Monday, January 23, 2012

Bridging the Gap

Fostering is filled with many emotions.  It’s almost like being in a relationship,there are highs and  lows.  A dog comes into the care of an organization usually in bad shape (not always), needing shelter, food, love, medical care or all of the above. Foster families are the bridge between that animal receiving love, shelter, food and obedience until a furever family finds their companion, partner, life saver or all theabove.  Most of the dogs that come in our care are abused, bruised and scared; then they come across that bridge, their savior, the person that shows them love, that reassures them and gives thems helter, food, and medical attention needed for them to cross the bridge of happiness, love, tenderness, confidence, training and obedience. 
Bridging the gap isn’t always peaches and cream nor is it the pits (no pun intended).  There are many cases that make you cry and some that make you smile and there are those cases which require a tough decision to be made as to whether a dog lives or dies.  Bridging the gap means sometimes being there for that dog prior to her/him crossing over the Rainbow Bridge.  No matter the reasoning behind us bridging the gap it’s pleasureable and painful standing in the gap for these wonderful creatures. 

Get involved and you’ll understand what we mean when we say it’s pleasureable and sometimes painful!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Control your dog...please

Had an experience this past weekend (Saturday, January 7,2012).  While walking our newest foster a 3 month old pup name Peanut the president of our HOA, who lives across the street had his beloved Golden Retriever off leash in their front yard as they usually do to do his business and go about their business.  Peanut smells him from across the street, the Golden Retriever sees Peanut and makes a mad dash across the street (it’s a main thorough fare) snarling and bearing his teeth.  The neighbor says in an extremely low voice "come here whatever the dogs name is" he does this several times and the dog isn’t paying any attention to his owner.  Peanut is standing his ground and wanting to play; the dog isn’t focused on Peanut he turns his attention to me.  I stood my ground with calm and assertive energy as Cesar mentions many times on his show Dog Whisper; although I felt some kind of way.  Anger started to build in me and at that point the dog finally runs back across the street to his owner as if all is well with the world. The neighbor then says to me “cute puppy.” It took everything in me not to say a few choice words that were on my lips. 

This is not the first incident with this dog.  Shortly after Sasha was adopted, while walking Sasha on her leash the same dog charged us and frightened Sasha and a fight almost ensued.  We controlled Sasha and the neighbor’s wife was out at that time and called the dog, thank God we had control over Sasha more importantly Sasha was a leash and she controlled herself.  An apology was given and life went on.  During the walk it was discussed that if it had been the other way around meaning Sasha charged their dog or if Sasha would’ve reacted negatively our dog would’ve been at fault and life would be a living hell for us.  Why is it ok for other dogs to be off leash, terrorize the neighborhood? A fake smile is givin and we’re suppose to be ok with that? It’s NEVER ok and it is the responsibility of ALL pet owners to control their pet.

Another incident happened when a dachshund charged Sasha out of the bushes, again Sasha was on leash and we’re walking minding our business.  We turned around to walk away from the dog however, the dog kept pursuing Sasha.  Finally, an older couple (the dogs owner came out) bringing their groceries in the house, they looked at us as if we caused a disturbance, barely apologized  and kept it moving.  Again, had that been my dogs the story would've been different. 

The moral of the story CONTROL your dog cause mine is alwaysunder my control!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Anniversay Sasha!!

Happy anniversary Sasha!!

Today is a day of celebration and jubilation! On this day last year it was a Sunday and we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of Sasha Taylor Parker. It was the longest day of our lives. The harassment started many many years ago of asking and desiring a dog. A fight was put up however, we were worn down and decided to look into adopting a dog. A breed had not been selected until the Mike Vick case, our son & Villalobos, between the combination it was destined that a an American Pit Bull Terrier was going to become part of our family. After much research, reading and speaking with others that adopted this bully breed we felt comfortable with forging ahead with this bully breed. We contacted Villalobos regarding their dog Krunch however,after watching an episode about Creature and his many failed adoptions our minds were changed and we wanted Creature. Speaking to a co-worker who had 3 female pitties she told me about about a local organization that rescues pit bulls...Bully Paws. We contacted them before however, no one answered the phone and we let it be. She told me to try again, which we did after thoroughly researching them. We scanned the many photos of all the adoptabull pitties.

