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.

Blog Awards!

You know what’s so fun? Winning awards!

Our Waldo Bungie passed on the Kreativ Blogger award to us last week. Thanks Turk, Rufus, & Ginger (even though we know it was your mama who did it). The Kreativ Blogger Award instructs that you tell 10 unknown things about yourself and then pass it on. Inspired by the recent Two Pitties in the City post where they revealed a little more about themselves outside the dog world, here are some random things about me:

1.  I have my motorcycle license. Current ride (when the sibs don’t steal it for college) is a Ninja 650r.

2. I’ve ridden horses my whole life. I did eventing (the same kind of competition they do in the Olympics) all through high school with my Thoroughbred named We Jammin’ (her show name), aka Marley (her barn name). I don’t do it much anymore but I’m hoping I can pick it up again soon.

3.  Valentine’s Day is one of my most favorite holidays! And no, not only when I’m dating someone. I just see it as an excuse to show my friends and family how much I love them. The chocolate is a nice bonus, too : -)

4.  I am fascinated with dog behavior and I try to learn as much as I can about it. It’s pretty amazing how dogs give us so many signals about the way they are feeling, and most people don’t even realize. It’s helped so much with each of my fosters.

5.  I didn’t step foot inside a gym or run more than a mile until my freshman year of college, and now I’m signed up for my 5th half-marathon. I learned I love running! Not sure if I’ll ever manage a full marathon though.

6.  I’m 5’ 10’’ but my favorite pairs of shoes will always be 6 inch heels (one of which pictured below, but there are many more)… and my cowboy boots.

7. I love the mountains and the outdoors. Aside from Maine being one of my favorite places in the world, I’d love to visit or even live in Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, etc. The wildlife, the scenery, the way of life – I love it all!

8. My favorite part of being an Animal Science major was how many cool things I got to dissect. I was the TA for a reproduction lab… you can only imagine what we got our hands on! (sorry if I just grossed you out…)

9.  I love snowboarding. My brother is super good, so he has been dragging me out for years now. I’m really grateful for it, because once you pick up on it, snowboarding is so fun!

10. I studied abroad in Greece my junior year, and it was the absolute best trip of my life. I can’t wait to go back, and would love to even learn the language. This picture is from Nafplio. Can you spy the doggy? I made an entire picture album of Greek animals.

As if that wasn’t enough, not one, but two blogs nominated Peace, Love, & Foster for the Leibster award: Our Waldo Bungie, and A & A Friese. Thanks guys! We’re so honored, and we loooove the idea of this award. The Leibster Award is a way to highlight the smaller guys; the blogs who don’t blog to many, but who are still just as deserving of recognition.

The way it works is basically the following:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks {with less than 200 readers} and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers and keep it going!

So, my five picks for both the Leibster Award AND the Kreativ Award are (drum roll please):

Waiting Between Trains: This is a new blog of a fellow Jasmine’s House foster home. They started with their foster Ozzie, who has since now been adopted! Now they’re fostering Poppy Rose, a too-cute, spunky pit bull something that will do so well in their home. I’ve loved getting to know Heather and reading about her fostering adventures!

Live Avec Kenji: This is my best friend’s blog about life as a first year graduate student living with her boyfriend and their new husky puppy (who I wrote about here). Like me, she takes a lot of pictures, and her subject Kenji is absolutely adorable. She talks a lot about their work with Kenji’s behavior and how they’re settling into their new “big kid” lives.

Positively Present: Okay, so I’m kind of cheating here. Positively Present is a blog run by a friend of mine and it talks about how to stay positive and live in the moment. I absolutely LOVE the message, it’s so inspiring! She has a few more (okay, a lot more…) than 200 followers – but! – she is attempting to quit her corporate world job and make this blog and this message her career, and I think that is totally awesome and I’d love to help her in any way I can. So I nominate her too.

– From the Pits: This is my friend’s blog, who also happens to be an animal shelter worker. She works as front office staff, so she sees an entirely different side of the shelter world. She gives a raw, real view on many issues that shelters face. She is also on a kitten fostering journey, which is a nice change of pace from the pittie faces I stare at all day!

Running with Squirrels: Another fellow foster parent with Jasmine’s House, Running With Squirrels just began their blog on McMuffin, their latest Jasmine’s House foster. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m already in love with McMuffin, their resident dog, and the pictures they take of them! I also love that so many Jasmine’s House fosters have blogs so I can keep tab on all the wonderful dogs in the rescue.

This was so fun to do, thanks again Our Waldo Bungie and A & A Friese. Sorry to take a break from Baxter for the day, but I promise he’ll be back again tomorrow for Video Wednesday!

Mr. Calm + Kibble for [FB] Comments

For every person who “Likes” Peace, Love, & Fostering’s Facebook page* and then leaves a comment (say hi! say whatever you’d like!) between now and midnight on Dec 21, Baxter & I will donate 1 lb of kibble to the Montgomery County Humane Society!! Share with your friends so we can spread the news about adoptable Baxter while helping needy shelter dogs. Thanks so much!

Baxter is one of the more tolerant dogs that I have met. He has done great in the company of little fluffy dogs, meeting strange children, and being taken all over the place with me.  A new situation where Comeback Kid Baxter shined as a calm, tolerant little pup? Meeting his twin, in kitten form.

"Holy moly what is this thing?"

