Member of the Pack

Normally when I bring home a new foster dog there is an extended shut-down period – a time when the new foster is kept away from the other dogs, spends a lot of time in her crate, is kept on a leash all the time even when out of the crate (and confined to the kitchen). This generally lasts one to two weeks.

We started down that path with Fanny Wiggles, but Continue reading Member of the Pack

I Need To Be Clear About This…Pit Bulls Are Not Dangerous Dogs

The past two weeks have been very hard. I keep expecting to wake up feeling better one day, but I don’t. There is a heavy sadness that hangs over me and weighs down my days. Grief hits me in repeated waves throughout my day. Pretty much everything in my house is a trigger. I miss my boy.

The foster dogs are keeping me busy and preventing me from hiding in my room with my grief, but I wish they would find their homes. I worry they can sense that my love right now is hollow. I am operating by rote.

Desperately searching for answers or any form of peace, I have Continue reading I Need To Be Clear About This…Pit Bulls Are Not Dangerous Dogs

Beware of Dog/s?

Over the weekend, Nick posted a Beware of Dog sign on our driveway.

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He did it in response to the fact that two of our neighbors were burglarized, but he also did it because legally it’s a good idea. You should be aware of my dogs.

It’s a sign we should have posted long ago since Lucy bit the UPS guy and Gracie tried to bite the Fed Ex man (and bit me instead when I stepped between them). And now Frankie Continue reading Beware of Dog/s?

Testing My Assumptions About My Canine Good Citizens

Assuming anything about your dog is probably a mistake.

(Same goes for most people.)

When Gomer arrived, he was a manic, frenzied force, racing around my kitchen on his noisy toenails, tongue hanging out, pausing only to leap on any persons who happened by.

We took him for a walk with Frankie and he lunged at him over and over, snarling and yipping and frothing at the mouth. And when he was on his own, he attacked the leash itself.

I tried to contain him in the kitchen, and he leaped over the gate to follow me.

I thought, Continue reading Testing My Assumptions About My Canine Good Citizens

Adopter’s Remorse?

You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse?

Every now and again I’m pretty sure some of us have adopter’s remorse.

Not that I don’t LOVE my Frankie. Not that I wouldn’t adopt him AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. He is my wubba-bubba. I can get teary just thinking about the fact that someday he will die.

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And yet…. Continue reading Adopter’s Remorse?

Frankie Goes to School

Frankie’s going to school!

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After searching high and low, I finally settled on a dog-training school that seemed to offer the most options, a solid reputation, and a reasonable price.

Before we could sign up for classes, we first had to attend a free orientation. This seemed like a great idea because of 1) Free! And 2) a chance to see how Frankie would react to the other students and 3) an opportunity to meet the trainers before shelling out any bucks.

Everything was looking stellar until Continue reading Frankie Goes to School

Open Letter to My Pitbull-Owning Neighbor

Monday morning Gala and I set off on a run, well, with my sore hamstring more a runnish.

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We’d gone about a mile and ¼ when we came to a lone farm house that sits nearly on the road. Most of the old farmhouses in Pennsylvania do, since the roads are really paved cow paths and mail routes.

A young brown dog with a friendly face lives at this house chained in the side yard on a wire that allows him to nearly meet the road. On the days when he is outside early, he charges down the hill at us until the chain hangs him and his feet are yanked into a skidding stop. He barks ferociously, but his tail is usually wagging.

One time he was loose, about a year ago, he was still mostly a puppy. It was a rare day when I was running dogless. He leapt at me, nipping at my elbows, desperately wanting attention. I tried to pet him, but he dove at my face, most likely in the hopes of licking it. I continued on and he followed for a dozen yards or so before a voice from the porch called him back.

The dog is fullgrown now. A pitbull/bulldog mix of some sort – broad and squat and muscled with an enormous head. His regular charge always makes Gala nervous and she’ll bark back at him a time or two before pulling hard to get away from the house and his noise as we run past.

Monday, I heard the dog but didn’t see him as we approached the house. Odd, I thought, since by now he would usually be halfway down the short slope after us. We were nearly to the house when he came charging across the grass; a few inches of broken chain hung from his collar. I pulled Gala to the opposite side of the road, but he ran across the road after us, lunging at her. I yelled, she returned fire and he backed off, only to come at us again and again and again. Continue reading Open Letter to My Pitbull-Owning Neighbor