What Mothers Day Means To Me

I believe that Mothers Day should be considered to be another Thanksgiving. Moms do so much for us that we will never, ever know. What we already know they do for us is much more than anyone could ever really express appropriate thanks for.

I am especially grateful on Mothers Day. My Mom has been an incredible support system in my life, and has taught me so much. She’s sacrificed a lot so that I could have what I needed, or even just wanted. She’s simply the best. We all think that of our moms though, don’t we?

My Mom is also a two-time cancer survivor. I’m unendingly grateful for that.

In 2008, my mom had a liver transplant. Several years later, she had to have a piece of her lung removed. This year, the American Cancer Society estimates that over 1.5 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. One third of those people will lose their battles. For just liver & lung cancer, there will be approximately 258,830 new cases in 2013, and 197,940 of those people will not survive.

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Road Trip!

Animal Farm Foundation!

Tomorrow, That Touch of Pit and Bully Project are making a little road trip! To where, you ask?

We’re big fans of AFF, if you couldn’t tell. We always share their adoptable dogs, many of whom have now been adopted! Dudley Do-Right is in a new home. Tutti Frutti, Stitch and Wanda all are too! They do amazing work placing great dogs in great homes and providing essential resources to their adopters and the people in their community. We try out best to model much of the work we do after the work done at Animal Farm Foundation.

 

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Helena’s Getting Spayed…

Helena at the Met

Helena’s foster mom dropped her off with me this morning so I could escort her to the vet. She was so well behaved on our long walk to the doctor’s office – I was very impressed. Always excited to explore the world, meet new people, and new dogs, Helena had a blast walking through new neighborhoods and busy city streets.

“Can we go to the opera instead?”

We stopped by Lincoln Center for a little culture. The plaza was completely empty, which is a rare site, so we had to stop for a short photo opportunity.

 

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Goodbye To An Old Friend

Tilly 1996-2013

Tilly 1996-2013

When I was 12 years old, my family finally got a dog: a toy poodle named Tilly. When she arrived, she wasn’t even 4 lbs of bright apricot colored hair, and we were so thrilled. Considering my sister is allergic to fur, we never thought we would have a dog – but there she was! She immediately became attached to everyone in the family, but especially my parents, who, at the time, were the responsible ones in the home and able to teach us the kind of care that Tilly needed.

Tilly slept in their bed every night, with occasional trips throughout the house to check in on everyone else. I always knew when she was peeking into my room to make sure I was there, and alive. It was a rare, but very special, moment when she would come all the way and hop into bed with me for half an hour or so, only to move on to my brother and sister.

 

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What Fred Taught Me…Part 3

Fred Adopted

Most importantly, Fred taught me to accept and be happy with a happy ending… even if I’m not in it.

After realizing Fred was not my next four-legged friend, we quickly had a meet and greet with two interested parties! One of the potential adopters stood out right away. She let the other woman interact with Fred as much as she wanted. D, like me, was interested in the dog, his behavior, how he handles situations, etc. She didn’t need a love at first sight moment. She quietly watched him play with a friend, observed his ability to settle…as to just be Fred! I felt if I couldn’t have Fred, D certainly should. Next step was a meeting with her guy and her female pit bull, Etta, an alum of  Animal Farm Foundation.

Meeting one was not love at first sight (remember Bird didn’t fall in love right away).  Etta was a girl and trying to push Fred’s buttons. I think Bird and Etta couldn’t believe Fred was so calm and easy going! Etta had lived with a male pittie before, so we knew she could do this.

 

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What’s In My…Bugsy’s Box?!

Bugsy's Box

Bugsy’s Box

About a month ago, we received a very nice email from one of the folks at Bugsy’s Box asking if we would like to write a review for them, a la our monthly feature, “What’s In My BarkBox?” They offered to send us one free box in exchange for an honest review, on our blog, of their service. So here it is, folks! When our box first arrived, I was sort of stunned by its size – it was BIG!

Quite the offering, and we were excited to open this baby up to see what was inside. I don’t know if you can see, but there’s Lucy, off the left in the picture, sitting, waiting patiently. She was this close to photobombing this shot.

 

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Our Fundraiser Results!

