Monday, July 20, 2009

A new batch of Good Neighbours!

Thirteen dogs joined us on Sunday, July 19 to take the Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) test, a Canadian Kennel Club assessment program that evaluates self-control, good handling, and canine etiquette.

We were proud to see seven HugABull dogs walk away with the CGN title. For Bronte, in particular, this was a proud achievement.

As you can tell from his huge grin, Bronte is a happy, sweet boy who has captured many hearts. Since 2004, he was adopted and surrendered a number of times, through no fault of his own. Lifestyle changes, breakups, illness - Bronte just couldn't get a break, or a family that could keep him through thick and thin.

All this turmoil paid a price. Although Bronte is whip-smart and eager to please, his time in the shelter and as a yard dog made him increasingly anxious. This came to a head when one of his owners let him loose in an off-leash dog park. He got into a fight, and although he caused no damage he was labelled a "dangerous dog" in Victoria.

After he was surrendered in 2008 (a family illness), he was fostered by Lauren, Luke and their dog Rex. Rex and Bronte bonded closely and were inseparable until Rex passed away two months ago. In their grief, Lauren and Luke decided that the best way to pay tribute to Rex was to give his best friend a forever home, and the adoption was made official just a few weeks ago.

Lauren and Bronte attend Rally-O and obedience classes, and Bronte is thriving. When he passed his CGN test on Sunday, the crowd broke into wild applause, and even a few tears.

From "dangerous dog" to certified Good Neighbour: a testament to the potential of this breed, and the power of responsible ownership!

From left to right: CGN evaluator Sam Andress, proud owner Lauren Calbeck, and HugABull's Shelagh Begg (also a previous foster mom to Bronte!)

Another CGN (and HugABull alum) is Moonpie, a completely deaf, rescued pit bull who aced the evaluation by following hand signals. She's an amazing example of the potential of dogs with disabilities.

Other HugABull CGNs include Koda (with Kristen), Granger and Fletcher (with Ashley), Chica (with April) and Jake (with Eric). Congratulations all! You are all examples of responsible ownership, expert handling, and the potential of this breed.

Some photos from Sunday's test:

Granger waits patiently in a "sit-stay" until the signal from her mom, Ashley.

A rottweiler politely navigates a crowd...

Chica and April (on the right) prepare for a calm, controlled encounter with another dog (Arlo).

A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped with set-up, registration and the evaluation. Special thanks to Samantha and Arlo ( for donating their time, and to the House of Wags ( for hosting.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Patriotic Pit Bulls

HugABullers and dogs were proud to participate in this year's 2009 Canada Day parade through downtown Vancouver.

Hunter (formerly Rio), newly matched with his forever family through HugABull, dressed for the occasion and marched with a big bullie smile.

HugABull foster dog Edward came out with us wearing an "Adopt Me" vest, which drew a lot of attention and inquiries. He was a bit overwhelmed by all the activity, but behaved beautifully. He'll be a pro Ambassadog some day.

The Hugmobile.

Walter loved being front, centre and amongst the crowds...anywhere, as long as he's part of the action.

You've heard of face-painting? Peaches demonstrates the fine art of dog stenciling!

Muay proudly carried her country's flag for almost the entire walk...serious fortitude.

Ever-social Maggie worked the crowds...

Arlo wowed the spectators with his tricks.

And at the end of it all, we managed to round up a bunch of tired but happy dogs for a group photo. Next stop is the Vancouver Pride Parade on August 2nd. Will we see you there?