Our criterion was not stringent so we thought. We wanted a dog that didn’t require much training, NO puppies although they are so cute and cuddly, had to be energetic (thought I did my research cause this bully breed has nothing but energy), loving, cuddly and get along with children, love car rides for we’re a family always on the go and the dog had to get along with other dogs. Of course in conducting our research we were aware of why this breed was bred, which was for idiots pure entertainment by fighting other dogs and bull & bear baiting which was a huge concern however, our son had experience with these bullies and assured us with the proper upbringing we won’t have the that issue and the experts said the same. So the search continued and there was one dog that stood all white American Pit Bull Terrier, her picture in the background was red and complimented her coat, something had her attention and it appeared to make her smile. Is she smiling we asked and laughed and kept looking at the other pictures. Personally, I wanted a male and one captured my attention however, everyone else was focused on the female that smiled at us. Her bio read nice, she wasn’t abandoned, abused or neglected but given up by force because the residence where her and her owners were living did not allow pets so she was bought to the shelter where she stayed for three month. At the time of her arrival at the shelter she was 3 months which meant she was in the shelter until she was 6 months and taken in by Bully Paws. By the time we saw her, Sasha was a little over a year. After many discussions and research we decided to put in an application. A response was provided immediately. A phone interview was conducted, our references were checked and a home visit was done. While all of this was going on we inquired about Sasha and another pup around the same age as Sasha. The foster mother of Sasha contacted us immediately and no word from the other dogs foster. Many e-mail conversations went back and forth regarding Sasha and our family. How she would fit in? What is her temperament? How’s her health? How is she with children & other dogs? Every question you could think of we asked. She was very patient and understanding that this was our first pit bull and honestly, I was still scared and nervous whereas everyone else was cool, confident and excited. Thinking out loud I said are we sure this is the right chose? There are so many other breeds that are “nicer” lets continue to look around.

Well time was running out because we received the phone call and heard “your application has been approved!” Are you sure? Yes, where would you like to meet? We can meet you at your house or you can come to the adoption event we’re having. You would’ve thought it was Christmas everyone was jumping for joy. The decision was made to bring her to our house. That was the longest day of our lives. It was a Sunday and Sasha and her foster mom were coming around 3:00pm. So much needed to be done but nothing could get done because of the nerves. The phone rang a thousand times asking if Sasha had arrived and what is she like etc. Literally everyone was on pins and needles with excitement. Finally, 3:00pm came no sign of Sasha and no phone call saying they were on their way or something happened. The anxiety was killing us and overwhelming. Then a car pulls up.... is it...could it it wasn’t....wait YES it is! All we heard was SHE’S HERE, SHE’S HERE!! Everyone runs downstairs, I’m upstairs praying we made the right decision. In comes Sasha as beautiful as her picture but a little bigger. Take her off the leash let her smell around. She was looking for my moms dog who passed in 2010 (he was hit by a car).

We now know why these dogs are called bullies. Sasha Taylor Parker bullied her way through the door and into our hearts. Her bottom and tail wagged so fast she could barley walk or stand. She jumped, gave kisses (the only way pitties know how to) and was a ball of excitement & energy. Her disposition was and still is sweet. She excelled in obedience training, loves absolutely loves car rides & children. Other dogs ummm we’re still working on that...Hey we can’t get everything we want! Happy anniversary Sasha, we look forward to many many many many more happy anniversaries!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!


Prayerfully everyone had a wonderful and joyous Christmas/Holiday Season! Spending time with family and friends at times will melt your heart or scratching and crawling to get away from them. Many wonderful families welcomed became first time pet parents or added playmates or companions. To who adopted this holiday season CONGRATULATIONS & enjoy!

Although this is a new year the same old, same old continues. Read a story on about a man, named Ivory who saved a pit bull pup, named Chocolate that was abandoned and near death. Ivory is a man who admitted he suffers from mental and physical handicapped. Ivory is confined to a wheelchair, while some may say he can barely care for himself he opened his heart and home to another that needed his help. Ivory nursed Chocolate to health while taking care of himself the best he knows how. A feel good story right? Not quite, Ivory and Chocolate are homeless. Ivory asked his landlord if he could keep Chocolate the answer was NO. Other occupants of the complex have pets so why can’t Ivory have Chocolate? Could it be because Chocolate is a pit bull? Is there anything in the lease that specifies which breeds are acceptable? Is there a weight requirement? These answers are not known. A man who is mentally and physically ill yet he had enough compassion and love for another living being not to leave let it die. Ivory has given up his piece of mind, the comforts of his home in order to give Chocolate a second chance at life. Shortly after the documentary detailing Ivory and Chocolates ordeal, Ivory (a mental and unstable man) made the decision to check himself into a mental hospital and take Chocolate to a veterinary clinic until Ivory is better.

How many of us willing to become fight or become homeless for their furever family member? Honestly, we will fight for Sasha & Krush a as long as we can and that’s being honest (should for any reason we are unable to care for Sasha &Krush it is in our contract that we must re-home them with the organization we adopted them from). That brings a very small piece of mind but we will do EVERYTHING to keep them with us at all times. What Ivory and many others do for their furever family members is commendable however, it should not come down being homeless. NO one should have to make this decision; unfortunately due to breed discriminatory legislation or breed specific legislation many have to make this tough decision; from military families or those who lost their homes. It is because of this story and many like Ivory and Chocolate that breed legislation should be repealed and those irresponsible owners should be punished or banned.

We encourage all who read this blog to read the story on website. It is important to understand what BDL or BSL is doing to families, please contact your local legislative representative if you live where BDL or BSL exits and ask for it to be repealed. If this story does nothing else it shows compassion...we all have it. Volunteer at your local SPCA, shelter or rescued organization and most importantly love each other and help those less fortunate than you ALL year round!

Have a safe & PROSPEROUS 2012...the YEAR of the Pit Bull