At the end of November, we announced our Donate to Win Fundraiser to helpBully Project cover the medical care for our sweet dog Baci, who is now officially adopted! And you all showed up in full force, and we are so very grateful! Now for the big news…our grand total raised is…

$2341.07!!

We exceeded our goal and were able to completely cover the remainder of Baci’s care (after Deja Foundation‘s generous donation, as well). The remainder of the money raised will allow us to help a couple of more dogs in need, and for that, we thank you.

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My Happiest Adoption Yet

If you “like” Bully Project and/or That Touch of Pit on Facebook, you may already be familiar with the story of Noelle, our Christmas Day 2012 rescue. Noelle is the epitome of the rags to riches story, and we’re so happy she’s touched our lives for even a short while.

Noelle on Christmas Day 2012

On Christmas Day, I came home from lunch with a friend to find one of my neighbors sitting on my front stoop with a dog. I went to go inside my apartment building, not wanting to disturb anyone, when she stopped me: “Do you know the guy who rescues dogs?”

I stopped. I turned. “That’s me.”

She then told me her story. She passed a man on the street over two hours earlier, and he was holding a dog on a leash. She smiled happily at the dog, and before she knew it, the man was handing her his leash. He threw his adoption papers in her face and ran off, leaving my neighbor stranded, with a dog she didn’t know, with very limited knowledge on the proper course of action.

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Secret Santa’s Big Reveal!

Hooray!

The big day has arrived! It’s finally time to announce which of our Pittie Posse friends was our Secret Santa, and which friend we…Secret Santa-ed (ok, so that’s not really a verb).

Last year, Emily from Our Waldo Bungie emailed a few of us and suggested the brilliant idea of doing a gift exchange and blogging about it, and thus the Pittie Posse Secret Santa was born. This year was the 2nd time we’ve done this fun gift exchange, and we added three new bloggers to the mix, bringing the total to 10, so once you’re done reading about gift giving and receiving, head over to the other participants’ blogs to see what they gave and received too!

 

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2nd Annual Pittie Posse Secret Santa

Last year, as many of you will remember, we teamed up with several other pittie bloggers around the country and did a Secret Santa gift exchange. We had so much fun with it, that we not only decided to play again this year, but we expanded to include three more bloggers!

 

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More Prizes!

Beasty Feast

Beasty Feast

On Tuesday, we announced our “Donate to Win” fundraiser to help Bully Projectcover our medicals costs for our most recent rescue, Baci. Along with the thirteen great prizes we announced then, we have two more prizes to add to the list! The same rules apply, but as a reminder:

  • Donations can be made on Bully Project’s Firstgiving Fundraising page.
  • For every $10 donation, you get one entry. Donate $40 and you will get four entries; donate $100 and you will get ten!
  • All entries will be entered into an online randomizer, and winners will be chosen on the day after Christmas (aka Wednesday, December 26th). This gives you exactly one month to enter.
  • Prizes will be assigned to each winner in the following order. We’ve got lots of great stuff – so if you’re a household with pets, we know all of these prizes will appeal to you!
 

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Sister Wives? Bacherlotte?

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I found my McDreamy! He is a beautiful lug of a mush named Fred. Green eyes, rich brown coat and sweet as can be! If it were up to me he would be my mine and we would be signing the papers today! But, I have a canine that thinks differently. They don’t make decisions quickly, so I feel like I am on a reality show.

Fred, the name of my temporary charge, goes on dates with all the ladies separately. Sometimes just a potty break, sometimes a fun trip to the run or local pet store. Each one is warming up. Bird, the bigger terrier, will sleep on the bed with him. And, even lets him get real close on occasion.

With the little one, Goose, the jury isn’t out. She was fine with him until she ran to her chair. He thought that was an invitation to play and tried to engage, but she thought much differently. So while I do duo walks and expeditions, I feel like I am some show in between Sister Wives and the Bachelorette. Here are some pics to see what we have been up to the last few days….

 

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What Would Stephanie Tanner Say?

Jennifer was recently interviewed for an article that’s running today in the Wall Street Journal. Fancy, right? Yes. It addresses an issue that I think has begun to bother us all quite a bit lately, what with all the political hullabaloo going on. Called, “Why We Are So Rude Online,” Elizabeth Bernstein writes, “Whether on Facebook, Twitter, message boards or websites, we say things to each other that we would never say face to face.”

