Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Day at the Park

Hi All,

My name is Noel , that's me with my sister, she has the speckled nose, her name is Holly. we are currently guests at the Humane Society Silicon Valley where we are hoping to find a new home. I wanted to take this last day of the Thanksgiving weekend to tell everyone how thankful I am for all of the people who try and make our stay at the shelter as fun as possible. And a special thanks to the Mike and Ali for letting me go on an outing today. Today I got to go to the park with my friend Mary from Our Pack. She forgot to bring her camera so we don't have any pictures of me at the park but it was such a nice day and so much fun to get out of the shelter for part of the day, I just wanted to share some of the things I saw and did.

I haven't been for too many car rides so at first I was a little confused by everything going by so fast without me walking. I got used to it quickly though. Then we came to this place that Mary told me was the park and we were going to see lots of new dogs. There were lots of things to smell in the grass, I think they said there were gophers or something that was digging up the grass. I wanted to eat some sticks but they wouldn't let me. There were two little pups at the class and I got to demonstrate good calm manners. I got to go for a walk with a dog named Buddy who was having trouble relaxing but he seemed to do well with me. I got to meet two new friends, this is Texas.
She was calm like me and we got to go for a little walk together and they were all impressed with how well behaved I was.

Then I got to go over to Hailey's house and meet her. We went for a walk too and smelled the grass and the flowers and then I got to go and play in her back yard, There were so many good smells and the sunshine felt so good. Here's Hailey on her fancy chair thing, I'd never seen one of them but I even got to lay in it for a bit. I really liked her, she used to live at the shelter too before her mom adopted her. Now she is a Therapy dog and helps her mom with foster dogs that come to stay at her house.

Well I guess that was about it. I was pretty tired after all of the excitement and slept all the way back to the shelter. I told Holly all about it and maybe she will get to go next time if we haven't found a home yet. Thanks again to everyone who gave me this special day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we at Our Pack have a lot to be thankful for. We have some wonderful dogs who went into happy homes. Some of them even have jobs.

We are very thankful that we have had the opportunity to help the dogs and give them a chance to be what they truly are inside no matter where they came from. We also want to thank the many wonderful people who have helped us to show these dogs for the loving creatures they are.

When I say give them a chance I mean allow the room and provide an environment that brings out what a their basic personality is. We can train dogs for behaviors but temperament is a very different thing. No one can positively reinforce me for loving my child for instance to GET me to do it, I just do.

In temperament correct Pit Bulls we have just that, a love that is not trained into but comes along with his heart. It's a love for humans that seems to go untouched even though our lil guys have met some of their darkest hours.
THEY are so thankful to have US which sometimes is startling and amazing when some have been let down so thoroughly by humans. I'm thankful for this. It's truly a Thanksgiving from both sides.

Here's to a safe holiday and I hope you can go home and hug your Pit Bull and give'm a big smooch, he'll be thankful!

Marthina & Mary

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's hard being a Pit Bull Parent

You've decided to bring a pit bull into your life. You have read all you can about the breed and talked to people in the know. You take him/her to training to become a breed ambassador. You don't go to the dog park but make sure that you socialize properly with other dog social friends. You've got your wiggle butt with you wherever you go and they are thrilled to meet new friends at ever turn. Strangers approach...."awe, what a cute dog, what kind of dog is it?" as they reach out to pet your friend who is sitting politely at your side ..."A Pit Bull" you proudly exclaim.....and then you get the look; eyes widen as they pull back their hand as if they were about to touch hot metal. "Aren't they viscous", "aren't you afraid he is going to TURN on you at any moment?", "they have locking jaws don't they?" and on and on and on...or they see you coming and cross the street because of course you are just waiting for the next victim to walk by so you can be in the paper as the next big story!!! But you smile, and patiently explain that most of what they hear is rumor or exageration or that the big stories on the news are often not even pit bulls. Some people listen, some just shake their heads and walk away thankful they have escaped with their lives intact. But we know how tough it is and we just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for trying, for presenting your dog in the best light possible, for loving him, for caring for him and being such good pet parents! During this Thanksgiving week, we are thankful for you! We've created the pattern above to help you with your journey, check it out at Cafe Press!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"These dogs are not pets".....huh????

My foster mom was reading this article today about another big fight bust and this is what she read to me:

Huge dogfighting ring broken up in Harris Co., DA says
"These dogs were bred specifically to fight," Smith said. "And they were inbred back and forth. They are not pets."
My name is Leo,

I’m sure many of you have read my story and this makes me very sad.

I think I make a very good pet. I love my mom and my sister Hailey
and my brother Dexter

and I even try to be nice to Daisy who isn’t always too thrilled to have me around but she tolerates me.

