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Get Out And Vote!

6 Nov

Stop reading this blog and go vote!

If you don’t vote, Lucy, Rosie, Goose, Bird and Sal will be very upset with you. Have you ever angered a sphynx cat? If you haven’t, don’t let this be your first time. Go vote!

Tales From A Terrier (The Scruffy Kind)

20 Mar

Another Pittie Pack Walk! We had fun, as always! I never tell my sister, Goose, where we go or what we do because she would be jealous! I don’t think my older sister, Rosie, would care either way.

Waiting for the pitties to arrive!

We started out at the Riverside Park near 59th Street and walked all the way up to 86th Street. I was sad to see that Pinky’s adoption wasn’t perfect but was so excited to see her with Siobhan from the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals. She was not only dressed in green – but looked like a dinosaur!

Pinky is ready for the party!

Mac is a new member of the Big Apple Pittie Pack

I saw some familiar faces like Remi – who is still looking for the squirrels even near the river! Havi, who likes to carry stuff, and Gertie, who has a gentle leader on like me. And, of course our pack favs were there, too…Emma, John and their human baby! I think my favorite new pack walker was Mac, an older gent who was as sweet as can be! And, he is a very lucky dude. He has a rare-ish tick-borne disease and his adoptive parents happen to include a dog and cat doctor!

I got to meet a great couple that not only have a great pittie named Little Bear but they have been fostering a great guy for a long time (too long of a time for me!).  His name is Carlos and he needs a home of his own. Please spread the word!

Carlos needs a forever home!

My mom got super excited because she got to meet Vero! Mom rescued this dog when she was barely 4 weeks old from the Pound here in NYC. Check her out before and after:

Vero - then Betty as a pup

Vero now with her mom!

All in all, this was a fun walk. I think Mom picked up on the fact that I started to recognize people and dogs. I would make a wiggly when greeting some of the regulars. I don’t make friends easily…I need to get to know you.  And, you know what, I met these people and I like them! I am going to end this post with a slide show of the walk but I have SO much more to say about the rest of the day, I will write again – part two will be posted later in the week!

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Yes, Dogs Go Missing

26 Jan

It is true, very good dog owners can lose their dogs. Currently, a good friend’s dog is missing in Aspen and another friend’s terrier was lost for three hours a couple of days ago!

And, I am embarrassed to admit, this week, I managed to lock my precious older dog, Rosie, the miniature pinscher, out of my apartment. She went roaming the building while I slept away with my other animals. I had assumed she went to her spot on the couch where she has been sleeping lately. When I woke up, I couldn’t find her! I couldn’t believe it…I searched high and low, but she was nowhere to be found. I am SO lucky that my lovely dog-owning neighbors took the “stray” into their home for the night. Rosie never left the building and probably was really only “lost” for about 15 minutes before she was “rescued” by my neighbors. Through a few signs I posted in my building and Facebook, all the dots were connected and I knew Rosie was safe

You must be wondering: why didn’t they call me? Well, Rosie recently lost her ID tags and I have been lazy in replacing them. Especially since Rosie is NEVER offleash (and I will never lose her)! Getting her an ID tag has been on the to-do list for a while. I have been planning on ordering one from Sirius Republic. I feel like a failure but after apologizing profusely to Rosie, I I will try to make some nice lemonade from this almost disaster…
As someone who worked in the shelter world for almost 10 years, we always preach, “microchip, microchip”…Well, it is super important to do that, but studies are showing that is just as important to have up-to-date ID tags. As Dr. Emily Weiss writes on her ASPCABLOG:
“The use of a simple ID tag that includes the name, phone number and address of the guardian would support community return of a lost pet. Ideally, lost pets with ID tags should never enter the sheltering system, as they are returned directly by the finder who calls the guardian’s number clearly displayed on the tag. This means we could decrease intake by increasing the use of simple ID tags.”

You can order high-quality, stylish tags through Sirius Republic or Red Dingo (where Josh got his ID tag for Lucy) for under $20!  Or, just head over to your local Petco or Petsmart, buy some tokens and make tags right on the spot!

Of course chipping is important, so if your pet isn’t chipped, contact your local shelter or humane society and see if they offer low-cost chipping. Sometimes groups offer special micro-chipping events! And, PLEASE don’t forget to register the chip if they vet implanting doesn’t. Even double check after the fact. Equally important is to remember to immediately update your registered information if you move.

And, in the case your dog does go missing, here are some reminders:

  • Fliers and Posters – the old fashioned way works! Make sure you have a clear photo of the dog. Post them at intersections, community boards, the location of where the pet was last scene, animal hospitals and shelters.
  • Visit the shelters in person – shelter employees and volunteers are busy. Make sure you go and look at every cage.
  • Make phone calls – don’t just rely on the internet and emails. Call every vet office if you cannot visit in person.
  • Notify your microchip company in case the dog ends up at a vet or animal shelter.
  • Social Media – use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Get a viral campaign going to help recover your dog.
  • And lastly, it’s sad but true, you should inquire with your local government on what agency is responsible for picking up animals hit by cars. For instance, a few years ago a local dog went missing. The owners did an amazing job of plastering fliers and contacting EVERYONE about their lost dog. They eventually were told to contact the NYC Department of Sanitation because they are responsible for picking up dogs that were hit by cars. Sadly, they found out their dog was hit by a car not too soon after she ran off. It was devastating news but at least they had closure.

The moral of my story is never take anything for granted. Leashes break, people trip, collars fail. Always have proper IDs and microchips. After this week, I am holding all my four-legged charges tight, making sure they always have tags, and laughing at this:

Meet Jennifer, Bird, Goose & Rosie

19 Oct

My first memory of a “pit bull” is of not being able to meet him because my godfather said he was not friendly and was kept in the basement when guests visited. Now I wonder if he was aggressive, aroused, or maybe missing some manners. Nonetheless, I never met him. Maybe he was under socialized, maybe under-exercised, or maybe he was hardwired to be aggressive. I will never know, but I do know that my godfather kept and loved that dog till the day he died.

Since that experience, almost 20 years ago, all of my memories of bully like dogs have been wonderful – from the throw-away momma bleeding out from a bad delivery who only wanted to give me kisses as she was dying, to goofy pups playing at the dog run. I am an admirer of pit bull like dogs and a strong believer that these dogs need to be treated like individuals.

My love affair with these bully dogs started almost 10 years ago, when I landed a dream job working at a New York City private animal shelter. Part of the job is matching families and dogs. It is amazing to me that parents, busy as they are, want to bring a pup into their home. I am sometimes more excited for them than their children. Including kids in the adoption process is a challenge especially when parents were afraid that pit bulls would attack their children in the middle of night. I often found myself defending the “pit bull” like dogs, which created a great opportunity to open up people’s minds.

I love to talk and I can talk about dogs, dog training, rescue and pits forever – ask my friends at the dog park! My menagerie includes a 6-year-old smart as a whip cattledog/terrier named Bird, 4 year old clown of a terrier mix named Goose, a mature yet loud miniature pinscher named Rosie, and one orange sphynx who thinks he is a dog!  I think my lady dogs will like to share their home with a mature, mellow boy pibble that they can boss around…one day.

I hope this blog will be an extension of my conversations about the breed that many don’t understand. Although I don’t share my home with with a pibble, I am the pittie stalker in the park.  I am first to go meet the new pittie dog and owner.  I often work hard showing skeptical dog owners how great that blue nose is with dogs, or what a soft personality the newly adopted brindle boy has.  Yes, I am that person.  I believe conversations can start change, and hope this blog helps.

I am lucky to have that touch of pit in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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