Jennifer was contacted about this issue in regards to a certain online argument over our favorite topic: pit bulls. The Wall Street Journal created an interesting little graphic (I repeat: we did not create this graphic) to exemplify what happened:

 

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What Would Stephanie Tanner Say? Part 2

Following my post on Tuesday about online behavior, I stumbled across this thread on my Facebook wall (pictures have been removed and names blurred out of respect for privacy):

And I was just sort of…stunned. Do I agree that what Michael Vick did deserves justice being served? Do I think karma is a bitch? Well, sure! I think he should be behind bars for the crimes he committed. He should be made to be an example of what the consequences of animal abuse are.

But to see someone publicly posting, “PTS PTS PTS PTS PTS,” about another human being is astounding to me. Even after knowing that the article was a complete hoax, it doesn’t change the fact that people want to see another person severely injured, maimed or even worse.

 

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Foster Dogs Update

Lola Bird

We consider ourselves very lucky to have a slew of wonderful foster dogs, and even luckier that we’ve been able to keep in touch with many of their adoptive families. All of our past foster dogs have been making random appearances in our online lives, so we thought we’d share the updates with you. Here goes:

Lola Bird is doing incredibly well with her Mom, Kate. She travels all over the country and loves long car rides. Here she is admiring herself in the mirror:

My Boy Bill, who’s now known as Spencer, is loving life in New Jersey with his mom and dad, Beth and Chris, and his brother Linus. When Bill was living here, he was very mellow, considering he was recovering from losing a toe and all. But now, with his brother, he plays and plays. And he certainly looks VERY healthy!

 

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A Light at the End of the Tunnel

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how my street was under a crazy amount of construction. Because of the construction, I didn’t feel comfortable bringing a new foster dog into my home. With all the noise, banging, and yelling, my home could have very well been just as stressful for a dog from a shelter as the shelter was. Here’s what my street looks like now:

They’ve dug out the street and inserted those wooden planks to support the road, essentially. The goal of the job is to replace the underground water mains with larger ones to compensate for all the new luxury high-rises that have been built in the neighborhood, allowing for a great flow of water to all of the residents. It’s been quite the project, and the entire job, which is happening on several different streets in the area, wont be entirely complete until 2017!

 

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Thinking of Changing our Name…

We Don’t Know Her Name Yet

Up until this point, five out of the seven dogs Bully Project has rescued have been females. So, we think it might be time for a new name. How does Bully Bitch Project sound? It does carry a certain…je ne sais quoi. I guess what we’re trying to say is that along with Liberty, Daisy Mae and Eli, we have another new dog available for adoption! Her name is…

Right. We don’t know her name yet. Her name at Animal Care & Control was Becca, but we feel it’s important that with their new lives, our dogs get new names, so Becca is going to go. Our amazing new foster mom, Rennie, suggested Honey – due to her sweet nature and soft brownish, yellowish color. Josh, being a Disnerd, thought maybe Hunny would be fun. Jennifer, who likes two word names, thought Honey Bun was cute.

So – what do you think? Give us some names, and we’ll see where it takes us! In the meantime, here’s “We Don’t Know Her Name Yet’s” freedom picture! And if someone is interested in adopting her, by all means, email us!

 

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Any Good Citizens Out There?

As many of you know, the American Kennel Club has a program called the Canine Good Citizen program. It’s goal is to stress responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. Lucy was certified as a Canine Good Citizen in 2010 – and it’s something of which we’re very proud.

Along with Bully Project, we have arranged to hold a public Canine Good Citizen testing event here in New York City! Coming up on June 2, 2012, you can have your dog (of any breed!) tested and certified to officially become a Canine Good Citizen all while benefiting Bully Project.

 

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My First Return

This past Monday night, Pinky was returned to the Picasso Veterinary Fund. To keep a long story short, it just wasn’t working out in her new home and I went over to their apartment to take her. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I don’t mean I’m disappointed with Pinky, nor do I mean I am disappointed in her (no-longer) adopters. I’m just disappointed that the adoption didn’t work out, in general.

