Monday, June 18, 2007

Mange girl update

I am very glad to be able to write that Jolie has made it into her very own foster-to-adopt home. Amba and Travis picked Jolie up from SAINTS on Friday (thanks again to Carol and everyone at SAINTS for taking care of our girls all this time), and report that she's settled in nicely.

By Friday evening, they knew for certain that Jolie is a "keeper", and they will be adopting her, once she's ready to go. Jolie is apparently very sweet and snuggly, and quite a smarty-pants; she's a quick learner. She's coming along on her housebreaking, although having the occasional "woopsie!" in the kitchen area (better the kitchen than a carpeted room I say!). Her foster sister, Mia, is not quite as convinced that Jolie should stay, but is gradually coming around.
Here are a couple quick pics of the oh-so-pretty Jolie (who's looking much better now that she's grown some hair back!)

Showing her milk jug (which she brought all the way from SAINTS) to Travis and foster sister Mia Playing with her favourite toy

still no pics of George (I'm working on it!).
I'd like to take a moment to again thank the generous people who donated towards these girls, be it financially, through food and supplies, or through their time. The total vet bill for these girls wound up being just over $800 (a big thank you to Dr. Mann and all the staff at Menzies Pet Hospital), and $350 of that was covered by direct donation, plus nearly another $100 donated through our website and PayPal.
We purchased the girls' medication seperately (cheaper), and it came to just under $100, plus the shampoos bringing that cost to around $160. We are still accepting donations towards the girls' care, via The Lovely Fund. Any extraneous funds raised will go towards the future care of other dogs like Lovely, Bree, George, and Jolie.
Thank you,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another day, another post

Oof! What a day, what a week! Between Hug stuff and life stuff, it's been hard to find time to write here.

Anyhow, good news - Jolie has found a foster home! A warm welcome to Amba and Travis, her new foster parents, who will be meeting her and bringing her home on Friday. Jolie will have a cute and cranky Peke girl, also a rescue, to keep her in line in her foster home. If all goes well, this might be one of those fosters that just doesn't leave...

The other girls are doing well also:
Gorgeous George is full of beans on her walks as always, but, as it turns out, is somewhat of a couch potato (or bed potato I suppose) inside now that she's settled in. She's also in heat - yuck! Huge credit to her poor foster mom for putting up with that. Georgie will of course be spayed, but not until her mange clears up. No pictures of George yet, but her foster mom promises to send some soon.

Bree just got back from a trip up to Kamloops, where she had a blast running around with her doggy foster brothers. Her foster family provided some wonderful pics (thanks guys!):
I'm also happy to announce that Ozzy/Pig has found his forever home...with Shelagh! His new name is Otis, and he's promising to shape into a lovely little ambassadog. Congratulations Shelagh and Otis, and a big thanks to Brenda and family for fostering this little gem.

Other news: HugABull's Pit Ed classes are finally getting up and rolling, with classes set to start in Vancouver the first week of July, and registration filling up quickly. Chilliwack classes set to start within the next few weeks also, we're just trying to pin down a day that works for both instructors. We're very excited about the Pit Ed classes, and will be sure to post about them here once they're underway.

And finally, some food for thought, that, while not directly Hug related, is definitely breed related... As you may or may not know, my husband Owen and I are foster parents to special needs children. We also have three dogs that are all considered "Pit Bulls" for legislative purposes (two are pit mixes, but breed bylaws, where they exist, target mixes as well). While this has raised a few eyebrows throughout the course of our fostering, historically, social workers have always been won over upon meeting our dogs, and seeing them interact with the children. That is, until recently. In response to a growing concern for the safety issues surrounding children in dogs, sparked by numerous biting incidents involving children in care or under protection investigations, MCFD and CLBC, two of the agencies responsible for overseeing the care and safety of BC's children, have drafted a new policy to address the issue. The new policy aims to evaluate the risks posed by dogs in foster homes or homes with child protection concerns, and to reduce the risks.

The policy is good, in essence. It provides guidelines for families, such as keeping children's toys and dogs' toys seperate, feeding dogs away from children, not tethering dogs, and never leaving a child under 3 unsupervised with a dog, even for a moment. There's plenty of useful information around child development as it pertains to safety around dogs, and ways to reduce the risk of a bite. Where the policy falls short is in that it is left to the discretion of each individual social worker whether or not to implement it with the homes on their caseload. In other words, while the policy itself is not breed specific, because it's not uniformly and mandatorily applied, it leads to breed discrimination.

In our case, the worker who's caseload we fall under admittedly has a breed bias. She is uncomfortable with large dogs in general, and has a strong fear and dislike of Pit Bulls. Meeting my dogs, and reviewing the literature I provided her with (HugABull's pamphlet and the book "Dogs bite but Balloons and Bedroom Slippers are More Dangerous") did little to alleviate her concerns. Due to her apprehensions about Pit Bulls, our worker is asking that Owen and I complete and submit the risk assessment, along with an information package on each of our dogs, extolling their virtues (basically trying to make up for the fact that they are *gasp* Pit Bulls). This package is to include a letter of reference from a veterinarian, testifying to each of our dogs' temperament, as well as proof of their being current on vaccinations, licensing, etc. Basically, if I can somehow magically transform my dogs into any breed other than that which they are, my life will become infinitely easier...

