Thursday, May 28, 2009

STILL Not Listening.

Next to a beautiful picture of Dexter, Hailey and Leo taken by Leo's favorite friend Carol Guzy of the Washington Post, sits a very disappointing article about a Loudoun County Judge's ruling on not adopting out Pit Bulls. I guess Leo's work as a therapy dog, Hailey's work as a therapy dog, Dexter and his "counseling" work to help other dogs come out of their shells is all a big moot point. There are so many dogs, Pit Bulls, just like them that are now going to be put down REGARDLESS of their valor, stature, contributions and good temperament! PROOF of what these dogs can really offer not only to a family but to an entire community is falling on the deaf ears of people who do NOT wish to assess dogs as individuals and who want to continue profiling a breed of dog. Yes, it's profiling. Frankly at this point I don't feel I have to prove anything nor do our dogs! You can't prove something to someone who won't listen or watch. If one can't see the Leos, Haileys, Dexters et al of the world then deaf ears and blind eyes it is!
I really thought that we as a society had evolved further than this.
This is very sad.
Washington Post

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I haven't written on the blog in a while. I wanted to write about making friends. For me making friends has been about trust, truth and change. It's been about accepting change and being willing to let others see that change.

When I first arrived at my new home I wasn't sure how those people that came over to the house with their microphones, cameras, lighting stuff and those boom mics that look like really cool toys were going to portray me. Were they going to say that this situation was MY fault? It turns out that they didn't. They told the story the way it was. They told the story that said I was the victim. They told the truth. They told the story that says that people are the controllers of things not me...a dog. Obviously I don't drive a car. People have to drive me places so I can go somewhere or be able to have things.

People have put me in situations that were either good or bad. Where I am now, I only get put in situations that are fun, safe and rewarding. I play with my housemates and we have a good time. I get put in the position to have self worth, I have a job as a therapist. I only have to confront things that are easy for me to handle. I get good stuff when I do good things.My life is really wonderful now and I'm very happy. I have made a lot of friends too.

I have met some other dogs in the rescue that I belong to that have come from situations that are just like mine only they didn't have the name Michael Vick over them. But the dogs from these places are much like me even without the name. There's no one to show them the ropes. No one to say, "uh, uh" when you're about to do something that might hurt. No one to say, "gosh, you're handsome and I love you". That has made a huge difference in my life.Those things have made me come alive. I'm so much like these other dogs from abuse cases and they're so much like me, it's just harder for the world to see them because of the names that have "owned" them. Some of these dogs have earned the same heart tag that I wear that says "I'm a Therapy Dog" too.

Now that I've made so many friends I'm hoping that circle of friends and love will expand even bigger so that all could see that there are many like me and they could live a life just like mine if given a big name....just a good ole dog.

This is me in the pic with my new for sure friend Mara at NBC and my guardian at the clinic where I work. She was kind enough to tell my story, to be my voice and to tell the world the truth. She was kind enough to understand me and look at me for who I am and not anything else. That's a friend. Thank you.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thanks NBC Nightly News

Just wanted to share this fantastic little story that aired tonight on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. We also want to thank Mara Schiavocampo the FABULOUS reporter from NBC and her too adorable camera man Aaron Sasson for showing these wonderful dogs.
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

And in case you want to see the Video from NBC11 and MSNBC
once it is too!

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Happy Endings

We had absolutely nothing to do with this happy ending other then having the privilege of meeting this young "Star" at our Sunday class. The wonderful volunteers at Santa Cruz animal services bring some of their shelter dogs to class to get some training to help polish them up to help find their forever home. Star was one of our favorites as well as one of theirs. Here is a link to their home page and her happy ending!
Santa Cruz County Animal Service
If you work for or volunteer for a local shelter and have a dog that you think could benefit from some extra training, send us an email at to get information about our classes or just check out our web site!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Three P's - Partnerships, Policies, PEOPLE helping Pit Bulls

We can sit back and blog about policies gone haywire and how shelters don't give pit bulls a fair chance or have unrealistic expectations to only put up the perfect dogs. We can rant and rave and work to change those policies but if we don't have the people or resources to help the dogs how are they better off? It takes People and a committment of time and energy, it takes cooperation between rescues and shelters. It takes good sound policies on both sides. I know we aren't the first to have this program but I think it's an important tool that has the potential to help more dogs...and isn't that what it is all about? I've been on both sides of the fence and each has their challenges, but the common ground is both need people. It's easy to forget that the shelter staff need to feed all the animals (yes there are usually cats, rabbits and sometimes even livestock and other animals at some shelters), clean kennels, tend to sick animals if they have a medical ward, do laundry and then start all over again. Then I come in as a representitive of a rescue and say why isn't this young untrained goofy pit bull who is jumping in the kennel available for adoption, but sorry, we can't take him/her because we don't have any foster homes available. Yes donations and money are an absolute necessity, but unless there are people to work with the dogs what will be gained? Many shelters have good solid volunteer programs to help with socializing the animals and even volunteer trainers that help. They are INVALUABLE but once again there are many animals that need their time and energy.
This is Miss Bubbles - We are partnering with Humane Society Silicon Valley to help this young energetic teenage pit bull mix find her forever home. We do not have an available foster home and socialization with all kinds of people and dogs is vitally important at her age. So how do we help? She will be an Our Pack Dog but she is"living" in her own special suite at the new Animal Care Center that HSSV has just opened but we are dependent on a group of Our Pack Volunteers to take time out of their busy lives to get her out and work with her on her manners and socialize and expose her to the outside world.
These things don't happen over night! It takes hard work and trust on both sides and like any relationship it takes compromise at times. But we have a chance to help a dog, even if it is only one dog at steps. How could we not try!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's on YOUR mind???

Reading through the various blogs out there related to pit bulls and looking through the internet it seems like things are somewhat quiet at the moment (which is not a bad thing). Soon enough MV will be out of prison so that will be the hot blog topic but for now hmmm...maybe we are all just waking up from our long winter naps and our brains are still fuzzy (ok, well mine is fuzzy)...soooo..I was thinking....what's on Your mind? What nagging questions related to pit bulls, or Our Pack would you like to talk about or ask about?
Okey dokey....what's up?

Monday, May 4, 2009


I don't think that we can add anything that says it better than these pictures of Raven with her new mom
and enjoying a romp with a tennis ball in her very own back yard!!
Well maybe just a touch of bling!
Congratulations Raven on winning the lottery with your wonderful new mom and dad!!