Our Big Day

Sunday was a big day for me and Johnnie. Like I believe I mentioned last week, it was the day of my humane society’s dog walk, Paws in the Park.  Paws is our biggest fundraiser of the year and a ton of planning goes into it, so I was absolutely thrilled when the event was a huge success (despite some serious rain the second half!).

You might remember last year when Otie came to visit me at Paws in the Park, and this year my mama was generous enough to bring Johnnie (foster dad was supposed to come too but he was sick, poor guy). I’d been wrestling a lot with the decision of whether or not to have her bring J to this event because there usually hundreds of dogs in attendance. Hundreds, literally. A few weeks ago I was very “noooo way!” to the thought of bringing her, but as Mark and I talked it out, I started to change my mind.  I wanted to give her the chance to have positive new experiences. But Johnnie Cash can be sort of hot and cold with other dogs – which isn’t unusual for a dog, I just didn’t want to set her up to fail by throwing her into an event with a TON of other dogs.

But luckily we had a couple things going for us: it’s an extremely open venue so we wouldn’t get caught in tight quarters which stresses her out, and, for the most part, the other dogs at the event are pretty social too. It’s when another dog reacts towards her that she’s especially prone to a melt down. Also, to be honest, it was probably good that my mom was the one to handle her for the most part. Unfortunately I have become quite the worrier, and I know Johnnie can feel that stress on my end! My mom promised that she’d only stay for as long as J could handle the event, even if it was only five minutes.

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So the ultimate result of Johnnie’s trip to Paws in the Park was an exciting, positive experience! I was so, so happy and relieved when she met face to face with a few other dogs and wanted to play, and when she walked by the other attendees without batting an eyelash for the most part. We even tried some agili-dogging! And, no surprise here, she ROCKED it! She’s so confident in trying new things that she thought walking up a skinny beam just for a treat was the best thing ever. Whoever adopts her should really consider agility as a form of exercise and bonding!

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paws01As you saw yesterday, she also made a friend with MCHS mascot Henry. She thought he was a big stuffed toy to play with!

paws7I was so proud of her for doing so well. There were many moments when I asked her for her attention by saying, “Hey Johhhhniieeee” in my fun voice, and she checked right in even though there were other dogs around. She is really learning how to focus!

A big thank you to my mama who made this fun break possible during my chaos of running the event. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to bring J and deal with my micromanaging! You are the absolute best Foster G a dog and daughter could ask for.

paws6Since Johnnie came in, made doggy friends and rocked agility, all with no problems, I told my mom they had to leave :-) I was thrilled (and wanted to make sure) to end on such a good note! So in addition to the fact that the humane society raised a ton of money, this event was also a big success for our foster family. Now I have two things to celebrate!

To adopt Johnnie Cash and enjoy fun learning experiences like this one, check out her Adopt Me page.


Big Hugs

When you’re an event planner, you learn to appreciate those around you. You learn to appreciate your committee members who know the event just as well as you do so they can trouble shoot in your absence. You learn to appreciate the volunteers who spend an entire one of their weekend days at your event without any compensation. You learn to appreciate the vendors who understand when there’s a hiccup in the logistics and the businesses who put a little extra hustle on your orders the week before when things are running behind deadlines. You learn to appreciate the people in your life who not only understand your extra-busy schedule around event season, but go out of their way to give you a reason to smile during the most stressful times. You really learn to appreciate your parents who watch your foster dog for you during all those 10 hour work days leading up to the event and who bring said foster dog to the big day just to visit you.

You learn to appreciate the fact that all those awesome people deserve really big hugs.

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To adopt Johnnie Cash, check out her Adopt Me! page.


YOUR weekend with Joanie

If there is anyone out there contemplating adding a beautiful Elderbull to your family, this post is for you. This is a glimpse of what it would be like to live with Joanie. I’ll recount our weekend adventures, and show you just how much fun this sweet girl is!

