Weekend Adopt-A-Thon!

Animal shelters across the country were holding ASPCA-sponsored Mega Matchathon Adoption Events this weekend. The DC area held ours at the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL), and seven area shelters participated – including the Montgomery County Humane Society. We all packed up a bunch of animals and brought them to WARL in hopes of finding them forever homes on the spot. It was so much fun!

Over both days we brought eleven dogs total, and all but three got adopted! A few of the lucky ones included:

While three pups didn’t find their forever homes, they still had an awesome weekend soaking up attention and getting great exposure and socialization.

It was an amazingly successful event, with 19 animals in total being adopted to great families. Two full days of woo-ing the crowds sure wore out the dogs!

I’m tuckered out too after such a long weekend, but it was beyond worth it. I wish everyone could experience the feeling of a shelter animal finally finding the perfect home. I think there were a few dogs I actually did a dance for when I saw the adoption interviewer return from speaking with the families with a smile on her face saying, “Woofer’s going home!” There is just nothing like it.

So congrats to Tory, Callie, Woofer, Chauncy, Holton, Roscoe, Brooks, Annie, Spike, Nike, Rio, Tijuana, Kangaroo, Dallas, Chess, Bowling, Juno, Peach, and Goose for getting a new chance at love!


The Dogs That Steal Hearts

With so many dogs in the shelter, it’s easy to not get attached to many. Every once in a while, though, one comes along that just grabs your heartstrings between their paws and doesn’t let go. You become emotionally invested, and your every wish hangs on wanting this dog to find the perfect home. For me, in the past two weeks this happened with a dog named Ruby.

You may remember her from a post about taking her on tv. She is an absolute dream of a dog. I took her to an event on Wednesday night, and she wowed the crowd by being calm and gentle to everyone she met – and of course being totally gorgeous. I dropped her off at the shelter that night with my heart aching at the thought of her spending the night alone in her kennel.

While it’s scary investing so much love into a shelter dog, it’s also really refreshing. It helps you remember that every face back there is a loving animal with so much potential – a thought that is easily lost as you go about your daily job and fight for “homeless animals” as a whole, as opposed to each as an individual. These dogs show up, kiss your face, and remind you why you do what you do.

I know what you all are thinking: next foster! next foster! But Ruby is actually spoken for with at least one solid application – yay! Plus, I’ve got a visitor coming next week. . .


Guest Post from Fosterdad

Mark and I started dating about two years ago, and at the time he had no idea what he was signing up for with my future as a foster parent. Being a college senior, I don’t think the responsibility of a dog is exactly his idea of the best way to spend his last few months before the real world, but he supports me and helps me out so much with all the dogs I bring home – definitely being a “fosterdad” to each one. I wanted him to share his take on the rescue world that I so lovingly forced upon him :-).

So Juliana was nice enough to let me borrow her blog for a day and write from a different view. First, to introduce myself I’m Mark. I’m the one you sometimes see at the other end of the leash in many of the photos from different adventures. I get to see the behind the scenes view of Juliana’s growth in the foster world, and at the same time I’m learning a lot.

You were introduced to my canine family in Doggy Pawlitics. My two goldens, Profittarollie and Seamus, gave me a passion for dogs, but I grew up with a very limited scope of what owning a dog meant. My perspective on dog ownership has completely changed and I hope to share my lessons learned.

Until I was 11 years old my dad was allergic to dogs, and conveniently when my mom wanted a puppy my dad was no longer allergic. Funny how that works…

I know many of you are true believers in adoptions and rescues, so bear with me as I tell you my story. My mom spent many months learning everything about Golden Retriever breeders all around Pennsylvania and neighboring states. She picked a reputable breeder and checked on the health history of the mother and father. Finally after the due diligence and waiting, we brought home 8 week old Profittarollie, Profitta or Pro for short.

It was amazing, and a lot of work, raising a puppy. We had her for eight years before I was leaving for college. During the month before I left my mom and I went down the street to a doggy daycare that we trust with Profitta when we are out of town. The owner, who is a family friend, told my mom about a young male golden that had been dropped off by a couple that could no longer take care of him. He had serious behavior issues such as marking in the house and chewing up all their belongings. The establishment was not a shelter or a rescue organization, but they still wanted to find this dog a home. My mom’s heart was sold quickly to help this dog in need. She brought Seamus into our house the day after I left for school (and may or may not have talked to my dad about it first).

