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Not So Wordless Wednesday

26 Jun

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Happy Gotcha Day, Ellie!

18 Jun

It was one year ago, today, that Bully Project‘s first adoptable was officially adopted. We called her Paige, but her mom calls her Ellie. The day she was adopted will always be one of the days that make us the most proud, but it’s also the day we made a wonderful new friend in Ellie’s mom, Rebecca.

Rebecca & Ellie

Rebecca & Ellie

So Happy Gotcha Day, ladies! You two make the most perfect pair!

John Went Back to the Vet

16 May

For the past few months, John has been dealing with the ramifications of the prostate/urinary tract infection that had developed in the beginning of March. He was put on steroids and antibiotics to help treat the infections, but certain issues have been recurring, so off we went back to the vet.

John at the vet

John at the vet

As you can see, he likes Dr. Khan very much! All of the staff said that he’s such an amazing patient, letting them do whatever they need to do to find out what’s going on with him. But sadly, right now the answer is: we still don’t know what’s going on. We’re going to be doing some more testing over the coming weeks to see if we can pinpoint the problem and help our sweet guy get better!

Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days

14 May

On the first weekend in June, Bully Project will be participating in a great new adoption event called Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days!

MPADNYC-BannerS-BullyProject-600

For those two days, all adoptions to qualified, approved homes will be FREE for the adopters! Thanks to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and Maddie’s Fund for creating this great program and for including Bully Project. So come on out and adopt one of our great dogs. These are just a few below who are currently available for adoption…

John

John

Helena

Helena

Lala

Lala

Arundhati

Arundhati

And maybe a few more who you all haven’t met just yet…

 

Wordless Wednesday

17 Apr

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Thanks to Tiennot Knit Sweaters for John’s beautiful new blue bow tie!

Puppy Love!

9 Apr

So Bully Project has now had two puppies in our care since beginning to rescue. The first one was nearly a year ago: remember Eli? The über-adorable black & white pittie with the diamond marking on the top of his head?

Eli

Eli

Eli was pushy little boy who was removed from his litter too soon, so all those basic manners that puppies learn from being with their siblings: he had none of them. He was appropriate around other dogs all the time and because of this, was too challenging a case for any of our then-foster homes to handle. Thankfully, we were able to transfer him to Animal Farm Foundation where he got all of the training that he needed to become a great family pet. He now lives in New York City again with a friend of ours.

Then more recently, we took in Fiona, the beautiful silver & white pittie with charm out the wazoo. Her calm demeanor and playful attitude, and her penchant for picking up on training very quickly, made her an ace in our book. But we knew she still needed some work, too: all puppies do! So off she went into foster care with our friend, and professional trainer, Dot. She grew in leaps and bounds, physically and mentally, and every time we saw her after time apart, we were amazed  by her progress. Sort of the opposite of Eli!

But one thing these two had in common, of course, was: everyone wanted them. For both dogs, we got inquiries for adoption every single day that we had them listed online. From everywhere. From people in all kinds of families, with dogs, cats, children, senior citizens, living in cities, suburbs, rural areas. Well, with Fiona, we got over 20 applications for adoption, and we knew one thing: we had to find the perfect fit for her so that she could continue to grow up into the well-behaved dog we knew she would be. She had to have a new home who could afford (not just financially-speaking) to give her the kind of attention and training that every young dog needs. Well, we’ve found that home! Fiona is officially adopted!

Fiona Adopted

Her new mom Lisa has loads of experience with training dogs of all ages and before the adoption was even official, had registered Fiona, now named Jaya, for local puppy playgroups and training classes. She immediately seemed to understand that despite Fiona’s exemplary behavior on their first meet & greet that she wouldn’t stay that way without effort, time and energy on her part, and we were overjoyed.

Jaya with her new family

Jaya with her new family

And even better, Lisa has another canine companion in the home from whom Fiona could continue to learn. She would learn the ropes of what was appropriate in interacting with other dogs, and she would have a live-in snuggle buddy, too!

Jaya & Diesel

Jaya & Diesel

So best wishes Jaya! Congratulations on your beautiful new home and have the most wonderful life!

Wordless Wednesday

3 Apr

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John’s Trip to the ER

21 Mar

Two nights ago, I was awoken to the sound of intense, incessant licking coming from the foot of my bed. Since John is a bit older and not nearly as agile as Lucy, he has to sleep in his crate instead of on the bed with us. So I looked over the side and saw him, licking feverishly, at his dog bed. It was like the thing was covered in peanut butter (it wasn’t) and he was trying to scrape off every last bit of it.

