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Cue Fergie’s song Glamorous for these photos taken by one of our shelter’s volunteer dog walker and photographers, Virgil Ocampo. We set up shop in the shelter Sunday night with the full shabang – backdrop, lights, things-whose-functions-I-don’t-know – and captured these fabulous shots with the help of many people, sausages and squeaky toys. This was the first of many photo shoots with Virgil (thank you thank you thank you), and we are absolutely LOVING spreading around these glamour shots!

More photos to come in the next few months, I’m sure – but for now, enjoy!

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Downtown Dog Walk with the AWLA Pit Crew!

If you don’t remember my feelings on structured group dog walks, let me remind you: I LOVE THEM. I also love when they’re in cool places with lots of cool people, which was exactly what happened on Saturday.

There are all sorts of fun events that brought Pittie Trails and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Pit Crew together for a joint walk this weekend. Remember the handsome dog I transported up to Animal Farm Foundation with me back in September? His name was Gaston and he was from AWLA, so I started following their Pit Crew Facebook page a while back (I also just love shelters that have groups dedicated to helping their pitties!). Then I ran into one of their members at Bully Paws’ Pit Bull Awareness Day event, and we got to talking about our two dog walking groups.  Fast forward a few months, and here we were doing a joint walk!

They decided on a spot downtown by the Washington Nationals stadium (ah, the perks of living in the nation’s capitol).  The AWLA Pit Crew has seriously got their act together for these walks, making sure that each dog has the best experience possible no matter what level of reactivity they are around other dogs.  This particular walking spot was vetted for adequate space and safety from off-leash dogs (which are also intercepted by the dog-less walkers in the event that they do come across any).  It is great that their walks are so structured, because sixteen dogs showed up for this one!

We had a great time in the gorgeous uncharacteristically warm weather, and, as far as I know, had no major dog issues! I highly recommend anyone interested in socializing their dog more in a safe, positive way sign up for these walks with the Pit Crew (oh, and it helps if you’re in the DC/MD/VA area – they generally stick to VA).  You can email them at pitcrew@awla.org for more information about their walks and group in general. They also do fun human-only social outings, so it’s a great group to get involved in.

Here are some pictures from the walk!

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When I began writing this post, I gushed about the dog below, Willow, who is an adoptable pup from AWLA that joined us on the walk. Turns out she got adopted to her forever home on Monday! Yay Willow!

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Remember, if you want to join the walking group, email pitcrew@awla.org. Hope to see you at the next one!


Austin Part 1 : Boots, Dogs, and Weddings

Yesterday I got back from one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. Last Thursday morning I hopped on a plane to Austin, Texas. Otis revealed last week that I was going to visit the Love & a Six-Foot Leash crew, but I was actually there for a different reason initially. Fosterdad’s cousin was getting married down there, so the dual-purpose trip worked out perfectly. Please excuse the amount of iPhone photos in this post, I promise some adora-bull real camera pictures will show up tomorrow. . .

After arriving on Thursday and having our first of many meals at Mexican restaurants, we settled in and immediately went cowboy boot shopping. I have my trusted old pair, but Mark’s never owned any and we figured this was as good a time as ever to get him some. We headed to Allan’s Boots on South Congress St. and found what I’d like to refer to as “cowgirl heaven”. I was on cloud nine, and we both walked out with a new pair of boots.

You also better believe I immediately found some adoptable animals! Austin Pets Alive is an amazing rescue organization in Austin, and they hold regular adoption events right in a busy area of town. They also have a jog-a-dog program which fits in line perfectly for how much of a running city Austin is. So cool to see how other organizations do things!

After exploring for a good part of the day, we checked out the Austin city night life, including some of the great live music it’s known for.

Friday was the day of the wedding, but we had the whole morning and afternoon to see more of what Austin’s got to offer. That lead us to Barton Springs, or “the Soul of Austin” as it refers to itself as, which is a great water hangout spot created from natural springs. Outside of Barton Springs’ fence was this scene. These dogs were all having such a blast, I could have watched for hours! Can you spy the pittie puppy? :-)

The wedding that evening was absolutely gorgeous, held outside on a small, charming piece of Austin land. It was so nice having everyone together for such a sweet occasion (I’m such a sap). Here we are with fosterdad’s family.

Photo credit to Mr. B

But seriously, check out these details! Can you say Pinterest perfection?

Now this whole time I was very lucky because I knew I didn’t have to worry about my little munchkin back at home. My mom was so sweet and sent me updates in picture form almost every day! Here are two showing first “Otis waiting for his own breakfast” and then “Otis going to get fostergrandma’s breakfast”. Thank goodness for amazing parents!

Then Saturday morning came the next part of our adventure, but you’ll have to wait to hear about all that until tomorrow! Sneak preview:

(And yes, they are even more adorable in person than on the blog, if that is even possible.)

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page to learn more about him and how to get in touch.