Even though I left for school three hours away, when I came home for break the first time Seamus became my dog. Every few months when I make it home for a weekend Seamus is by my side the whole time and even lets me have a corner of my bed to sleep in with him.

He is an amazing dog, and Profitta is the perfect alpha female to break his bad puppy habits and show him how to be a family dog.

What is most interesting about my story is how my view of my own dogs has changed after being exposed to the work many of you do. I never really thought of Seamus as a rescue dog, and I never understood that a community like the one Juliana is involved with even existed.

The moral of my story, education is everything. Many people do not know the options that are out there to gain a best friend and help save an animal’s life no matter what kind of dog you are looking for. Breed preference is personal and we all have our reasons. Personally, I have grown to love pits, but I will always consider myself a golden person. In any case it does not make a difference because there are so many organizations out there for every breed.

There are many issues that surround the canine community. I believe the best way to really help people learn is to engage them in conversation and work to understand each others views. Juliana & I often have different views on adopting, training, and caring for dogs, but I like to think that by really talking about the issues we’ve been able to expand our views and improve ourselves as dog owners. You of course have to respect everyone’s opinions and choice about their dogs, but we can still help each other become better owners.


Working like a dog

Working at a humane society, I’m allowed to bring my dogs to work (yay!). We have a few resident office dogs and a few who pop in and out when my coworkers feel like taking their pups on a field trip. I try to always bring my fosters to work with me because it alleviates the burden on my parents to watch them while I’m gone all day.

Some fosters handle it better than others. Otis was okay because he would sleep when I was at my desk, but if I left at all he would whine and I would feel horrible for disrupting my coworkers. Zabora wasn’t meant to be an office dog because she would never settle down in her little pen – she was always standing up and trying to break out and caused a lot of ruckus the whole time. It takes a special dog to be a good office dog; one who will be quiet all day and who won’t drive your coworkers crazy.

Baxter, I am happy to report, is a phenomenal office dog. He curls up in his pen, sometimes not even stirring when he has humans come visit him. I can leave my desk and he doesn’t even blink an eye. The only complaint I can think of is that he snores all day, looking so comfortable in his fluffy bed that it drives us all crazy with jealousy! Nothing like staring at a pile of deadlines and turning around to see this:

If he does decide to wake up and observe, he doesn’t really do much more than this:

As soon as we get out of the car in the morning to head into the office, Baxter starts wagging his tail. I think it is the best part of his day when he gets to say Good Morning to all the shelter staff who greet him back with just as much enthusiasm. He is a happy dog to everyone, but so many of the staff members here have a special appreciation for his joyful attitude because they saw him on day one.

Baxter is really spoiling me in the fostering department because of how “easy” he is at work (and at home and on adventures and in every other aspect). It’s going to be tough for future fosters to live up to the standards he has created. But for now, my coworkers and I will enjoy the extra brightness in our day that Baxter the office mascot brings us for as long as he gets to be with us.

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.


Waterlogged

It was a rainy, rainy day here in the DMV area today. It was the kind of cold rain that makes you want to curl up in bed and never get out from under the covers. Housing a younger pit bull type dog though, you often times can’t give in to that urge to be totally lazy on a rainy day. While you as the human thinks the idea of not moving all day is great, your bouncy canine counterpart might not agree.

Even though Bax is more than happy to sleep all day and wouldn’t protest staying in the house at all, I still feel bad if he is cooped up without getting an evening walk. I know he’ll sleep no matter what, but I’d rather give him a good reason to. So tonight, despite the rain, we put on our wet weather gear and went for our walk.

Now I know he looks rather unamused in these iPhone pictures, but don’t let that fool you.  He happens to have this really sneaky way of looking totally pathetic, even if he doesn’t mean it. He still trotted happily along for the whole walk. He threw in a few extra body shimmies but I think that was just for effect.

After about twenty minutes, we both came home a little soggy.

But Bax said it was okay and he still loved me even though I made him walk in the rain.

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.


Video Wednesday: Baxter’s new trick

I really like the idea of sharing videos of Baxter. Pictures capture “1,000 words” worth of personality, but video footage fully shows the goofy side of Mr. Bax. So Wednesdays are now Video Wednesdays. Enjoy!

My mom taught CK Bax a new trick: “paw”! It’s soooo cute. Did I mention how easy it is to teach Baxter new tricks thanks to his ability to pick up on things quickly and his absolute love for food?

Here is our practice run.

And here is “paw” perfected, followed by my favorite command: “kiss” : -)

Happy Wednesday!

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.