John is the very embodiment of the term “gentle giant.” Rescued from Brooklyn Animal Care & Control, at 58 pounds, John cuts an imposing figure to someone unfamiliar with him. But beyond that burly exterior is a mushball through and through. When it comes time for petting and hugs, “I’m busy, John,” just doesn’t compute. He will put his beautiful strong snout under your hand and nestle into your arm. His soft blue eyes will close halfway with sheer delight at being loved, and he will give a long contented sigh, as he slips into a deep sleep with his head on your lap.
It truly does take a village to rescue a dog! We learned this early this year whenOur Waldo Bungie helped to save a beautiful pittie girl named Kimba. But we learned it again first hand as Bully Project‘s Toasty went from shelter dog to beloved family pet in just under three weeks. That’s right, folks: Toasty is adopted!
Nearly a month ago, we got an email from our good friend Mazzie’s mom fromMazzie Takes Manhattan. She had seen a pocket pittie named Nena at an Animal Care & Control adoption event hosted by Fenwick Keats, a real estate agency in her neighborhood. She just couldn’t get Nena out of her head, and the thought of Nena languishing in the shelter was too much for her. “Would Bully Project be willing to rescue her?” she asked.
“…his goal was not to hide the true attributes of a pit bull – the dogs tend to be strong and athletic and energetic – it was to make them acceptable as they were. To show people that despite what they had heard and what the dogs could be manipulated to do, the breed was capable of greater things.”
-Jim Gorant, Wallace
Jim Gorant is incredibly eloquent, isn’t he? Last week, I literally blew through his new book Wallace, about the now famous disc dog of the same name who faced seemingly insurmountable odds simply because he is a pit bull. And, as with Gorant’s first book, The Lost Dogs, I think there is a lot all dog owners could learn from Wallace.
Wallace’s story begins with a series of unfortunate events, resulting in him becoming the canine pariah of the no-kill animal shelter where he’d ended up. While there, Roo & Clara Yori, who eventually became Wallace’s forever family, fought for him to get the chance they felt he so deserved. And after an incredible amount of work, effort and time, they develop Wallace’s “flaws” into strengths, working with the dog to turn him into a world champion disc dog. The brilliant side effect of their hard work is that they created an icon for the pit bull loving community; a dog that could represent the breed on a national level to show how wonderful they could really be.
We’re so excited to finally be getting back into doing our free training classes for pit bull-type dogs now that we have an indoor space!
Earlier this month, our program was featured in the NY Daily News, and we got a huge response! We got over 20 emails asking for information about our upcoming classes, and at that point, we didn’t have any information to share. We were still on the hunt for an indoor space. So we started a waiting list, essentially. We wanted to be able to provide help to those people who expressed interest in it, but we couldn’t offer them anything definite at that time.
So what does this mean? Well, Bully Project‘s October manners classes arealready full. Because of space limitations, we can only accept six students into this series of classes. But that does not mean you can’t sign up to be on our waiting list. We will continue to use this list for the foreseeable future and will extend invitations to students as each series of classes is scheduled.
Click here to register for the waiting list.
The sooner you sign up on our waiting list, the sooner we will be able to accommodate you in one of our classes. So do it today.
This week is National Dog Week – an occasion that is always celebrated on Live with Kelly and Michael. Everyday, they show pictures of viewers’ dogs and have one segment each day dedicated to sharing information about dog adoption, ownership and care. Overall, it’s pretty great, and consistently advocates for animal rescue, considering Kelly adopted her dog from the North Shore Animal League five years ago.
But this past Tuesday’s segment appalled me, for lack of a better word. Watch it here. Then, when you’ve finished watching the video, continue reading.
The segment featured Dr. Karen “Doc” Halligan, who has been on the show several times, as well as having written several books and works at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles (spcaLA). I provide this information to show you that “Doc” is a very accomplished, and respected, veterinarian – as she should be, she’s done lots of great work and provided lots of a great information. I’m sure many people turn to her on regular basis for advice about their pets, as I do with my vet. However, her showing on this segment was probably not her best. What went wrong?
Hi! My name is Alexis M. and I am 12 years old. I am writing about my rescue dog named Liberty. Liberty is a very special dog: she has brought happiness to our family, we love the way she plays fetch and takes treats from your hand so gently. When she wants to give kisses, she puts her paws on your shoulders when you kneel down.
This summer has been very fun. We took Liberty to our family and friends’ block parties and barbecues. Our family and friends love Liberty because she is so friendly. Liberty loves to cuddle, especially at night when she rolls over on her back putting her paws on my head while I’m rubbing her stomach.
Liberty loves to go for long walks with us. We also take her to the park to play with other dogs. She is very friendly with other dogs. I personally think I could have never recovered from losing my other dog, but Liberty has helped fill that void.
Josh & Lucy
Those are two pretty scary words, huh? Separation anxiety can be one of the toughest issues to handle with a doggie companion. It can result in destruction of crates, furniture and more and cause some serious harm. Not only that, but it requires a lot of patience, understanding and dedication on the part of the owner. But what happens when it’s not the dog who’s experiencing the separation anxiety, but the human?
You see, I have a vacation coming up; a trip that’s going to be lots of fun and honestly, very much needed. Some time away might be exactly what this aching body needs. But what does one do when he’s stressed out about leaving his beloved dog at home?
American Staffordshire Terrier
Hi everyone! Lucy here!