D. & M. are lovely people and love Pinky, clearly. The three of them, as a family, seemed so perfect and I had very high hopes for their lives together. So the fact that their paths had to part is very frustrating, albeit for the best for all involved.

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Proper Puppy Playtime

As you learned from Lucy’s letter yesterday, she and Paige have been playing quite a bit lately. I’m lucky because both have great playtime manners, and observe and respond to each other’s body language appropriately. But some dogs, despite being very dog friendly, don’t respond to other dogs’ signals very well.

When Lucy and Paige play, it frequently involves a lot of running back and forth, tug of war with a nice sized toy (big enough to give each dog some room to chomp down on it), some gentle body “checking,” and routine breaks instigated by one of the two or myself. In fact, the other day during playtime, one of the dogs accidentally caught the other one with its teeth – I honestly don’t know who mouthed who, hence the vagueness. But a yelp was given – and it was as if a referee blew a whistle. Lucy went in one direction, and Paige in the other. Self imposed time out – very impressive.

 

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Letters from Lucy

That’s The One

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

-William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Hi Everyone! Lucy here! And I admit, I didn’t know that quote, I had to ask Dad to look it up for me. But I think it’s about time I address one of my most frequently asked questions: “Why are you named Lucy?” Lucy is a very popular doggie name, you know. I have lots of friends named Lucy. Well, there are two reasons that’s my name, really.

So, you all know Dad likes loves theater, right? I think I know it better than anyone, I mean, he walks around singing all day long. (He’s pretty good, I gotta admit). But one of Dad’s favorite theater people is this guy named Sondheim. It’s always, “Sondheim, this. And Sondheim, that.” So, because of Dad’s super nerd-dom fan-dom, he wanted to name me after one of the characters in one of Mr. Sondheim’s musicals. But there are so many, how do you choose? It couldn’t be something too obvious, but still something that could tie in. But how did he come up with Lucy?

 

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It’s fundraising time! Please help Bill & Animal Haven!

Yesterday we announced our new foster dog, My Boy Bill. As you recall, Bill had some serious medical issues that cost quite a bit of money to have resolved.Animal Haven, the shelter that rescued Bill graciously covered all of his medical costs, and now we would like to help them rebuild their Recovery Road Fund so that they have the resources to help more animals in the future.

So – we’re doing a fundraiser! The concept is similar to the one our friends atLove and a Six-Foot Leash did a few months ago for their Elderbull, Zabora. Here are all the deets:

  • Donations can be made on our personal fundraising page on Animal Haven’s website.
  • For every $10 donation, you get one raffle ticket. Donate $40 and you will get four raffle tickets; donate $100 and you will get ten! (If you’ve already made a donation, don’t worry – all donations through the end of Thanksgiving day will count as entries in the raffle!)
  • All entries will be entered into an online randomizer, and winners will be chosen on the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday, aka Friday, November 25th).
  • Prizes will be assigned to each winner in the following order. We’ve got some great stuff – so if you’re a household with pets, we know all of these prizes will appeal to you!

One winner will receive a brand new martingale style collar in the fabric and size of their choice from Sirius Republic. Lucy & Bill both wear collars from Sirius Republic, and ever since they started wearing them, we have gotten more compliments on the street than ever before. Check out their website to view which fabrics are available and how to measure for sizing. What’s more is that Sirius Republic generously donates a portion of their proceeds to several rescue organizations, and even embroiders their collars with the words “ADOPT ME” for free for us foster parents, so you should definitely Like them on Facebook.

 

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Fred

Fred

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Three words: Add water dog! That’s Bully Project‘s Fred in a nutshell. This boy is 2 years old, just under 50lbs, walks nicely on leash, has manners and is housebroken. He is neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped.

Fred has lived with dogs in his foster home and has proven himself to be respectful (even when the other pooches don’t want to play). He shows no guarding issues with people or dogs. He sits politely waiting for his turn for treats. Although he shared his foster home with a cat, we think a dog-savvy cat would be best for Fred!

Fred is a natural at meeting people and would make a great therapy dog. While in his foster home, he made lots of friends – both the human and canine kind.

 

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What Every Pet Owner Needs!