I work very hard at the Cancer Center helping the patients forget their troubles for a few minutes at a time

And I’ve even gone to school to visit some kids?

Have I done it too well? Did people forget where I came from? Didn't they learn anything from my case? I wasn’t “raised” to be a pet, but I’ve tried really hard to become a good one.

Why won’t these other dogs get the same chance? Didn't we make a difference at all?


Former Michael Vick dog, Now a loving pet. (or so I thought)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Love Allows Intelligence

I was working with a dog that came from a fight bust today. I was giving him things to do that he had never done before. I was doing Target Training with him where you get the dog to touch the palm of your hand with their nose. Then get them to touch a paper such as a post-it with their nose. He had a look on his face like, "why do you want me to touch the paper?" My own dogs have worked since puppyhood and look forward to the fun and rewards of training and "get it". This guy was perplexed and didn't understand the correlation YET in performing the behavior and getting the reward. His mind had not been used this way as he had only lived in a yard on a chain across from another dog or in a wire pen in a mindlessly dull, boring and unstimulating environment. This became more evident to me as we trained along. His fabulous intelligence had been blunted by people who had another purpose for him other than working to win something and using his brains to do it. I could see they didn't care that he was inherently VERY smart other than to abuse his willingness to work for his person. It's strange how you can see the type of owner of a dog through the dog's eyes.During the training for a moment I became sad for him. That his formative years were wasted on someone's intentions that brought about nothing for this dog's betterment.After a bit of training though I was so amazed as I always am at a Pit Bull dog's ability to WANT to GET it. To want to play the game and not just play it but play it right, to please, to be good in my eyes. What a treasure someone threw away! I'm SO lucky! He touched the paper.

Look at the pics of these dogs and how the looks on their faces capture their willingness to work.
What a gift!

Marthina McClay, CPDT

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some Positive Pit Bull Press

I didn't write this but it was just too good not to share!

Stray Pit Bull Saves Woman, Child from Attacker
November 5, 2008

A dog came out of nowhere and stopped a knife-wielding robber from accosting a mother and her young son on Monday afternoon. (Pet Pulse Illustration by Tim Mattson)

PORT CHARLOTTE , Fla. -- The wandering 65-pound Pit Bull mix might have seemed menacing to some passerby, but one woman will always remember him as her "guardian angel."
The dog, which authorities think is lost and not a stray, successfully thwarted a robbery attack on a mother and her 2-year-old son, who were held at knifepoint Monday afternoon.
The Florida woman, who has been identified by authorities simply as "Angela," was leaving a playground with her toddler son in Port Charlotte when a man approached her in the parking lot with a knife and told her not to make any noise or sudden movements.
Angela didn't have to do either to protect herself and her child -- a dog mysteriously ran to the scene and charged the man, who quickly fled.
"I don't think the dog physically attacked the man, but he went at him and was showing signs of aggression, just baring his teeth and growling and barking. It was clear he was trying to defend this woman," Animal Control Lt. Brian Jones told Pet Pulse.
"I don't know what this man's intentions were, but it is very possible this dog saved her life."
The exceptional part of the story, Jones said, is that the dog had never met or even seen the people it quickly jumped to defend.
"You hear about family dogs protecting their owners, but this dog had nothing to do with this woman or her kid," Jones said. "He was like her guardian angel."
After the alleged thief ran away, Angela quickly placed her son, Jordan, in the car and tried to drive off. Before she could, though, the dog jumped into her backseat, waiting with her for the police and animal control officers to arrive at the scene.
The dog was transported to a local shelter and if his owners don't step forward within five days, Jones said, Angela and her family plan to adopt the savior she named "Angel."
Animal control officers and shelter workers believe Angel is lost, and not a stray, because of his good health, sturdy weight and mild temperament.
"It's funny, that someone's irresponsibility could have saved someone's life," Jones said of Angel's possible owners.
For Angela, it doesn't matter where the dog came from, just that he was there when she needed him most.
"I don't know what his [the thief's] intentions were -- I don't know why he did it, but I'm glad that -- we call him Angel -- I'm glad that Angel showed up because I don't know what would have happened," Angela told NBC2 News.
For a small town with a population of 46,452, animal control officers were kept busy Monday afternoon. Jones says they department also responded to a report about a boa constrictor in a church parking lot.
The snake found its way into a car engine and was able to be removed without being harmed. It took three people to move the massive, seemingly random placed snake.
"It's funny, because we aren't a big place," he said of the Gulf Coast town. "And we can go for four or five months without the media contacting us about a story. It's been a busy week."
Officers from the responding county sheriff's office canvased the area and were unable to locate the suspect described as being in his 20s, tall and dark haired.