We started Friday out in Baltimore with our good friends over at Pittieful Love – Jess & Chocko!  Since Joanie’s been at my house, I’ve been avoiding pretty much any interaction with other dogs because I’m not sure what she’ll be like and I’d much rather do it in a controlled environment, not just with a random dog we find on a walk. So Jess & I set up a socialization walk down at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We agreed upon no meet and greets, just a laid back parallel walk because Chock is working on his social skills too and we wanted to set everyone up for success. The dogs did great! For the most part they totally ignored each other while Jess and I chatted and walked them side by side in a quieter part of the harbor. I was glad to have a controlled, positive experience in close proximity to another dog. Plus catching up with Jess was awesome!

Saturday was a very busy day for me, so Joanie stayed home with my parents while I ran around all day. She is great for them – she just wanders around the house and says hi to them every once in a while, or she is dead asleep on the couch. Saturday night was her first sleepover without me, as I had an overnight event with the boyfriend. She was, again, great for them while I was away, but only after helping me get ready for the night!

Today I was finally free to give my attention back to her again. I gave her a much needed bath, which she behaved beautifully for. She wasn’t a huge fan until the toweling off part – but then she melted into a bunch of wiggles because she looooves to get petted, scratched, and massaged. She also was thrilled to show off her sparkly furs.

After the bath we celebrated her new shiney look by parading around the neighborhood. Joanie loves walks almost as much as human interaction.  Joanie is – as a good friend of mine calls it – a nose with a dog attached. That is why nose work is so beneficial for her, and that is why walks in the crisp fall air are so enjoyable for the both of us. Her perfect leash skills make it that much more pleasant. Yesterday we visited a playground, and Joanie wanted to know where all the kids were to play with her?

We spent the rest of Sunday doing normal Sunday things – catching up on laundry and watching football! Joanie, of course, helped with both. She is such a good little helper (okay, maybe a better helper with the football cheering than the laundry – can’t blame her!).

See? Look how well she fits into someone’s life. She seems to be able to adapt to so much, especially when she receives just as much affection as she gives out.  Joanie is an extremely special dog, and whoever ends up with her will be very lucky!

For more information on adopting Joanie, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com or head over to the Jasmine’s House website and fill out an application.


Everyday Dogs, Everyday Owners

I had another recipe for a perfect day when I headed down to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for my second B-More Dog walk on Sunday. Many of you probably remember the last time I went on a B-More Dog Pit Bulls on Parade (see here and here) where I soaked up all the adorable pitties with their owners. B-More Dog’s mission is to promote responsible pet ownership through education and outreach, and they hold Pit Bulls on Parade once a month to show the community that we are the everyday “pit bull” dog owner.

These walks help dispel the myth that if you own a “pit bull” dog, everyone will be afraid of you. Unfortunately, when those of us with “pit bull” dogs talk about how people cross the street or pull their kids away when they see us – even though we are usually saying it in a light hearted way since we know our dogs are nothing to be afraid of – we send the message that the public as a whole is scared of “pit bull” dogs.  Generalizations like this can cause people to shy away from considering a “pit bull” dog for adoption because they don’t want their friends to stop hanging out with them or to be looked at as an outsider – even though those of us with these dogs know that likely won’t happen (if you’ve got decent friends at least).

The more we demonstrate that these dogs are just everyday pets, the less we perpetuate myths that they should be treated differently. If I had a dollar for every person that stopped to ooh, aah, and coo at all the dogs on Sunday, I’d be able to buy front row seats to the Ravens game. Sure, there are some Negative Nancys in the crowd, but the overwhelming majority are positive and excited to see the dogs – just like in every day life.

It was a beautiful Autumn morning in the harbor and despite another big event going on, the dogs were well behaved and it seemed that everyone enjoyed themselves. It was great meeting a few blog followers too – of course I always love that! Thanks to everyone who came out. There were all sorts of shapes and sizes in attendance!

For more information about getting involved with B-More Dog, visit their website.


The Return of Pittie Trails!

