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Almost Wordless Wednesday

24 Oct
Lola Bird in the ASPCA 2013 Calendar

Past That Touch of Pit foster Lola Bird in the ASPCA 2013 Calendar

Thank You StubbyDog!

26 Jul

“For what?” you might be thinking. Well, for so many things that we can’t even possibly list them all here. But most specifically, we have to thank StubbyDog for being hugely supportive of the work we’ve been doing here on That Touch of Pit and with Bully Project.

You see, today they just posted our big, loving Daisy Mae as one of their “Rescue Dogs of the Week,” and we can’t be more grateful for that. In the past, they have also selected That Touch of Pit foster dog My Boy Bill, and Bully Project adoptable Paige as “Rescue Dogs” as well. And, in fact, the wonderful family who adopted My Boy Bill initially saw him on StubbyDog!

But overall, StubbyDog represents everything that we all believe in – and that’s what really counts here. Their mission of helping “people rediscover pit bulls as lifelong friends,” is central to the work that we are all doing. So for that, StubbyDog, we thank you.

In appreciation, we ask that you all swing over to Stubby’s Store and check out their amazing t-shirts, including this new one:

Video Wordless Wednesday

11 Apr

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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My First Return

15 Mar

This past Monday night, Pinky was returned to the Picasso Veterinary Fund. To keep a long story short, it just wasn’t working out in her new home and I went over to their apartment to take her. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I don’t mean I’m disappointed with Pinky, nor do I mean I am disappointed in her (no-longer) adopters. I’m just disappointed that the adoption didn’t work out, in general.

D. & M. are lovely people and love Pinky, clearly. The three of them, as a family, seemed so perfect and I had very high hopes for their lives together. So the fact that their paths had to part is very frustrating, albeit for the best for all involved.

Through this, we learned a very valuable lesson: a “foster with intent to adopt” situation is a great thing. Not only does it allow the shelter to lay out very specific terms that need to be adhered to in order for adoption to become official, but it also allows everyone to feel things out. Meeting a dog on the street is vastly different than living with that dog 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the long run, we think this will help us find the right home for Pinky, and the right dog for D. & M.

So where is Pinky now? Well, not at home with me, unfortunately. You see, this is one of the two times of year when it’s very difficult for me to have a foster dog, regardless of size, energy level, or any other factor. I work two full time jobs for the next six weeks. Yes, you read that right. Two full time jobs. 80 hour work weeks, plus caring for my own dog is quite enough for this single dad. This isn’t too say that I wont have a foster dog for the next six weeks – I just need to get me and Lucy into a schedule that works for us before adding another dog.

So Pinky is at a doggy daycare here in the city at the moment. But we are working with the Picasso Veterinary Fund to transfer her to a different daycare center in Westchester County called Paws and Play. At Paws and Play, she will not only get lots of love and affection from people, she will also get great socialization with other friendly dogs, and training from our good friend Ann of Canine King. On top of that, she’ll get exposure to the clientele of the daycare and maybe even find a home in the suburban area with lots of space to run and play! And we also hope to take her on outings in some of the towns in Westchester to get her lots more exposure! We’ll be sure to keep you updated on her progress and story.

Same ‘Hood, Different Dad (& Mom!)

9 Mar

BIG NEWS! PINKY’S…

We’ve been hinting at it for a little bit now, but we can finally announce that little Miss Pinky has a new home – and it’s just two blocks away from her last one!

The New Happy Family

When I first started fostering Pinky, we met a young man (named D.) on the street one evening during a walk. He was so enamored with Pinky, and knew she was for him. So after a long conversation, D. took my card and we got the ball rolling. We did several meet & greets with D. and his girlfriend M., a long walk, emails to the shelter’s adoption coordinator; the whole nine. But when it came down to it, we realized, for reasons outside of anyone’s control, that it wasn’t going to work out.

Then! After my vacation to Disney World, and after Pinky came back from boarding, we ran into D. on the street again. He was so thrilled to see Pinky, and so surprised that she hadn’t already been adopted by someone else. And then the ball started rolling again, but this time a little faster. We knew the family got along, so the only things that needed to happen were to make sure the extenuating circumstances were sorted out, and do antoher meet & greet with me, Pinky, D. & M., and the adoption coordinator. And to our delight, EVERYTHING WENT PERFECTLY!

So after two months of living in my home, and having chance encounters on the street with her future family, the stars aligned for our little whirlwind. She now has a family of her very own just two blocks from her foster family. She has a backyard, and an extended family with huge outdoor spaces to run and play. There’s a Dobie in the family for her to play with, and her new dad has experience in handling and training dogs. What more could you ask for?!

But for full disclosure, this is a “foster with intent to adopt” situation. The Picasso Veterinary Fund and The Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals agreed with us that it would be great for Pinky and her new family if she continued to work with us here at That Touch of Pit, The Bully Project, and the Big Apple Pittie Pack for two months. Pinky will join us on our bi-weekly pack walks and participate in free basic obedience classes weekly throughout the month of April. Once that class is complete, Pinky’s adoption will be official! We couldn’t be more thrilled with how this worked out.

Now for our giveaway contest from yesterday’s 100th post: we are extending the contest through the end of today. Comment on either yesterday’s or today’s posts, and get a chance to win PopDoggie‘s Pit Bull Dog Breed Magnet Set. All comments must be made by midnight tonight, March 9, 2012 to be eligible. (The people who commented yesterday: if you comment again today, you will have two entries in the contest.)

Our Fifth Pack Walk!

