Archive | December, 2012

Holiday Time Off

24 Dec

This will be our last blog post for 2012! It really has been quite a year for us, having begun rescuing dogs through Bully Project, continuing our free training classes, and fostering more dogs. It’s been a whirlwind, and we’re very, very grateful.

We will continue to share pictures, videos and links on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, so make sure you’re connected to us there.

Thank you for all of your support this past year, and we hope everyone has a very happy holiday season, and a great new year!

 

Secret Santa’s Big Reveal!

21 Dec

Secret Santa - Pittie Posse

The big day has arrived! It’s finally time to announce which of our Pittie Posse friends was our Secret Santa, and which friend we…Secret Santa-ed (ok, so that’s not really a verb).

Last year, Emily from Our Waldo Bungie emailed a few of us and suggested the brilliant idea of doing a gift exchange and blogging about it, and thus the Pittie Posse Secret Santa was born. This year was the 2nd time we’ve done this fun gift exchange, and we added three new bloggers to the mix, bringing the total to 10, so once you’re done reading about gift giving and receiving, head over to the other participants’ blogs to see what they gave and received too!

Now for the good stuff. We consider ourselves very lucky to have received a gift from one of the three newbies, Two Kitties One Pittie! They went all out on this one, and we absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE our gifts! To start off, the card is a beautiful, unique card from La Familia Green.

Hooray!

Accompanying our wonderful card was a small gift for Lucy that she is gnawing on as I write this post – a deer antler from Lynchburger Pet Products!

Lucy's Favorite Treat!

Lucy’s Favorite Treat!

Om Nom Nom!

Om Nom Nom!

But there was also something in the package for me! La Familia Green, who made the greeting card, was also “commissioned,” if you will, to create a handmade collage inspired by this photo:

I Love Lucy

Are you ready to see the stunning result? I was so thrilled and excited, I ran right out and had it framed!

I Love Lucy Collage

I Love Lucy Collage

It has Lucy’s infamous chocolate truffles (with a little note to my Lucy: “Don’t eat these!”), her Carmen Miranda headpiece, a bottle of the very potent “Vitameatavegimin,” Lucy’s iconic red hair, apron and logo. The attention to detail, down to my Lucy’s special markings and beautiful collar, is impeccable and brilliant.

And as if that wasn’t enough, because believe me, it was, they also made a generous donation to Bully Project! Something for Lucy, something for me, and something for countless other dogs in the New York City area. This really was the best gift I could have ever dreamed of!

Now head over to Kate With A Camera to see what I got for her. Here’s a hint (especially for Kate):

And then follow the internet trail down the line…

Adoptable Pittie of the Week #3: Bartlett

20 Dec

Bartlett

Bartlett is a very handsome boy. At just under 60 lbs, this guy is one of the largest lap dogs we’ve ever met. He’s happiest around people, despite being a bit shy at first. We found him at the public shelter in Manhattan, where he’d been surrendered after being found tied up and abandoned in a park. Needless to say, he was a bit shellshocked.

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Bartlett is a great dog, but is still working through some training as he has a bit of anxiety in his crate. He is also very afraid of moving bicycles. But other than that, he knows to “do his business” outside, loves giving and getting affection, doesn’t mind being around cats and loves to greet other dogs. He’d be a great dog for an adult family living in a suburban area where he can run and play in a big backyard and have lots of doggie-friends.

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Bartlett is already fully vaccinated and microchipped, and will be neutered prior to adoption.

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If you are interested in adopting this handsome lug of guy, please email us at bullyprojectnyc@gmail.com. And here’s a video from the public shelter (where he was called Copper) that made us fall in love with him, hopefully you’ll feel the same!

Wordless Wednesday

19 Dec

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Adoptable Pittie of the Week #2: John

18 Dec

John

John is the very embodiment of the term “gentle giant.” Rescued from Brooklyn Animal Care & Control, at 58 pounds, John cuts an imposing figure to someone unfamiliar with him. But beyond that burly exterior is a mushball through and through. When it comes time for petting and hugs, “I’m busy, John,” just doesn’t compute. He will put his beautiful strong snout under your hand and nestle into your arm. His soft blue eyes will close halfway with sheer delight at being loved, and he will give a long contented sigh, as he slips into a deep sleep with his head on your lap.

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At 6 years of age, John’s new family won’t have to deal with any puppy problems – he is fully housetrained and doesn’t make a sound, except when settling into his crate. That only lasts for a few minutes – even less with the help of one of his beloved treats! This big boy is appropriate for apartment living, because he is happy to settle into a soft place and rest, as he keeps a close and loving eye on the activity around him. He is friendly with dogs and all kinds of people.

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John loves to go outside! He is a great walker, but will need a little help with mastering his leash manners. He shows absolutely no signs of leash aggression, but his excitement for exploring and discovering his world causes him to pull a bit. He is very treat-motivated (and takes treats gently from your hand), so this should be easy to fix.

