Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire…

This is a blue nose pit bull:

blue nose pit bull pupThey also come in “tan”.  And I’m not sure how one discerns the difference between a blue nose and a red nose.  These two cuties are both classified as blue nose.blue nose pups

Hmmm, still not sure of the difference because, obviously, the name has nothing to do with the nose.  (All of which are brown, or dark gray… just say’n.) But hey, let’s relax, this isn’t the Westminster Dog Show, and that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

The Big Guy came home the other day and reported that the new guy at work had a pit bull.  Very exciting!   Her name is Isis.  The Big Guy has met her and he is in loovvee… but thank goodness he is faithful.  Rose Marie has nothing to worry about – even though she DID chew my brand-new flosser…. and I can’t even go there with her paper addiction.  It’s tragic.  We’re seeking intervention…

this used to be a perfectly good roll of Bounty paper towels…

So, this new guy at work… let’s call him “New Guy” –  tells my Big Guy that his pit bull is also a rescue. Ooh, just like our Rose Marie!  New Guy then begins to narrate Isis’s life story -she was a bred for puppies, they were always taken from her…. er,  which is why he thinks Isis’s depressed.  So he told my Big Guy that he was thinking of breeding her.  Because she’s a certified blue nose pit bull!  He would, counter to her former owners, let her keep the litter and, thus, her ‘depression’ would be cured.

WHOA.  WHOA! WHOA!!  HELLO???? Is anyone paying attention??

First and formost, if Isis, is indeed rescue, no responsible organization would have let her be adopted without her first being spayed  (Liar Liar)  After that, I’ve run out of steam… the other points are moot.  Allowing her to have a litter?  This will ease her so-called depression?  Is this guy the Dog-whisperer?  Is Isis truly depressed?  How does he know?  And what’s with the blue nose pit bull thing?  Does he really believe the world needs more pit bulls?  (Can we just have him check out a local shelter?  What say you?)

On the flip side?  The company party is next Friday.  I’m packing… the Big Guy needs to step aside.  He’s already wandering around the kitchen clutching his head with both hands.  I will try really, really hard not to initiate a brawl.  This may not be pretty… but damn… you may not align and you may not lie.  This breed needs all the honest-t0-God help that’s available.

My mission?  To find out what rescue would let Isis go intact and to educate the New Guy on how much this excellent breed needs advocates.

Now do the Arnold Shhwarzenegger voice here:  “I’ll be bacck.”

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Meet Fletcher!

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This is my new “sponsee”! (now that Marilyn has found her family).  He’s barely 8 weeks old, taken from his mum early, not sure why.  His bio at PittieLove Rescue is hilarious.  Read it.  Doooo it!  He does “random zoomies”.  How cute is that?

Fletcher is the first puppy I’ve sponsored.  I usually graviate toward the older dogs, as they tend to be harder to place… which is frustrating for me because if you want to know a dog’s personality, you need to consider at a dog who’s matured.  

Let’s face it.  Babies are adorable!  (God makes them that way so we will continue to procreate.)  Image

But! They get older and become… (duh, duh, dun…)  TEENAGERS!  ahhhhhhhhhhhImage

With teenagers, you never know what’s going to happen next.  You hope for the best.  You do what you think is right.  But honestly?  Oftentimes you just cross your fingers and say your prayers.  When the genes kick in; anything can happen.  And usually does.  But it’s worse with dogs.  Because, consider this: at least with your 2-legged kids, you know the gene pool.  When you adopt a dog?  No clue.

On the flip side?  Dogs are products of their environment.  If all Fletcher ever knows is kindness, consistency, boundaries, and love, he will be a fabulous dog.  Here’s hoping and a’pray’n that he will!

 

Wonderful News!

Marilyn has been adopted!  She’s found her “forever” home.  I got the email last night.  Marilyn is the second dog I’ve sponsored and I chose her because her name is the same as my beloved mom’s.

My first sponsor was Athena.  She was snow white, had beautiful eyes and huge ears.   I chose her because she was deaf.  Quite frankly, I believe that sponsoring Athena is what helped me begin to heal after Tilly.  I actually became quite attached to Athena.  I sent her a custom made collar from Sirius Republic.  The fabric was called “Rosebud”  and the red would be stunning against her white coat.  I’m glad the folks at PittieLove Rescue humored me and didn’t seem to think I was a weirdo or a stalker.