"Mom..... are you sure about this fluffball?"

"I guess it's not so bad.... kinda cute. Smells kinda funny."

"Ehh. I'm not impressed."

I can’t help but giggle at these pictures. They are the perfect portrayal of how the introduction went down. As far as I know, Baxter has never met a cat face-to-face before. I’d say he passed with flying colors! Bax can be shy and sometimes unsure about new situations, but he typically is calm and level headed. It makes for new introductions – like this – fun more than anything else.

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

*Up to 200 lbs of kibble. Multiple comments from the same contributor will only be counted once. If you already “Like” the page, just leave a comment and you will still be counted!

Chew-tastic Fridays

I’m always looking for something to entertain Baxter because I feel bad when I’m going about my evening and he is just staring at me looking bored. I know how important mental and physical stimulation are, and both of those can be provided through chewing or licking toys, treats, and kongs. I can’t, however, give him a lot of yummy bones or easily destructible chew toys because they will hurt his poor tummy, so I have a limited number of options.

The problem is, Baxter can be picky about what he likes to play with, not to mention has no clue how to really “play” with toys at all. So I am happy whenever I find a toy that he likes to work on for more than just an initial sniff. It’s been a rare occasion, but is slowly becoming more regular. So far we have had minor success with a very strong rope toy (as seen on the picture I put on the blog’s facebook page), a moose antler which doesn’t break, splinter, or rip apart like marrow bones but still requires strict supervision, and this random toy:

And then poof, the interest is gone.

I’ve actually found it very difficult to find the perfect toy/mode of distraction for Baxter. They have to have a few criteria: 1) Entertaining enough to last him a decent amount of time (anything past 30 minutes would be awesome – he blows through frozen kongs in a matter of 10 minutes). Usually this means they have to taste good in some way shape or form. 2) Indestructible, meaning he cannot rip off big (or even little) pieces and swallow them. 3) If they are food, then they can’t be super rich or full of unhealthy ingredients. Roasted marrow bones, treat sticks, bully sticks – they all hurt his sensitive stomach.

So, the search continues. Until then I’ll just have to keep him too sleepy to be bored, something that has been very easy since we’ve started having regular play dates with pit bull Bella! Stay tuned for pictures of this too-cute pair.

Have a great weekend!

Baxter Rests Up for Turkey Day

Everyone knows the week before the week of Thanksgiving is the worst. You’re so excited about the holidays, but they’re still so far away! Well Comeback Kid Bax decided to embrace the dreary week he is facing the best way he knows how: by sleeping.This dog can sleep off his blues like the best of em.

CK Baxter knows how well sleeping passes the time. He also know how much his humans like it when his two speeds are: (1) walk and (2) sleep. Sprinkle the occasional zoomie in there and you’ve got the quiet little house dog you’ve always dreamed of (who is still very happy to join you for exercise). It makes me very jealous though when I leave the house for work and he is snoozing in his crate – why can’t I be like Baxter and lounge around all the time! Maybe I’ll just join him. Wake us up at Thanksgiving.

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

Week 1 in Review: Learning to Be a Dog

Since this weekend marked just over one week that Baxter has lived with us, I’d like to share some areas where he has made great progress. Dogs take a while to adjust, feel comfortable, and settle in. It can be stressful at first, but it is so rewarding!

"This is my "excited about finding a forever home" face!"

The car. Just like the stairs, Bax was super weary about the car. It took about 10 minutes of excessive coaxing and treats to get him in, if he even did. Now he hops right in! Without any treats or convincing. He is even comfortable enough that during the ride he looks out the window, where as before he would curl up into a little nervous ball the entire time.

Stairs. Already talked about this, but he has no issue with any stairs now – no matter shape, size, location, color… stair cases don’t stand a chance against big Mr. B.

Walking.  Bax was a pretty big weenie about walks when he first got here. He would come outside and stop right at the end of my driveway. Then after I would get him going he would stop again a couple feet later. I felt like I was always pulling him up the street to get him some exercise and let him go to the bathroom. Now he trots ahead of me excited about wherever we are going.

His crate.  Night #1 was pretty intimidating because Baxter barked the whole night, and we ended up cracking and letting him sleep outside of his crate. Luckily I tired him out enough on day 2 that night #2 he was asleep before we left the room, and he slept soundly in his crate through the night! Now we can leave him in the crate whenever we need to, and he doesn’t bark at all.

Housetraining.  Baxter has realized when and where is the right time to use the bathroom and we quickly became accident free (when fostermom doesn’t forget to take him outside)!

Anxiety.  Bax now lets me leave the room without him immediately following behind me. He sleeps wherever we leave the dog bed – even if it is not in the room we are in – and is totally at ease around the house. Between his comfort level when we’re home, and how much he likes his crate for when we’re away – he is a pretty straightforward pup.

Commands.  Also like I already mentioned – Baxter has mastered “sit.” Now we are working on stay, come, down, etc. He is much more attentive to me (and my treats) and is better at focusing.

Of course he still has room to grow and ways to become a more perfect dog, but I’m proud of how well Comeback Kid Bax is adjusting to living in our house. Every day he is with us he becomes more and more adoptable. Simple guidance, routine, and structure can really work wonders on an animal.

"I love being a family dog so much, I could do zoomies forever!"

"Sun spots are one of my most faaaaavorite parts of living in a house."

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