There’s More Than Fun to Adventures

How much do we love adventures? So much. We like hiking, going on road trips and exploring new places with our foster dogs.  It’s not only fun, but it’s a great way to get them out and about for adoption exposure.

Mark and I knew we just had to take Charlie somewhere fun while he was with us.   Strutting him around in his Adopt Me vest would get him tons of attention simply because of how cute he is.  Since we’ve been to all the good walking spots in our area, and we’ve already done the DC thing with Bax, we were sort of at a loss for what exciting new place to venture to. Then I remembered a fun trip our friends at Pittieful Love went on to historical Baltimore landmark Fort McHenry (where Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner”). Just like Pittieful Love wrote about in their post, we tend to take for granted how close we live to National Monuments! I’d only been once a long time ago and Mark had never been, so we knew it was just the place to take little Charles on that chilly Thanksgiving weekend.

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We had a blast! Because we had a dog we couldn’t actually go into the Fort area, but we were allowed around the perimeter and by the surrounding water. It still meant for lots of exploration and good photo ops:

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That is another thing I love about taking my foster dogs on adventures: the photos. Yes it is good for adoption exposure because of the people we meet out and about, but it is also a great way to get photos showing adopters how the dog can fit into their life.  Photos from walks, out on the town, or meeting new people are all situations that adopters might imagine themselves in if they were to adopt the dog — which is all the better to help convince them this might be the dog for them!  Look at these photos. . . don’t they give you an idea of what the day would be like if you took Charlie out with you (and therefore you want to adopt him, right!)?

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Not to mention that a photo like the one below might stand out among all the other adoption photos, bringing some extra attention to your pup from potential adopters.

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(Yes, we took this photo idea directly from Pittieful Love – thanks guys!)

A fabulous outing resulting in attention-grabbing photos? Don’t mind if we do!


Running with Friends & Dogs

While I would consider myself a runner, I am probably about as slow as they come. I prefer distance over shorter, faster runs so I’ve gotten really used to relaxing long runs at my own pace. Whenever someone asks if I want to run with them, I usually come up with some excuse as to why I can’t. The thought of running with another person and the pressure to keep up with them, even if they say, “Don’t worry, we’ll go at your pace,” is totally daunting to me.

When I went to take Charlie for a run the other day, Mark asked if he could come along. Now, running with Fosterdad is a big NO THANKS for me because he’s about as fast as a gazelle and his “Juliana pace” is usually still entirely too quick for me.  But this night I let him come along, and we discovered a good system that allowed us both to exercise with Charlie without the pressure of running at each other’s pace: sprints!

Speed training is phenomenal exercise. A high intensity sprint workout can be more beneficial for you than a longer, slower run because of how hard you work in those short bursts. There are all sorts of physiological benefits to it that I won’t get into, but just know that running as fast as you can for short periods (anywhere from 30 seconds to a quarter mile depending on the type of workout you’re doing) does the body some serious good.

What Mark and I did was start with a short jogging warm up with Charlie, then one of us would take him, pick a spot in the distance, and take off sprinting towards that spot and back. Charlie loved it! He immediately sprung into that speedy gallop you see dogs doing when they’re happily bounding around.   When Mark and Charlie would return, we would swap and I would take off running while Mark walked and rested, then we’d switch again – which is the way interval speed exercises work: sprint, rest, sprint, rest.  Before we knew it, all three of us were exhausted and exercised – check and check!

There’s no doubt that running with your dog is both fun and beneficial for the two of you. Now maybe you have a new way to enjoy exercising with your dog – and a friend!

If you’re interested in making Charlie your forever running buddy, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com or fill out an application on the Jasmine’s House website.


Meet Adoptable Charlie!

Warning: CUTENESS OVERLOAD in every post this week.

I had the pleasure of watching Charlie, an adoptable 1+ year old “pit bull” dog, while his foster family was out of town for Thanksgiving. You might recognize him from my posts about Pit Bull Awareness Day, where I was first introduced to him. I was instantly hooked by his cute round eyes, precious little ears and calm personality when I met him in October, so when he was in need of a place to crash for a few days I jumped at the chance.  I was so excited to get to know this little guy!

Not surprisingly, Charlie lived up to my expectations. He is a total doll. In my opinion he is the perfect combination of a calm, “old man” personality with bursts of total puppy behavior and antics.  He will snooze with you on the couch and then immediately romp around in the yard with you like a bunny rabbit (not an exaggeration). We spent the weekend relaxing, exercising, and laughing together (okay, maybe I was the one laughing and he was the one doing silly things).

Charlie is very food motivated, which made it easy for me to connect with him in just the short time I spent with him.  Whoever ends up with him will likely enjoy building a strong bond through training.  Charlie is a quick learner, is eager to please, and seems to like learning new things.

Like I mentioned, Charlie’s got a very gentle personality. The fact that he lives with and totally adores six-year old twins should be a pretty good sign to how solid his personality is. I would absolutely recommend Charlie to a home with kids – especially if they could tire each other out!

As if he hasn’t won you over yet, Charlie is almost as non-reactive as a year old puppy can be. When around other dogs he shows interest and wants to play (exhibited just by attention that direction and tail wags), but he almost immediately redirects towards you when you ask him to. This also goes for strangers – we met a large man on a walk who was wearing dark clothes, a hat and walking with a cane. Charlie thought he was just about the best person he’d ever met.

If you feel like I’m totally gushing about Charlie, you’re spot on.  This dog is AWESOME.  Even Mark, a tough critic when it comes to my fosters (as in he likes them, but doesn’t totally mind when they get adopted), fell in love and jokingly said he wouldn’t mind if I said I wanted to keep Charlie.

Charlie has only recently bounced back from some health issues, after finally being diagnosed with pemphigus foliaceus. This is an autoimmune disease he will have forever that affects his skin, but it is very easily managed and he should have a long, healthy life.   His foster home has done so much work to diagnose and treat the disease thus far, Charlie’s adopters shouldn’t have many problems at all moving forward.

I know I share a lot of adoptable dogs on this blog, but in case I hadn’t made this clear yet: Charlie is a very special catch!  He isn’t scooped up yet because he’s just now finally getting over his medical stuff, but I don’t doubt that he’ll be adopted quickly by a very lucky family (can you tell I’m a little jealous?).

Because we had three full days together and I didn’t have to work, Charlie and I went on some pretty awesome adventures. Even though he’s back at his foster home now, I’ll be writing about our time together all this week.  Stay tuned!

If you’re interested in adopting Charlie, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com or fill out an application with Jasmine’s House.