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John’s beautiful demeanor and appearance are marred only by the current state of his teeth – they are in bad shape, but this will be addressed prior to adoption. He is already neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped. If you are looking for an older gentleman who just wants to snuggle and relax with you this winter, please email us at bullyprojectnyc@gmail.com and apply to adopt John!

Adoptable Pittie of the Week: Fred

17 Dec

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Three words: Add water dog! That’s Bully Project‘s Fred in a nutshell. This boy is 2 years old, just under 50lbs, walks nicely on leash, has manners and is housebroken. He is neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped.

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Fred has lived with dogs in his foster home and has proven himself to be respectful (even when the other pooches don’t want to play). He shows no guarding issues with people or dogs. He sits politely waiting for his turn for treats. Although he shared his foster home with a cat, we think a dog-savvy cat would be best for Fred!

Fred is a natural at meeting people and would make a great therapy dog. While in his foster home, he made lots of friends – both the human and canine kind.

While Fred was at the city shelter, his dog skills allowed him to become a “helper” dog: he was used by staff to assess other dogs’ canine skills during behavioral evaluations. So, Fred is a pro at meeting dogs on the street! Great plus for city living!

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Although Fred loves sprinting around off leash at the dog park, he is also comfortable curling up for lots of naps!
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One thing Fred isn’t fond of is the crate! The good news is, he isn’t destructive when left alone – especially with yummy food stuffables and dispensing toys! He loves rubber Kongs, the Kong Wobbler, marrow bones and more!

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Fred would do well with children since he is gentle and respectful. He is an all-around family dog! If you think you would like to meet Fred, please contact Bully Project at bullyprojectnyc@gmail.com.

What Baci Taught Me About Fostering

14 Dec

Recently, we asked our friend Rennie if she would like to write a guest post about fostering for Bully Project. This is the result.

I’ve been a short-term foster mom for three of Bully Project‘s adoptables, and each of the dogs couldn’t have been more different from one another.

 First came Hunny, who I’m sure was part bulldog. She loved nothing more that long, loud naps on the floor. This dog could snore!

Then I had Ethel, easily the snuggliest dog I’ve ever met. Between her love of snoozing on me and her penchant for playing fetch in my one-bedroom apartment (not an easy feat), I’m convinced that she was part Chocolate Lab.

Finally, I housed Baci, who is clearly part cat. And I mean that in the best way – I’m not talking about the aloof quality of a feline … far from it. Case in point: this dog actually followed me into the bathroom once and sat at my feet while I did my business, with her back turned to me for privacy. Baci is nothing if not polite.

She also taught me a whole lot about what it means to foster a dog, for any amount of time. The first two, Hunny and Ethel, were exceptionally adaptable. Both made themselves at home in my apartment literally within minutes, plopping down for a nap and a cuddle.

Baci was a slightly different story.

Baci doing down at the vet

Baci doing down at the vet

Full of pep and puppy energy, she had lots to do the first night that Josh dropped her off. She rubbed her body across each piece of furniture in my living room, paced between the dining area and the kitchen, and sniffed every corner of my rug. After devouring a 12-inch braided Bully Stick in the short time before Josh left, I didn’t have much left at my disposal to calm her down.

A quick run-through of her behaviors (Baci was great at “sit” and “shake” and was working on her “down”) resulted in nothing but excitement.

Oh my gosh, we’re SITTING! Now we’re throwing ourselves DOWN on the floor. Ooh, and speak. I can SPEAK! Josh doesn’t like it when I speak but I can show you, new foster person. Listen to me SPEAK!

Maybe this wasn’t the best time to go through Baci’s tricks. I tried giving her a belly rub, always a favorite of the other two fosters, but that, too, was incredibly exciting for this one. Baci wiggled her way across my floor, rubbing her head (and probably her irritated eyes, poor girl) across my legs, rolling around like a nut.

After a somewhat relaxing chew on her antler to settle things down, I put Baci to bed in her crate. When all else fails, go to sleep, right?

The next morning I had a slightly more chilled-out dog on my hands. We went on an early morning walk and Baci was polite and sweet, checking in on me often and eagerly sitting at my feet for a training treat every couple of blocks. When an unexpected shower hit, she gave me that look.

Um, new foster person? It’s raining. Why are we outside?

I hurried us back to my walk-up, dried Baci off with a towel (no surprise: she loved it) and fed her breakfast while I ate my own.

As the next two days wore on, I saw quite a change in Baci: I watched her settle in. There was really no process like this with the last two dogs, and it was interesting to watch Baci relax and enjoy her downtime. I figured out a couple of tricks, too: petting Baci’s head made her much calmer than the belly rubs. Rubbing Baci’s floppy ears put her into a practically trance-like state, and then we could move on to a nice massage/belly-rub, with me whispering “shhh” to make it a calm activity, not an exciting one.

Worked like a charm.