The noises he was making were, well, gross. Slurping, snorting, huffing and puffing. It had to stop – it was 2am after all! So I got out of bed and went over to his crate and gently lifted his head to look at me. I gave him a couple of pats and watched him lay back down. I got back into bed. The licking started again.

I began to consider that maybe this was just attention seeking behavior. That he wanted me to get out of bed and pat his head. This time, I was determined to not give in. “Reward the good, ignore the bad.” This was an undesirable behavior on my end, and I didn’t want to reinforce it. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And I waited for nearly an hour. Being that John is deaf, I just let out a big scream because I knew it wouldn’t bother him. I was beyond frustrated and tired, and I wanted him to stop.

I got out of bed again and physically interrupted him again. It was then that I noticed that his dog bed was completely soaked through. I couldn’t determine what had made it so soaking wet, whether it was his saliva or something else, but all I knew is that it didn’t smell good and it probably wasn’t very comfortable for him. So I removed the bed, cleaned the crate, and got back in bed. With the dog bed gone, John seemed to be more at ease. But now I wasn’t. I was so concerned that something was wrong. I resolved to call the vet in the morning to talk to them about it and see if he needed to be seen, and to monitor him throughout the day.

Well, the vet agreed that he probably didn’t need to be seen right away, but to keep an eye out if the behavior didn’t improve, I should bring him in. Well, later in the evening, on our walk, I noticed something even more weird: John was urinating blood. And not just urine tinged with blood – this was bright, red pure blood. Totally shocked, I took John to the closest emergency vet right away.

Well, after some diagnostic tests at the vet, including sedation for x-rays and an ultrasound, and collection of a urine sample and culture for a urinalysis, John was discharged with antibiotics for what is expected to be a prostate infection. Situations like this are possible when male dogs are neutered at an older age, like John. So that’s the first suspicion. But we’ll have the results from the rest of the diagnostics in a day or two and will hopefully know more about what’s going on with our sweet old man.

John at the vet post-sedation

John at the vet post-sedation

John at the vet

John at the vet post sedation

Happy St. Pitties Day Everyone!

15 Mar

From Frankie May, Helena, Tristan, John, Andrew, Josh and Jennifer!

Happy St. Pitties Day

Special thanks to our friend Madeline for the great graphic!

Be Careful What You Wish For

12 Mar

When I was 16 years old, I worked as an Assistant Manager at Gap store. I enjoyed the job, for the most part, and got lots of experience from it. But the one I remember most is becoming friendly with one of the cleaning staff there. She was deaf, and when her translator was not able to be at the store with her, she couldn’t really talk to anyone very easily. Except for me since I could finger spell, and knew some very basic ASL phrases. She was a very welcoming lady, and hard working. Despite her struggles, and having one of the lesser desirable tasks to accomplish while at work, she was always pleasant, hard working and patient.

She inspired me. 

Of course, I was moved by the dedication she had. Sure, I was impressed that she was independent regardless of whatever complications that may have presented for her. But more than that, my inspiration manifested itself in educating myself further so that, when presented with similar situations, I could prove to be more helpful to other people, and animals, than I was then.

Now, over 10 years later, I am fostering Bully Project‘s John, and something we may not have expressed about him until now is that he, too, is deaf. I have always wanted a deaf dog, feeling that I had a strong understanding of the needs of any dog, and the challenges that hearing loss would present. And despite loving John as much as I have any other dog, living with him is certainly a different experience than with one of my other hearing dogs.

The biggest challenge is simply getting his attention: when he’s stopped to sniff something on the street, and I want to keep going, I can’t just call his name, I can’t use a verbal “touch” command, and if he’s not looking at me, my hand signals wont work either. The silver lining: John loves human contact, so touch commands work great. If he’s distracted, all it takes is a tap on the side, or butt, or a nice head rub to get him going in the right direction again.

And he’s super food motivated, so even though he can’t hear my commands, if there’s food (even just a regular old biscuit) involved, he’s focused on nothing else and will obey any hand signals you give him!

Teaching a deaf dog has been quite the challenge, but in the end, it’s been even more rewarding than I ever imagined it could be. And after John gets adopted, would I take another deaf dog into my home? Absolutely! (But not without a short break in between.)

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