tolerant, understanding and comical nature, are what inspired me to become an advocate for Pit Bulls and ultimately, to start a pet photography business.

Iggy loves to play with his humans companions, his 3 dog siblings, Taiho, Zoey and Maya, the cat that raised (brainwashed) him, Lukas, and his other cat friend, Jengo. He works hard on the family farm, protecting the chickens from predators and the field, from…. crows? (well, sometimes he takes his job a little too far!) 

Iggy is my soul dog. I want to thank him for everything he’s brought to our lives. For the special “Iggy moments” he shares with us all, where he stands up and hugs us and looks DEEP into our eyes until our souls connect…. For the huge effort he puts into communicating his thoughts at all times, through his countless facial expressions, his yodeling, demand barking, subtle gestures, and kisses…. For the games he plays with his 9 year old human sister and her friends, or for how he patiently stands guard by them when they play outside…. For how he tries to save them when they’re swimming, even if they don’t need saving…. For how he places his hand around his mom’s shoulder and his cheek against hers, when they go out for their daily adventures in the car, and for just plain being Iggy.

-Lisa Fishler
Special Thanks to The Unexpected Pit Bull for sharing this story!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


All my life I wanted a dog but my parents never gave in. So when I was 27 and had the means and lifestyle to properly care for a dog, I went down to the St. Petersburg Animal Services with my boyfriend and niece (who would have to approve of any dog I got). Even though I've always wanted a furry friend, this was an impulsive decision.

There were so many dogs to choose from that day. But Achilles reminded my boyfriend of a pitbull he was forced to put down at the Humane Society he had worked at for years due to advanced heartworm (RIP Snow Bear). Initially, the guard let us see him and told us all the traditional warnings about pitbulls (home owners insurance, etc.) but then she basically suggested that we would need to be abusive to control him. I blew her off but my niece was now scared to touch Achilles.

Luckily, one of the caretakers came out and saw Achilles. She raved about him...told us he was her favorite and took him out first every morning because he didn't potty in his cage. She gave us a couple tips on his specific tendencies and we had to have him. Plus, he was 50% off...15 whole dollars. ;-) We had to wait a few days to get him fixed but we loved him immediately. It took a few months for him to love us back...he's one of those stubborn, independent types.
I can honestly say that getting Achilles is one of the best things that has every happened to our family!!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Radar Love

My husband and I had recently put our dog Danger down to sleep. It was a hard situation for the both of us and we were not used to coming home to an empty house.

Then, we found Astro (the black dog), brought him home and fell in love with him immediately! We were also told that there was a "girl version" of him, named Emma (tan dog), available at the Sunnyslope location being released from foster care. We called and had a hold put on her for us while she was being spayed and then we got the call! My Aunt, myself and Astro went down to do the introduction and the 2 have been inseparable ever since.

We have never had more than 1 dog at a time so this was new for us. The relationship that Starla (previously named Emma) and Astro have is unbelievable! They love each other and take care of each other in the best way. They both fell into our lives, and each others right at the perfect time.

- Joleene & Jason

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 @ " 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 -"

-Kelly Nichole Michael, One Tail at a Time