Soon, I had a snoozing dog at my feet, and one who was eager for mini training sessions without getting overly excited. I discovered that she was confused about the difference between “shake” and “down.” Ever-willing to present her paw in greeting (see? Such a polite girl!), it took several repetitions for her to get that she didn’t need to shake before moving down to the floor. Her own particular version of “down” is perfectly Baci. It’s a swift drop to the floor, followed by a wiggly Army crawl. But she got it. I showered her with praise for that, and for everything she did that I liked, such as the naps and the sitting quietly with me at home!

Whenever I went into my bedroom and closed the French door behind me, Baci would wait patiently on the other side, her face (framed by a soft cone to protect her healing eyes) smushed against the glass. She sat like a statue waiting for me, happily greeting me upon my return just a couple minutes later.

When I had to bring Baci back to Josh after just a few days, I felt the familiar pang of sadness. Giving up a foster dog feels like losing a friend, no matter how happy you are that they’re moving on to a good place and a famiy to call their own

I loaded her into a cab and she tried to do her usual trick of crawling underneath my legs (again­—such a cat) to rub her back. When the cabbie gave us a sideways glance, I made Baci sit and had to correct her several more times to keep her from rubbing her head and eyes on me.

Finally, with a contented sigh, she rested that sweet, pretty head on my knees and sat quietly for the rest of the ride. I rubbed her ears and she closed her eyes.

And in that moment, I wasn’t sad at all. Quite the opposite, actually: I felt like I’d done my job as a foster mom. After being in two other foster homes before me, I helped teach Baci that new situations are OK. And laying quietly on the floor and taking a snooze is, too. I don’t know how a dog’s brain works any more than the next guy, but I’m pretty sure that’s a lesson that sweet Baci would take with her.

Not that she needed it—she was lucky enough to be adopted just days later. But I’ll never forget what Baci taught me about fostering a dog. As sad as it can be to say goodbye, giving an abandoned or unwanted dog a stable, happy, supportive place to live, for any length of time, is the best thing that you can do to help them.

Knowing that Hunny, Ethel (who I still miss the most!) and Baci will have warm, happy holidays in their forever homes is truly a gift.

And I have that sweet, goofy, thinks-she’s-a-cat pittie to thank for it.

Rennie Dyball is a People.com editor and co-author of three books. She is a currently dog-less New Yorker who has been known to hang out in the occasional dog park anyway, just to make four legged friends. (That’s not weird, is it?) Follow her on Twitter: @renniedyball and check out her blog at renniedyball.com.

Good News Part 2

13 Dec

You guessed it, I’m sure. Baci is also…

Baci Adopted

At the very same event hosted by Adopt NY and John Bartlett where Dug got adopted, we met a lovely, young couple who’d just gotten married. Suzanne & Mike were looking to adopt their first dog together and didn’t have many requirements – we like open minded people! We sat down to chat with them, and Baci showed off, and we talked about her history with her eyes, her high energy level, and her tendency to just relax while at home. So after taking her out for a short walk, we were so thrilled to hear the question, “How do we apply to adopt her?”

Well, we whipped out an application on the spot, and they were approved the next day! They live in one of the most pet friendly buildings in all of Manhattan, just around the corner from Josh. In fact, Suzanne even said that they felt it was “meant to be” that they adopt Baci since her foster home was around the corner, and they’d just returned from their honeymoon in Italy. We think it was meant to be, also!

We don’t have a picture of the happy family yet, as Baci doesn’t move in with them for a few more days. But once we have one, you’ll be the first to see it!

Again, we have to thank Adopt NY and John Bartlett for including us in last weekend’s adoption event. But a HUGE, ENORMOUS, NEVER-ENDING thank you goes out to the Deja Foundation on this one. They covered the cost of both of Baci’s cherry eye surgeries AND her spay. We are so immensely grateful, because as you all know, the expenses did not end there with this little girl.

Our fundraiser to help cover the remainder of her expenses is still ongoing through Christmas. We’re well on our way there, but we’ve still got some more money to raise, and we need your help, so please, please donate.

 

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Wordless Wednesday

12 Dec

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Good News Part 1

11 Dec

Good news, everyone! Dug is…

Dug Adopted

In just one week, and only three days in his foster home (much to his foster mom’s delight and dismay), Dug now has a family to call his very own for the holiday season! While we were at this past Saturday’s adoption event, hosted by Adopt NY and John Bartlett, we met Lora & Mike. Lora volunteers at Manhattan’s Animal Care & Control and she, with her husband Mike, has opened her home several times to dogs who need a foster home. But when Mike saw Dug, he knew that this one was their keeper.

Lora & Dug

Lora & Dug

And now, despite having a new dog of their very own, they’re going to continue to foster dogs in need of a temporary home! So congratulations Lora, Mike & Dug, and thank you!

We also want to thank Adopt NY and John Bartlett, of course, for including us in this adoption event – this adoption wouldn’t have been possible without you! And a very special thanks to the Deja Foundation, who covered the cost of Dug’s veterinary boarding while he recovered from kennel cough.

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