About two weeks ago, Dad started chasing me around the house with a little, white plastic…brush thing! At first I thought he was trying to put doggie mascara on me, and I said, “Dad, my eyelashes are long enough! I don’t need mascara!” And then he stuck the thing in my mouth, which really confused me! Who puts mascara in their mouth?
He twirled the little thing around a bit and it tickled the inside of my cheek – I didn’t like it very much, and once Dad was done, I ran as far away from him as I could. No more mascara in this pittie’s mouth, thank you very much!
But then he came back to me – WITH ANOTHER LITTLE BRUSHY THING! SO MEAN! He stuck this one in my mouth, too, and twirled it around some more. Well. I was so not happy with him that I sat down on the other side of the room and ignored him all night long. But he said, “Now, Lucy, I want to know what breeds show up in your DNA. It’ll be fun!” I was just happy the whole ordeal was over, to be honest.
At the end of last week, my little girl Lucy shared her big news that she’s actually a Great Mini Pyramstadoodlier. But she neglected to fill you in on some of the details. That goofball.
We had a lot of fun finding out Lucy’s breed make-up, but in the long run, does it really matter? I love Lucy no matter what I think she is, know she is, or want her to be. The Wisdom Panel test was really just something I did to have a laugh, and because I found it for a great price on Amazon. So when we found out that 3 of Lucy’s ancestors were American Staffordshire Terrier, Great Pyrenees and Miniature Poodle, we giggled and shared the news, but it didn’t really impact our lives very much. After all, there were still 5 other Great-Grandparents that were simply notated by this image:
The bottom line of the test results were this: Lucy is just a big old mixed breed.
Lots of pitties and nowhere to go!
Bully Project has become a victim of our own success! Classes have been fully booked and often a second class is needed. After a year of offering free, outdoor classes in the same neighborhood, we are realizing an indoor space is needed. Not only will it benefit the teams in our four-week manners classes, it will allow Bully Project to offer specialized classes such as Nosework and Frisbee.
Should be easy, right? A free dog training program that benefits both dog owners and the community (training helps to keep dogs out of shelters, less dog bites, etc) should be a win/win for everyone. Churches and community groups should be lining up to partner with us, right? Nope!
In just one week, voting will close on StubbyDog’s Superhero Squad selection process. Here’s some background for those of you who may not know what that is: On July 30, 2012, StubbyDog announced this new initiative which would bring together an “extraordinary crew of certified therapy dogs [who] are on a mission to win hearts and change minds.” They shared their message far and wide, inviting pit bull-type dogs from across the US to submit themselves for consideration to join this group of elite dogs. Nearly a month later, the shortlist of nominees were announced – and today, we’d like to share them all with you, and encourage you to vote for your favorites! Teams are listed in alphabetical order.
1) Big Mama Jubilee and her Sidekick, Amy, who’s not only a therapy dog with Pet Partners, but is also an awesome Frisbee dog and is working towards her first Rally Obedience Title! You can learn more about Big Mama Jubilee on her Facebook Page.
Hey everyone! Lucy here! Dad enlisted me to tell you about a little contest he submitted his little bloggie in. It’s called Bloggers for GOOD.
The competition calls for bloggers to use their platforms to create positive social impact. People then vote on which blog they like best feel does this most effectively. Well, I like to think my little letters here do a pretty darn good job! Don’t they help you see how we pitties can be wonderful pets like every other doggie out there?
Over the almost one year that Dad has been bringing in friends for me to play, we’ve been recording our experiences on here, from the fun:
Puppies! Who doesn’t love puppies? And if you’re a rescue, pups are easy, right?
The internet is a big tease! When Josh happened upon a Facebook post for a puppy being rehomed in New Jersey, he took the bait. After seeing this pic, how couldn’t he?
“For what?” you might be thinking. Well, for so many things that we can’t even possibly list them all here. But most specifically, we have to thank StubbyDog for being hugely supportive of the work we’ve been doing here on That Touch of Pitand with Bully Project.
You see, today they just posted our big, loving Daisy Mae as one of their “Rescue Dogs of the Week,” and we can’t be more grateful for that. In the past, they have also selected That Touch of Pit foster dog My Boy Bill, and Bully Project adoptable Paige as “Rescue Dogs” as well. And, in fact, the wonderful family who adopted My Boy Bill initially saw him on StubbyDog!
But overall, StubbyDog represents everything that we all believe in – and that’swhat really counts here. Their mission of helping “people rediscover pit bulls as lifelong friends,” is central to the work that we are all doing. So for that, StubbyDog, we thank you.
In appreciation, we ask that you all swing over to Stubby’s Store and check out their amazing t-shirts, including this new one:
Earlier this week, we announced the little Eli is no longer available for adoptionthrough Bully Project, and that he was now an Animal Farm Foundation dog, by the name of Rhinestone Cowboy.
Well, we have some more big news: Liberty is adopted! Our initially shy little girl from Manhattan’s Animal Care & Control is now the best kind of dog out there: a beloved family pet!
Lucy, Me & Lola
So, obviously dogs are a big part of my life. Not only do I live with two (one of which is always a temporary resident, but a resident nonetheless), but I see at least 10 others are a regular basis in training classes, several others on a daily basis in the neighborhood, and manage the lives of one or two others who are living in other Bully Project foster homes. So when I meet new people, I feel it’s only appropriate to start off with the fact that they “must love dogs.”
My dogs are a huge part of my life – I never imagined that the bonds I would form with all of them would transcend everything else I knew. So when new people (friends or otherwise) get added to the mix, I automatically think, “Will they like Lucy? How could they not? I love Lucy!”