When you give, when you contribute, when you volunteer- the payback is amazing.  It’s hard to put into words how sponsoring a pit bull makes me feel.  I know I can’t foster because of Rose, so this is the next best thing.  It gives me a sense of helping a wonderful breed of dog that’s been victimized, vilified, and quite often maligned by the press.

Mahatma Gandhi says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

Mahatma Gandi

 

Reactions to Finn have always been jovial and positive.  Rose often triggers other emotions in people when we walk by.  I’ve never hesitated to take Finn with me anywhere.  But I often consider where I’m going and who will be there before I decide whether or not to include Rose.  She has a responsibility to act as an Ambassador for her breed, so I must make sure she’s never placed in a postion where she could possibly fail.

Finn wins over everyone he meets.  He’s a big-hearted, goofy lab with a ball he’d like you to throw.  Rose won’t win over everyone, but if she changes one mind that’s good enough.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  Gandhi

By Jove I think I’ve got it!

This is what my last batch of biscuits wound up looking like:

IMG_0126

But I felt just ok about the name.  No dog is bad to bone.  They’re all good dogs.  I asked for help with a name and my mother and niece thought that something with “drool” in it would be nice.

And so I bring you:  The Delighted Drool Biscuit Company.  I have to work on a label, but my tagline is gonna be “if there’s no drool or bubbles, we’re not doing our job.”  Because, as you all know, I don’t run this company alone.  I have help:

Finnegan Moose, Regional Supervisor and Marketing CFO

 

Rose Marie Logger, PITA & Assistant to the CEO

Actually Rose is a valued employee.  Without her counter surfing taste-testing abilities, where would we be?

Thanks Mom and Caralyn Ann.  Love you both. xoxo

 

On Making Biscuits…

snacks at the beach

I make the kids biscuits.  I make them from scratch and I try to use organic ingredients.  I’ve scoured the web for recipes.  I purchased a dog biscuit cookbook. I make them…. aannnd then I change them.  Less cornmeal, more semolina flour.  Brown rice flour is good for dogs.  Ooooh, let’s add some parsley from my garden!  You get the idea.  They then become mine, or should I say, theirs?

Are they ready yet?

The favorites have a starring ingredient.  Based upon that, I have given them names and shapes.  For instance, the “Carob Coasters” are round.  “Liver Licks” are bone-shaped and hard, with a satisfying crunch.   I make “Peanut Butter Paws” that are, well, paw-shaped.  (I am currently scouring the web for a bigger paw cutter.) And last, but not least, I have “Tuna Tarts”.  They are a square, soft treat that has to be kept in the fridge.  The kids love them on hot days.  (Finn also likes them on cool days.  And rainy days.  Oh, and days that end in “y”.)

But it’s hard to find organic beef liver and even harder to find organic tuna.  Is there such a thing?  The irony of using organic flours with organ meat from less-than-happy cows does not escape me.  But I’m not sure vegetarian dog biscuits would fly with these guys.  Finn starts to drool when the smell of the liver simmering on the back burner begins to pervade the kitchen.  As much as he enjoys the Carob Coasters, the Liver Licks are his top choice.  They do smell delicious when they are baking.

So what shall I call my little cottage industry dog biscuit company?  Seems all the good names are taken:  Tail Bangers (my fav), Barkwheats, and Pupcakes & Sprinkles.  I like Bad to the Bone Biscuit Co.  Your thoughts?

What say you?

“Shpeshial”

That’s how my brother used to say it when he was making fun of the short bus.  We all know which bus that is… PC or not, we know.

the short bus

I have a teacher friend who uses the term “window lickers”.  But she does it fondly, as she shakes her head, grinning.  When I first heard her say it, in that sometimes loud, mostly offhand way of hers, I was stunned.  My mouth dropped to my chest.  I was certain that I hadn’t heard her correctly:  I’d seen her work with her second graders.  I knew she’d go to the mat for any one of her kids.  She brooked no nonsense when it came to making sure her kids got what they needed. 