6 Mar

This past Sunday, we had our fifth pack walk with the Big Apple Pittie Pack! With 16 dogs, this was our largest turn out yet, and we couldn’t have been more excited. Lucy, Pinky and Bird all came along for the walk and we had dogs of all shapes and sizes, and everyone seemed to get along great. We walked along the Bridle Path in Central Park, around the reservoir, which gave us some beautiful views of both the east and west side of Manhattan, and the reservoir itself.

My favorite moment of the walk was when we passed an older couple walking in the opposite direction. The man in the couple stopped me and said, “Are you all going to a dog convention or something?”

“We’re just a dog walking group,” I replied.

“Well, those are some great looking dogs!”

And we finally got a good picture of Lucy and Pinky together:

Check out the slideshow of photos from the walk:

We’d also like to give a huge shout out to our friends, Our Waldo Bungie, who graciously created our brand new logo for the Big Apple Pittie Pack:

My Longest Foster to Date

23 Feb

Two months ago, a whirlwind came into my life. Petite pittie Pinky came bounding into my heart (and home!) with a zest for life, a penchant for human affection, unending energy and playfulness; a Pandora’s Box of joy and challenges, simultaneously.

Pinky’s pre-rescue story is sort of a sad one. She was, quite literally, locked in a crate for a year. I imagine it was because of her intimidating energy level. Most likely, she had to do everything in her crate from eat, to eliminate, to sleep and everything nothing else a dog needs to do, like exercise.

Finally, a family member secretly clipped the lock and called for her rescue. So it’s no wonder she’s such a whirling dervish, but I am always amazed by the resiliency of dogs. After such neglect, you’d think she wouldn’t know how to behave around people or dogs, but it’s quite the opposite. Sure, she’s a bit in your face, but all she wants is for everyone to love her.

And to my surprise, we immediately met someone on the street that day who desperately wanted to adopt her. Her squirmy body and shining face drew him in even more quickly than they drew me in. But unfortunately, the adoption wasn’t going to work out.

So Pinky stuck around, and is now officially my longest foster dog to date. Before her, it was My Boy Bill who held the record at six doggie-bliss-filled weeks, but he wasn’t even officially adoptable for two of them because of his medical condition.

Pinky taught me a valuable lesson in fostering over these two months; one that I wrote about briefly a while back. You see, with my last foster dogs, there wasn’t really anything to work on. They all seemed to come in these nice little packages, with ribbons and bows and a big friendly smile.

But Pinky was not far from perfect: her energy level could have become a deterrent for potential adoptions, we had a few (hopefully now resolved) issues with house-breaking, and she had a lack of basic obedience training. Oh, and one of the most grievous offenses in a New York City apartment: vocalizing.

Pinky took work. A lot of work. But she’s gotten accustomed to home life now and the change in her behavior is noticeable. So noticeable that something very exciting may be happening very soon…

Pinky is still available for adoption through the Picasso Veterinary Fund of The Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals. If you or anyone you know would be interested in adopting her, please email pvfadoption@animalalliancenyc.org.

Tales From A Terrier (The Scruffy Kind)

21 Feb
This weekend I got to check out what my mom is always chatting about – the notorious Pittie walk! I already liked this group because they don’t exclude any breeds – as long as you can appreciate those muscle-ly, big headed dogs.

Since this was my first time out, I needed a wing dog so I invited one of my besties: Alice and her mom. As you can see, Alice is like me – not pittie at all! I convinced her we would have a long walk, lots of sunshine and, if we behaved, lots of treats! The gentle leader is my walking tool of choice – okay, not mine but my mom’s. Poor Alice had to put one on because her mom assumed she would pull with all the excitement of the Riverside walk.
All the pitties were super nice and friendly (aren’t most of them?). I even tolerated Pinky, who is a little jumping machine. She seemed to know my mom and that was VERY confusing to me. I got worried I would have to share my mom with Pinky, but thank goodness she was attached to a nice guy named Josh. We became fast acquaintances. See, here is a pic of me being polite and letting her sniff me…
There is so much to say but I am so tired from the big walk – Riverside Drive and 95th Street to 57th Street! Here are some highlights:
  • Remi LOVES squirrels.
  • Jackson seemed very sweet!
  • Havi is a leader, she even wears a backpack. I assume she had lots of kibble in there in case we got lost!
  • Gertie and her mom picked a sweet route to walk. Why?
    • Paths were wide. Great for dogs like me who can occasionally react to those folks on bikes.
    • It was beautiful. We walked RIGHT next to the Hudson River most of the walk!
    • There was grass most of the time – for pee breaks, sniffing and laying down if you needed it.
  • And lastly, the cutest puppy was there – Dosa! She has the pretty eyes and she looked a little nervous at first and didn’t want to walk. We were all so proud and she kept walking the entire time! I think she liked being part of a pack of grown-up dogs.

Here’s a gallery to tide you over till next time…Bird

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Pinky’s Vacation Time

16 Feb

So, while I was away (in Disney World – what a nerd!), Pinky went off to Instinct Dog Training here in New York City. I tried to line up a short term foster home for her, but wouldn’t you know it? All the foster parents I know here already had a foster dog in their care. Instinct made a very generous offer to board Pinky that I simply could not refuse. I, of course, told them that I was only working with her using positive reinforcement training techniques, so I would appreciate if they did the same, as she was doing so well with it.

They made this short video of her for us, and we LOVE it. It truly shows off Pinky’s playful personality and penchant for affection. And above all that, what a quick learner she is!

Before Pinky left, she only knew “sit,” “stay,” and “touch” commands. Now she’s got a great “down” and has even started a bit of agility! We couldn’t be more proud of the work she accomplished!

Pinky is still available for adoption through the Picasso Veterinary Fund of The Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals. If you or anyone you know would be interested in adopting her, please email pvfadoption@animalalliancenyc.org.

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