Every pet owner should be lucky enough to have a friend that lives near the emergency vet. When I was director at an animal shelter here in NYC, my friend Jenn lived right around the corner from Blue Pearl Vet, our shelter’s go-to specialty and ER vet. Any time of night, I’d call Jenn, and she’d come right over! Sometimes with Andy, her therapy dog.  Often, I would come back into the lobby, and Andy was sitting on a the lap of a waiting owner. The waiting room is never easy!

It’s always great to have a second set of ears when going to any vet appointment, but that’s not always possible with emergencies! So many people I know would ring Jenn when they were there. Who wants to wait alone? Sadly, my friend Jenn moved and she is no longer my go-to person!

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When You Have Room, Must Consider Foster

When a good friend lost her older dog to a chronic condition, within a week or so, she approached me and suggested she might be interested in fostering a SMALL, OLDER DOG. She has almost always had two dogs. Barb knew that she had the room to open her home and heart to a dog in need. Since she is retired, she gets to spend lots of time with her pets. Her home would be a great place for a homeless, senior dog to rest his head while looking for his forever home. Barb also realized that this type of dog might not get adopted easily and might be a long-term foster and that was okay with her. She was open to whatever we found.

 

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Almost Adoptable Pittie of the Week: Baci

Baci

This past weekend, we rallied the troops and took a somewhat impromptu trip toAnimal Care & Control to meet a dog there at the behest of one of our rescue friends. She had spent some time with a dog there named Sarita, and just adored her. But her rescue didn’t have space accommodate her, so she needed someone else to help Sarita if they could. That’s where we come in. Meet Bully Project‘s new rescue, Baci!

Baci’s another one of those dogs with a great temperament. She loves people, loves to play with toys (and give them up when she’s asked), loves to play with other dogs and is unfazed by all of the distractions and craziness of the city. Baci is a “starter dog”: good for anyone from first time dog owners to experienced ones.

 

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King Scout

Scout

Our friend Ann, from Canine King, lost her dear friend Scout at the end of last week. Scout was truly the King of the King household – the leader of the pack, the man in charge, the top dog. He was kind, gentle, and most significantly, a faithful companion.

 

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Tales From A Terrier (The Scruffy Kind)

Lucy excited to start sniffing!

Lucy excited to start sniffing!

Let the sniffing begin!

Let the sniffing begin!

A couple of weeks ago I got to pretend to be a big old pittie. That’s right! Mom took me as a demo dog pittie for the first session of Bully Project‘s Nosework class. Mom told me I was going to practice smelling. I told her I already know how smell and find stuff — fresh turkey in the fridge, treat crumbs in a stranger’s bag at the dog run. I find LOTS of stuff with my nose!

She has been telling lots of folks that Nosework is great “sport” for dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds and shape. Apparently, you don’t have to worry about blowing an ACL or spending lots of money on equipment. Mom says you can practice at home. I told Mom I was up for anything that involved some treats.

 

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Happy Pride!

This weekend is the LGBT Pride March in New York City! So whether you are LGBT or not, we want to wish you a very Happy Pride!

DISCRIMINATION IS THE PITS!

The Secret’s Out!

Paige celebrated Gay Pride in New York City’s West Village in a new tie dye t-shirt! Cute, right?

When we first rescued Paige from the public shelter, we didn’t think she’d hang around with us for longer than a week. At only 27 pounds and with one of the sweetest temperaments in the world, we just knew that someone was going to snatch her up, and quick!

And we were almost right – the first night she was here we got stopped on the street by a great couple! One worked from home, and owned his own business. He wanted to have a companion during the day while his partner was out at work everyday. They saw Paige from across the street and waved at me to wait for them. It seemed perfect until the next morning when I opened my email and saw that their landlord didn’t allow pit bulls.

Well, I was disappointed, but not overly so. It had only been 24 hours – how high could my expectations have been? But as time continued to go by, I grew more and more anxious. Maybe people didn’t really want a teentsy weentsy pittie? Maybe I wasn’t doing a good job marketing her online and in my community? Maybe my own secret desire to foster fail was permeating our intros and meet & greets? I don’t really know why, but what we thought was going to be only a week turned into a month.

Well, maybe some of you will remember this picture we posted on our Facebook page this past weekend:

 

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