Eldest daughter works with middle schoolers who aren’t able to learn in a traditional classroom.  She’s had to learn restraint techniques.  She’s been slapped, bitten, punched, and sworn at ~ But she called me one afternoon, asking if I would make a quilted table runner for a silent auction in order to raise money so that her kids would reap the benefits from a Smart Board.  And although I’ve never heard her use a term for them, she has their gestures, diction, and body language down to a “T” .  So we all know who it is she’s imitating.

“Not today!”

Enter Rose:

Er, wasn’t chewing. Just reading up on the air condiioner’s BTU’s.

The Big Guy asked me last night how things were going with her.  “I love her… but.  She’s not easy.”  What say you!?  He was concerned.  Nay, he was saddened.  I collected myself and then had an epiphany:  Rose is my/our special needs dog.  huh  Listen.  With Finn, I just call the chocolate chunk and because he can hear, off we go.  Jeep?  (that means the lake).  Walk?  (self-explanatory).  Hup? (jump into the back of Black Betty… just do it).

And poor Rose.  She’s excited when I bring out her pager collar now because she knows that it means “walk” or “lake” or just going outside to garden.  She doesn’t actually know what will take place, but she now associates the pager collar with something good.

Hard work!  In the beginning?   The pager collar used to scare her.  I’d ‘page’ her, the collar would vibrate, Rose would run away. Back to the drawing board.  Rose wears her pager collar.  I page her.  Give her a treat.  Oh?  Wait!  Where is she?  Ultimately?  I sat on her bed, with her beside me:  page, treat. Page,  treat.  Page, treat.  She likes Hebrew Franks.  Yeash.

So let’s circle back.  I started with the short bus.  If you are a parent who has a child that rides that bus… preparation is everything.  It’s most likely your usual thing.  But it takes it’s toll.  I have an ‘easy’ kid  He’s the light of my life.

Finn

And I also have a ‘hard’ kid.  She brings me joy, she makes me laugh.  But it’s been, quite frankly, a ball buster to get to semblance of ‘normalcy’.

We love this girl…

Kudos to all of you who work with, deal with, live with, and love ~ unconditionally those who would ride the short bus.  God Bless.

This is my spon-see, and I like her a LOT

Her name is Marilyn.  Isn’t she beautiful?

Marilyn

She’s over at PittieLove Rescue and needs a “forever home”.  Marilyn is between one and two years old, sweet, energetic (they all are at that age), and she plays well with others.  Others, being other dogs.  That’s a good thing with pit bulls.  Sometimes a pit bull needs to be an only child.  And that can make them harder to place.

After reading her bio and seeing her face, I would love to adopt her.  It sounds as though she’d be a perfect addition to our family.  Except for one thing.  Rose.  Rose does not play well with others.  Rose does not even like “others”.  Rose should have been listed as an “only child”.  It’s taken a great deal of patience, perseverance, and love to get Rose to where she is today with ‘others’.

PittieLove is a wonderful outfit.  They’re honest, hard-working and dedicated.  Not only do they rescue pit bulls and place them in foster homes before adopting them out, they also raise money for education and awareness programs that help this often vilified and misunderstood breed.

It’s important work.  And by sponsoring Marilyn, it allows me to help.  Someday I would love to be able to foster dogs like Marilyn.  But Rose isn’t ready.  She may never be ready.  So I will find other ways to make a difference, and for the present, this works.

Rose sleeping

Not sharing the chair

The Dog Days of Summer

waiting... waiting...

I am in the water

This is what we do when it’s hot out.  Muma takes us to the boat launch or to the Little Beach.  Today, we went to the Little Beach because it’s Friday and a lot of people come up from Massachusetts.  And not all of them know how to launch a boat correctly.  So it’s safer for us at the Little Beach.  Plus, we don’t have to share.  With anyone.

I bring it to Mum and she throws it. I love this game.

Rose used to not like the water.  She was afraid of it.  She was afraid of everything.  But she’s getting better and now she really likes to wade and romp and splash along the shoreline.