Now really, I don't mind doing this. Discrimination always sucks, no two ways about it, but, being a bullie enthusiast, owner, and advocate, I'm pretty used to it by now. However, it does rankle me that this policy isn't being uniformly applied. I think it has so much potential to protect children from dog bites, but it needs to be implemented in EVERY home with a dog, whether that dog is a Chihuahua or a Rottweiler. I also think there's room to do more with this policy - I believe that for foster families with dogs, a basic obedience course should be mandatory. A simple 8 week basic obedience course reduces the risk of that dog biting someone by 85%!
Here's the good news: HugABull has the opportunity to draft a package/proposal to the creator of this policy, putting forth our own recommendations. Now, there's no guarantee they'll be followed, but I say it's worth a shot!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nellie is Adopted!!!

In what might have been our fastest adoption ever! I'm pleased to say that little Nellie Noodle has found a wonderful family of her own. She's living out in Langley with a very cool, very breed experienced couple, and playing sister to a couple of rescued kitties. Nellie's new folks have promised to become foster parents down the road, and have already checked out our forum, so expect to hear and see more about this cute little firecracker!

That said, Nellie's foster family is taking a much-deserved break, so pretty little Jolie is still looking for a foster home. Jolie is great with all other critters, and people of all shapes, ages, and sizes. She's mostly housebroken, is a total sweetheart, and has a penchant for naked people apparently, as she keeps trying to undress poor Carol at SAINTS!!! So, if you're secretly a nudist, have existing pets, and want to try out fostering, Jolie would love to be your foster dog!

And of course, I can't update without plugging our feature adoptable, Shylo again. I can't believe nobody has snatched this girl up yet - she's a fabulous dog, and will make a wonderful companion. Have you seen the way she took to the springpole when she slept over at Tasha's house? (hint - check her Petfinder page!) She's a natural! This pooch is sweet, enthusiastic, eager to please, and an ambassadog in the making. Please mention Shylo to your friends and coworkers.

Now that her pups have all found homes, she really deserves a home of her own!
Well, I think that's it. I'll try to keep this updated more often, and see if I can't tease out some photos of Gorgeous George to post here soon. Until next time!


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tucker has a home...

Yes, that's right, Tucker, our big mastiff boy, papa to our last litter of pups, who Shelagh's been fostering, has found his forever home. Tucker flew with his new "mom" to her home in Oregon yesterday, and apparently got lots of curious stares and made a few friends at the airport.

His new owner says he's settling in nicely, and is very happy with him. Tucker's living on acreage with three other dogs, and will hopefully have a future as a therapy dog. Now we just need to get his "ex-wife" (teehee), Shylo, mom to our litter, adopted. Shylo's a great dog, active, outgoing, super-friendly, eager-to-please

As for our "icky pitties", they're all doing well! Lovely Bree, aka Bree, has settled into her foster home, and is best buds with Merlin and Ulyssees, her doggy foster brothers, already. Her confidence is improving, and Tasha says Bree mastered "sit" yesterday - yay! George is apparently doing well also, learning to leave the resident bunny alone, and having fun romping with her doggy foster sister. I'm pleased to be able to say that Jolie is finally feeling better, and is getting along great with all the critters at SAINTS, even Petunia, the pot-bellied pig. We're hoping that miss Nellie Noodle will find her home this week (she's got a wonderful couple that's applied for her), and that Jolie can then go hang out at Dana's house and learn some housemanners while she continues to mend.

I was hoping to post a video clip of Bree and Merlin wrestling, but apparently I'm not that skilled at this blog thing yet. So, I'll have to settle with posting a few photos.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Just a quick update

I haven't had a chance to update this blog, as I've been busy getting Bones adopted (yay! - thank you to Kristen for doing the homecheck, thank you to Becky for being a patient foster, and congrats to Bones' new family!), getting Nellie listed, answering email, yacking on the phone, and keeping busy with daily life.

Anyway, Tasha picked George and Bree up from SAINTS today. She stopped to let the girls have a visit at VAS with Kristen, then left George there to go to foster later on. Bree did really well with greeting the staff, even though she was a bit nervous, she was all wiggles. George was the life of the party as always, but after Tasha and Bree left, she settled down under Kristen's desk for a nap (turns out George actually sleeps!).

I haven't had an update on how the girls are doing in their respective foster homes yet, but will post as soon as I do. I read on SAINTS' blog that Jolie is moping a bit, missing her sisters, but starting to hang out with the other dogs there.

Well, that's it for now!