You might remember the dog walking group we (three others and I) started last winter, Pittie Trails. We created it to both exercise and train our pups in a controlled environment with other dogs. We have group rules to help keep everyone safe and happy, but most importantly the dogs are not allowed to greet each other. This means that all dogs – reactive, excitable, shy – can have the opportunity to walk with us without feeling any pressures to be social. Plus, then no human parents need to be embarrassed!

After a summer hiatus, we had our first informal walk last weekend. We only had four dogs; three of which were working hard on their manners. We went to trusty old Rachel Carson park, our usual walk location. It was the most gorgeous day of the year and I think a good time was had by all!

If you’re interested in participating in Pittie Trails, the best way to stay informed is to keep up with our Pittie Trails Facebook page. We try to meet for a walk once per month. We’re still trying to find good trails (very few people or other dogs) in the VA and Baltimore areas – so stay tuned. Remember that we allow all dogs, no matter what size, shape, or social ability, so come join us!


Sleepy, Sunburnt, & a Total Success

I’m so tired from this weekend I’m not sure how many coherent words I can type. So I’ll make this quick and easy.

1.  Paws in the Park was amazingly successful.

2.  I can’t take much credit for the good turnout – the weather was absolutely perfect: 70’s and sunny. That brought a ton of people out.

3.  I am sunburnt to a crisp, in all the best ways: sleeve lines, red neck, and watch tan.

4. My parents & boyfriend were nice enough to bring Otis for a little bit, even though I was too busy to see them a whole lot.

5.  It was a very exciting reunion when I was finally able to stop a chat for a minute. You can tell I haven’t seen Otis in weeks (or so it may seem to him).

6.  Otis made a new friend, sort of.

7. No adoption leads this time around, but it was still great exposure!

8.  It was so great seeing all my favorite people from Jasmine’s House, as well as some blog followers I’d never met before. Thank you for saying hi!

8. Highlight of the day? There was a dog there that looked a lot like Baxter. When my coworker walked past the dog she asked his owner, “Is that Baxter?” and he replied with, “Why does everyone keep asking me that!?” :-)

9. Not sure who is more tired from this event: myself or Otis, who is currently snoring and out like a light next to me on the couch. Ah, to be a dog.

10. No brain power left to think of a #10.

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.


Fostermama’s Big Day: Paws in the Park

To my serious dismay I have been kept home a LOT the past week. No going to work with mama because she says she has mee-tings all day. It’s just me and fostergrandpa hangin out in the house for the looooong day that fostermama is at work. Then she comes home all sleepy and curls up on the couch with me and a glass of wine so we can blog. That part I of course do not mind.

Fostermama says all this time she is spending at work is because of my blog entry about paws yesterday some event called Paws in the Park. She says its a doggie walk and festivul, and that I get to go because I’m an MCHS adoptable! Yippee! Apparently I’ll be sticking with fosterdad that day though because fostermama will be too busy running around like a crazy person making sure everything goes smoothly.

She seems a little bit nervous about this event if ya ask me. Not necessarily scared nervous, but excited nervous – kinda like I get when I think we’re heading to my favorite spot in the creek but I’m still not sure yet. She talks a lot about how she’s never done this before so she’s worried she’s forgetting something, but I told her if I’m there that’s all she’ll need! Okay, maybe not all she’ll need… but still.  For how much time she has been working on this, she HAS to be ready! Besides, it sounds like they’ve got everything lined up as best as it’s gonna get: the vendors, the rescue groups, the activities, the demos – what more can you be forgetting, mama? I told her to just point me in the direction of the hot dogs and she won’t have to worry about me, I’ll be good to go.

I’m excited to strut my stuff wearing my Adopt Me vest and bandana in front of hundreds of people – maybe I will even find my forever family?? At the very least it will be a fun afternoon hanging out with fosterdad, and after this I will get fostermama back a whole lot more. Hooray!

Plus, I hear my friends over at Jasmine’s House will be there as one of the rescue groups! If any of you DC area folks are coming to the event, be sure to make your way over to their booth to say hi and buy some of awesome Jasmine’s House merch! Then of course look for me, as I put my paws in the park.

For more information about adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.