Mum says by the end of the summer, she’ll be out there swimming, where her feet can’t touch, just like I do.  Humph.  I seriously doubt that, but I’m not saying anything…

Rose likes hanging out near the edge… but sometimes, she gets brave:

what are these things and why are they out here?

Muma says it’s good exercise for us on hot days.  I don’t care about exercise.  I just like the water.  And getting the ball.  And I never fuss when it’s time to go because I know we’ll be back.

Life is good.

Tilly… you are thought of every single day

This is my last post about Tilly.  I thought that doing this would be cathartic and that it would somehow heal me.  It hasn’t.  I will always hold myself responsible for her death.  Had I been better informed – there are SO MANY things I would have done differently.  Yeah.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and that doesn’t help my girl.  I should have done my research and been BETTER informed.  I am a teacher.  There is no excuse.  My heart is heavy.

So.  And I can’t/won’t do the details surrounding her death.  It will serve no purpose.

I made a photo book on Shutterfly about Tilly, and I look through it often.

And this is her true legacy:

10 Reasons Why I Loved Tilly:

1.  walking her on the leash – she was on a mission:  ‘I am walking.  I AM walking.’

2. her coat was silk; her tongue was satin- she gave lovely kisses

3. she bounced.  yep.  and hopped

4.  her tail!  she could wag it sideways, up & down, helicopter style… honest

5. she aimed to please

6. she was so *damn* happy

7. she swam vertically!  her chest was so big, it acted as a buoy! truly

8. she was deaf

9. she was learning ASL

10. she loved my jeep

I’ve always been blessed with great dogs.  I will never forget Tilly.

oh sweetie…

Coming Clean, part 2

We think Tilly was around 3 years old when we adopted her. I was able to trace her back to a shelter in Massachusetts, where she’d been picked up with 3 other pit bulls, wandering the street.  No one claimed her, and it was when she went in to be spayed that they discovered she was deaf.

She loved her Bean bed

She was sent up to a kennel in New Hampshire after they’d tried placing her in several homes down their way.  She was always returned to the shelter within a week. Why?  Which is what prompted me to contact them.  They were fabulous and forth-coming.  They’d kept records- Are you ready?  These are my top 3 reasons (there were others) that Tilly was returned to the shelter:

Reason number 3-  too active in the house, jumping, hopping, tugging on leash.  Noted.  Although she was getting better about ‘climbing’ the leash.

Reason number 2-  frightened an elder couple- they claimed she bit the woman when they cornered her. Cornered her?  Why?  What happened?  They wouldn’t say, and they also wouldn’t reveal the “bite” marks. Uh-huh.  

And the number 1 reason Tilly was returned to the shelter?  Deaf.  “Doesn’t come when called.”  Yep, Ladies and Gentleman, that was listed as a reason.  So they sent her up North, thinking perhaps she’d have a better chance at a forever home in a more rural setting. That’s us!

I did a lot of things wrong.  A LOT.  She was listed as an American Staffordshire Terrier so I looked that up on Wikapedia and was good to go.  I brought her home- just let her loose in the house, leash attached.  She jumped on the bed and scared the beJesus out of Moses.

But Finn seemed to like her just fine.

He shared his bed with her

And she shared hers as well:

Took her to our vet.  Learned that other than an ear infection, she was healthy.  And oh?  Those marks on her legs and ‘elbows’? Those were “kennel sores” from being crated. Constantly.  No wonder she was a nut ball when we picked her up- zooming all over the place.

She earned several nicknames:  Tilly the tick magnet, that one’s obvious Tilly the Tank, crashed through screen door to greet Daddy, taking door frame with her.  Daddy was not amused.  Tilly the Table Top Ornament, the girl liked bagels- she got herself one- right up on the kitchen table to scarf it down.

She loved hiking the logging roads with Finn and me.  She never strayed far and always kept either Finn or me in her line of vision.  Forty-five minutes seemed to be what she required in order to behave nicely in the house.  So yeah, very high level of activity.  She played well with Finn.  He enjoyed playing with her.

Tug o’ war was their favorite game

And I actually have a video as well.  She wouldn’t let go of the blue ring and Finn hauled her all around the kitchen while she hung on.  It was hysterical to watch.

So what happened?  What went wrong?  I still ask myself those questions…